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FC Tucson, Phoenix Rising delay season openers over COVID-19

Coronavirus concerns move start of 2020 play

FC Tucson will delay its season opener by at least two weeks, according to news releases from both the team and United Soccer League.

“Our team and staff remain committed to keeping Tucson strong during this time,” said FC Tucson Club President Amanda Powers. “We highly anticipate our return to the pitch to inspire hope with exciting, entertaining fútbol for our beloved fans.”

Related: Cyclovia called off; Wildcats, Roadrunners & Sugar Skulls suspend seasons

The decision to postpone the USL League One opening follows decisions by Major League Soccer and other sports leagues to postpone games or cancel seasons due to concerns over the spread of Coronavirus. There will also be an interruption of the season for the USL Championship, which Phoenix Rising FC plays in. A Wednesday night match between USL Championship sides Tacoma Defiance and San Diego Loyal FC was played behind closed doors, and two other teams postponed matches on the advice of local leaders.

“It was very clear from our Championship and League One owners that the health and safety of players, fans and staff was their top priority,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “In consultation with local, state and national health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, we made the decision to delay the start of the League One season by a minimum of two weeks.”

FC Tucson's opener was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, against Toronto FC II.

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