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USL Championship announces July 11 return to play

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No details as of yet, but the league and its players are working things out.

The United Soccer League on Friday announced that the USL Championship and its players’ association have come to a “formal agreement” to open its season on July 11.

While no details have been released as of yet, reports from earlier in the week, among them The Athletic, have stated that it’s likely matches would be played in home stadiums. How that would look remains to be seen. Some good news for the players concerns how much they’ll be paid, with Jeff Rueter reporting that they won’t see a decrease in salary despite complications due to the novel coronavirus.

One other bit of news surrounds the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement, the first in the USL Championship’s history. The USL Player’s Association had proposed one to the league as recently as December 2019, according to Sports Business Journal, with the the 2 sides meeting in Tampa in January.

But while there’s still work to be done, it appears that we’ll see the USL Championship following MLS’s lead and returning to play, but in local markets instead of a neutral site and surely without fans initially.