Coronavirus: NWSL delays start of 2020 regular season over COVID-19 concerns

The NWSL canceled its preseason and will delay the start of its 2020 regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league is closely looking at public health guidelines to determine how to go about the upcoming campaign, with commissioner Lisa Baird saying that the priority has to be the safety of everyone involved, from the players to the fans. 

The first NWSL games of the 2020 season were originally scheduled for April 18.

Here's the league's statement from March 20:

"As we continue to follow the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Women's Soccer League has extended its training moratorium through and including Sunday, April 5, 2020. As a result, our regular season start, scheduled for April 18, will be delayed. We are considering all possible implications for the preseason and regular season schedules while prioritizing the health and safety of our players, staff and fans."

In a letter to the fans, Baird said the league continues to talk to government health agencies and more to try and figure out a plan for this season.

We are in active consultation with governmental health agencies, our NWSL medical task force and other sports leagues on the appropriate next steps and contingency plans for the resumption of our 2020 preseason and potential impact on our 2020 regular season. The most up-to-date information will be made available as soon as possible.

We will continue to act with the health and safety of our players, staff and supporters in the forefront of our minds and are taking all necessary precautions. We ask that you come together and do the same. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time and for being the best fans in the world.

CBS will air NWSL matches this upcoming season after a deal was announced in March. For more information, click here.

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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