The Laredo Heat’s season has ended before it even started as the National Premier Soccer League announced the 2020 season is cancelled over concerns of COVID-19.
“Given these circumstances, the 2020 NPSL summer season, under its current competition structure, has been cancelled,” NPSL Chairman of the Board Kenneth Farrell said in a release sent out to all the teams in the league. “This decision was made unanimously by our Board of Directors.
“This action was not taken lightly. Over the past few weeks, we have spoken to many of our teams and to our affiliate organization. As you can imagine, every situation is different and has its own set of circumstances. We are balancing the immediate needs of our teams, and ensuring that we have a successful, thriving league for years to come.”
The NPSL previously had no plans to suspend or cancel the season. The league did announce two weeks ago that West Region play was suspended until April 4. However, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended there should be no large group activities of more than 10 people for eight weeks last week, which coordinates with May 10, the NPSL determined there shouldn’t be any play in 2020.
While the league has officially cancelled the upcoming season, teams who remain open to playing some form of soccer in 2020, the league would accommodate them and if USASA permits it, according to the release.
“We do not know what a new competition structure may look like,” Farrell said. “It depends on how quickly the CDC advises that it is safe to return to normal activity. If things should resume with the opportunity to play in the summer, we will work with interested teams to formulate a customized competition structure that can get interested teams back on the field and working towards rebuilding their connection to their communities.”
Laredo hoped to make a run at the playoffs this season after they missed the postseason last year for just the second time since the club’s inception in 2004. The Heat went 4-6-2 in their second season in the NPSL, finishing outside the playoff picture at fifth in their division in 2019.