Reading United will not get a chance to make another run to the USL League Two championship this summer after the league announced the cancelation of the season on Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reading made the league final the last two seasons, falling short on the road at the Flint Bucks last season and at home to Calgary Foothills FC in 2018. This would have been their 25th season as a club dating back to their days playing as a professional team in the USISL.
Though the regular season has been canceled and there will not be a 2020 trophy, there is still a possibility for teams to arrange regional exhibition matches.
“The 2020 season as it kind of stands is canceled but with that it also lends itself the opportunity for us to still put together a team,” said Reading United spokesman Ryan Lineaweaver. “It’s just a matter of when we would be able to play, who we would be able to play and where we would be able to play.”
This season was supposed to be the first in USL League Two for teams from Philadelphia Lone Star and West Chester United. Both clubs were planning to still field teams in the National Premier Soccer League before the announcement of that league’s summer competition in late March.
Area clubs Lehigh Valley United and Ocean City Nor’easters also have teams in USL League Two.
“It’s unfortunate, but obviously it’s for the health and safety of our staff, players and fans,” Lineawaver said. “That comes first.”
The Women’s Professional Soccer League also announced the cancelation of its summer 2020 season on Thursday with an eye on fielding a possible one-time competition in the fall.
“The momentum our clubs have built in League Two across the country in recent years has been tremendous, and today’s announcement – while disappointing – will do nothing to alter that,” said USL League Two Vice President Joel Nash in a statement. “We will continue to support soccer being played when and where possible in 2020 and use this time to get even stronger as a league and look forward to returning to competitive action better than ever before in 2021.”