Major League Soccer announced Tuesday that its 2020 MLS All-Star game scheduled to be held at Banc of California Stadium has been canceled, the latest marquee sporting event to be called off amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The All-Star game, which would have pitted all-star squads from MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX against one another, was slated to take place July 29 at LAFC’s home stadium.
Instead, the league hopes Los Angeles can host the event in 2021, saying in a statement, “MLS and LIGA MX will resume discussions regarding the event, and there is every expectation that next year’s All-Star Game will be MLS vs. LIGA MX in Los Angeles.”
In addition to the All-Star game, MLS also announced the cancellation of the Leagues Cup, a tournament between top MLS and Liga MX clubs that was slated to take place between July and September, and the Campeones Cup, which would have seen the defending champions of the two leagues square off Aug. 12 in Seattle. The league also expects both of those events to return in 2021.
As with other major pro leagues around the country, MLS suspended its season because of the coronavirus crisis in mid-March, barely two weeks into its 2020 schedule. While some European soccer leagues have been able to resume play in recent weeks, MLS has said it won’t return to action until June at the earliest.
The league did allow its training facilities, including the Galaxy’s and LAFC’s, to reopen this month for individual workouts and is reportedly considering a restart plan in which all 26 clubs would be quarantined together at a Disney resort in Orlando and play regular-season games behind closed doors.
But full-spectator events, such as the All-Star game, still do not seem imminent, especially in Los Angeles County, where health officials have said stay-at-home orders could be extended into August.
Tickets to the 2020 All-Star game had not yet gone on sale. Fans who already purchased seats to the accompanying All-Star Skills Challenge will be refunded, according to the league’s statement.