LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville City Head Coach John Hackworth is optimistic the 2020 United Soccer League season will be played in full, even if it requires some creative scheduling when play resumes following the coronavirus shutdown.
“It might be a condensed version of the season," Hackworth said while moving into his new offices at Lynn Family Stadium. "There’s a chance that the season is extended into November, too. But for right now, the plan is for right now to get all 34 games in and have 17 home games here."
If the season is condensed, Hackworth said the team could play on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which is a lot of soccer in a short time, but he thinks his team is built for it.
“We are a deep team right now," he said. "And I think we are deeper in terms of quality at every position than any other team out there in the league. If we do have to play a condensed season where we might have to rotate rosters from a Saturday to a Wednesday-Saturday kind of format, that would be a big advantage for us going forward.”
When the season will resume is up in the air. Louisville City started off with a win at North Carolina on March 7, but the season was halted before their following match at Atlanta.
As of now, teams are scheduled to resume training April 6, but Hackworth is ready for that date to be moved.
“That’s a number that was set a week ago, and depending on how things happen here, that day could be pushed back," he said. "And just looking at the way things are going across our country right now, I think that date will probably be pushed back.”
In the meantime, players are doing workouts at home, and Hackworth is trying to make sure they all keep the coronavirus at bay, like when they tell him they really need to get a haircut.
“Develop a new hairstyle. Whatever you gotta do,” Hackworth said he tells his players. “Do not go and bring more people into contact with you ... We’re trying within our own team to make sure we are having the least number of contacts possible so when we do get back together, we will have been as safe as we could possibly be.”
Inside the new offices at Lynn Family Stadium, Hackworth said coaches and staff schedule times to be in the offices so they can avoid as much contact as possible.
Louisville City and its fans anticipated the opening of the brand-new stadium April 11. Hackworth believes the wait will be worth it, whenever the home opener happens.
“We’re looking so forward to that moment when all of our lives get back to normal and we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate and be together and enjoy what we do with a packed house here at Lynn Family Stadium," he said. "It’ll be fantastic. Probably, it’ll be sweeter than it ever was before.”
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