Major League Soccer suspends season for 30 days

Major League Soccer has suspended match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials, according to an announcement today.

The decision affects Sporting Kansas City, located in Kansas City, Kansas.

At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events, according to the announcement.

“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season – based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”

Sporting’s March 21 away game at San Jose postponed

Sporting Kansas City’s upcoming away match at the San Jose Earthquakes on March 21 has been postponed and will be rescheduled to be played at a later date, Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday.

The postponement was prompted by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department’s mandate barring gatherings of 1,000 or more people through the end of March due to COVID-19 concerns.

Major League Soccer will work with both Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes to determine a rescheduled date for the regular season match, according to the announcement.

Sporting midfielder Feilhaber retires

Benny Feilhaber

Longtime Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber today announced his retirement from professional soccer.

During a 15-year career, Feilhaber helped Sporting KC win an MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup championships as well as a Concacaf Gold Cup title and FIFA World Cup appearance with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Feilhaber, 35, scored 56 goals in over 400 professional matches during a well-traveled club career that included stops in the German Bundesliga, English Premier League, Danish Superliga and Major League Soccer.

Across nine MLS seasons, the creative midfielder recorded 41 goals and 63 assists in 271 appearances and became one of 17 players in league history to notch 40 goals and 60 assists in regular season play.

Feilhaber also earned 44 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team from 2007-2017, notably winning the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup, helping the USA to a second-place finish at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and playing three matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

“I have had the humbling privilege to compete alongside so many great teammates and coaches for the last 15 years, and I am extremely thankful for the moments we have shared together on and off the field,” Feilhaber said. “I also want to extend a massive thank you to all of the fans who supported me along the way. They have played an integral part of my wonderful journey since day one.”

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and raised in Irvine, California, Feilhaber finished his Sporting Kansas City tenure with 35 goals and 58 assists in 198 matches (175 starts) across all competitions.

He spent two stints in Kansas City, guiding the club to five straight playoff appearances from 2013 to 2017 and returning in 2019 for his final professional season. His 35 goals and 58 assists rank seventh and third on the club’s all-time charts, and he is one of four players in club history — alongside Preki, Chris Klein and current Sporting defender Graham Zusi — with at least 30 goals and 50 assists.

“My six years at Sporting shaped me as a person and a player,” Feilhaber said. “I had the most individual and team success at this club, making lifelong friends and playing in front of the best supporters I’ve come across. I married the love of my life weeks before moving to Kansas City and we built our life and family during these special years. I’m so thankful for everything the club has given me and my family.

“Peter Vermes and the coaching staff got me to play at a level I didn’t know I had in me. I’m also grateful for the amazing teammates at Sporting and so proud of the winning memories we made with our fans — from the Cauldron to the South Stand and everywhere in between. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and Kansas City will forever be my home.”

-Story from Sporting KC