NWSL, Utah Royals FC delay start of 2020 season

(Photo courtesy of Utah Royals FC) Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart makes a pass during a recent game. The 37-year-old veteran has collected three shutouts in the first three wins of the season for the Royals.

Utah Royals FC fans will have to wait a while to see the team start its 2020 season.

The National Women’s Soccer League announced Friday that it will delay the start to the season due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The season was scheduled to start April 18.

“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,” the league said in a statement.

The NWSL had already canceled its entire preseason schedule last week. Friday’s news also included an extension of a training moratorium that had already been extended once before. Major League Soccer on Friday also extended the suspension of training.