Washington, July 18 (IANS) Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced that it is delaying the inaugural seasons of three expansion teams – Charlotte, Sacramento and St. Louis – by one year because of the impact of COVID-19.
Charlotte will now make its debut in 2022, and Sacramento and St. Louis will join the league one year later, the MLS said on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have always taken a thoughtful and strategic approach to our expansion planning and have delivered successful launches for every new club,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
“It is important for each club to take the necessary time to launch their inaugural MLS seasons the way their fans and communities deserve. With the extra year to make up for what has been a challenging 2020, these teams will be well-positioned for their debuts and for long-term success,” Garber added.
The three teams agreed that waiting was the best option.
“With an additional year, we can better adjust for the impact of the pandemic on our community and identify how we can best serve the neighbors and friends that have supported our club on its rise to Major League Soccer,” said Matt Alvarez, one of the Sacramento FC owners.