Professional women’s football has been drastically at risk throughout 2020. Football experts anticipated that financial losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic would force numerous clubs to shutdown. However, the opposite has happened & the Women’s Super League found an unexpected ally. It’d be announced last week that footballers with the Women’s Super League would compete in England’s Premier League, the top division of football worldwide.
It’s a strange twist that comes after WSL organizers had an exhausting season, working to sustain their footballers with financial comps until the pandemic had concluded. It’d appeared initially that the Women’s Super League in Great Britain had been forgotten about. When the Premier League confirmed they’d be a beneficiary towards the WSL, female footballers throughout the United Kingdom rejoiced.
Thanks to the assistance of the Premier League, female footballers with the Women’s Soccer League returned to contention in September. Alex Morgan was an initial selection for Premier League contention, with the WSL footballer being signed to Tottenham Hotspur. She’s the first female player in Tottenham’s history. Alex Morgan made her debut against Arsenal FC with the Tottenham Hotspurs. However, coaching staff kept Alex Morgan benched. It means her first official minutes of contention with Tottenham Hotspur haven’t been played yet. Some have questioned the Hotspurs for using Alex Morgan for promotional marketing, with Morgan appearing on Time UK Magazine this month.
Since Tottenham Hotspur hired Alex Morgan, multiple other clubs in the Premier League have mentioned their desire to sign female players. Manchester City, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, and Manchester United have invested heavily into their female divisions & will likely bring footballers over to their male clubs.
USWL Not So Fortunate
Similar fortunes couldn’t be awarded to the US Women’s League, which has been laid to waste throughout the pandemic. It’s not known if the USWL will immediately return when the epidemic is over, with team owners likely having to recover for the option financially is possible. Financial stability could’ve been awarded to these clubs if Major League Soccer issued their support. However, professional football isn’t as popular in America as England. This means that MLS organizers were working to financially save their league & couldn’t account for the USWL.
September 12th marks the day when the Premier League will begin their 2020-21 Season. This announcement was made on July 24th, shocking supports of the football competition. 2019-2020s Premier League Season ended on July 25th. It’ll be less than 45 days before supporters are given their next opportunity to watch notable teams, like champion-holders Liverpool. It’s known that their 2020-21 Regular Season will be maintained until May 23rd of next year. Afterwards, top teams will enter the Champions League.
An official statement clarified that they’re consulting the Football Association & English Football League to determine the scheduling of domestic competitions. It’s suspected that under pandemic protocols, international matches outside of Europe won’t be hosted until likely 2022 or later. Premier League Executives hope that similar issues that followed this year won’t repeat in 2021, including the postponement of seasonal events for three months because of COVID-19. It should be emphasized that even though the Premier League finished their yearly campaign on July 25th, Liverpool had acquired championship victory in late June.
Details on the Champions League & Europa League, two tournaments that dominate professional football, weren’t clarified. It’s standard for the Europa to follow a similar schedule to the Premier League, allowing for both their top teams to enter the Champions League.
The Europa Football League will find challenges with scheduling their 2020-21 Season, with the 2019-20 festivities still underway until the end of August. They’ll have anywhere from twelve to fifteen days to plan their full season to reach contention for the Champions League. To date, Europa’s Wolverhampton Wanderers are slated to battle Manchester City in August. Manchester City is hopeful of acquiring Championship status for 2019-20.
MLS Season Starting on August 22nd
Major League Soccer announced their return-to-play for the 2020-21 Season, which will be on August 22nd. All teams will compete in six matches until September 13th. Afterwards, the second slate of games with reduced teams would be maintained from September 16th to November 8th. Those that hold losing streaks from August 22nd to September 13th will be terminated from competing in the second stage. Once the 2nd stage, if complete, the top teams will compete in the MLS Championship. The prompt season is to ensure that the 2021-22 MLS Season can unfold in normal conditions.
The Premier League in its long-await return to action on Sunday saw Chelsea taking to the field against Aston-Villa hoping to secure a spot for finishing in the top four. After watching Aston Villa go into the lead, Chelsea managed to come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Chelsea was in control during the first half and looking promising, but a reality check was handed to them after Kepa Arrizabalaga failed to stop a pass from Anwar El Ghazi. That saw the forwards shot being picked up by Kortney Hause who was able to put it past the posts.
However, Chelsea managed to reorganize and turn the game around, scoring two goals in a matter of minutes. The first of their goals came as a result of substitute Christian Pulisic picking up and driving home a pass from Cesar Azpilicueta. The second, only minutes later came after Olivier Giroud put one in from 15 yards out to put Chelsea in the lead.
The win against Aston-Villa puts Chelsea once against five points ahead of Manchester United and the Wolverhampton Wanderers, who currently are in fifth and sixth. Meanwhile, Aston Villa will remain in the relegation zone with one safety point after they earned one point during their first two games after the return of the Premier League.
Chelsea/Aston-Villa Game Overview
The win over Aston-Villa was a big boost for Chelsea as they continue to hope for a top-four finish in the Premier League. The two late half goals by Pulisic and Giroud gave them the come-back they needed.
The result put Chelsea back in fourth with 51 points after thirty games. That places them with a five point lead over Manchester United, however for Aston-Villa, the loss means they remain at the bottom with 26 points and are close to being out of the safety zone. The reality was, Chelsea controlled the ball 76% of the opening half, but they missed multiple scoring opportunities, with Aston Villa’s goalkeeper, Oerjan Nyland denying them goals, once from Mason Mount and the other from Mateo Kovacic.
Whether Chelsea will manage to hold onto the fourth spot will depend on the outcome of the next few matches, but the odds are looking favourable. However, Chelsea will need to capitalize on scoring opportunities and not make the same type of mistakes they did in their game against Aston-Villa if they hope to see their goal realized.
The identities of players that have contracted the novel coronavirus in Major League Soccer & the Premier League have begun being revealed. It was first announced by Kacper Przybylko that he was the individual not identified last month as the 1st MLS Player with COVID-19. This information came to light after the Polish Striker was forced into making a video statement on the Philadelphia Union Website. He noted that the effects of COVID-19 had left his body, with the fourteen-day quarantine period for Kacper also ending. Przybylko remarked that his health has returned to normal & is looking forward to practising again.
April 1st marked the date that the Philadelphia Union confirmed through PR Reps that one of their players had contracted the novel coronavirus. When Kacper returns to training, it’s expected that mass testing of all those that engage with him will be maintained. Even though the science shows that Kacper is most likely immune from the virus now, it’s a precautionary measure meant to put peace of mind for all those involved with the Philadelphia Union.
Przybylko revealed in his video message that coaching staff with the Philadelphia Union were informed of his symptoms, where Kacper would immediately be notified to enter self-isolation. When the video ended to thousands of Union Supporters, Kacper remarked that his identity was kept secret by personal choice. The Striker didn’t want to experience a backlash against himself or his family.
Kacper Przybylko was born in Germany, playing in the Bundesliga League for nearly a decade. He’s competed with four different outfits, amassing himself a distinguished career record that prompted his advancement into Major League Soccer.
Confirmed Infections in the Premier League
Infections of COVID-19 being confirmed by football organizations extends towards the Premier League. They announced that two players from separate clubs had contracted the virus, with their names being kept secret like Kacper Przybylko was initially. After Premier League Health Advisors confirmed these infections, all 995 On-Staff Personnel were tested for the virus. Testing was forced onto employees May 19th, May 21st, and May 22nd. It should be noted that multiple standard workforce members were confirmed with the infective virus as well.
Internationally, sporting associations are looking to resume their respective seasons amidst the novel coronavirus. World governments have begun easing the travel restrictions and social distancing measures that’ve been enforced for months, prompting these associations to wonder when their operations can resume. Details were provided to the Premier League, with Boris Johnson providing an update on when English football can return. The Great Britain Prime Minister revealed that the Premier League could resume by June 1st if infections don’t spike before then.
Spectators won’t be permitted at football stadiums when the 2020 season is resumed. Some are claiming this is foolish of the British Prime Minister, with nations like France and Holland banning their national sports until September 2020. There’s a significant difference between England’s Premier League and these nations respective football leagues, with billions in lost funds being possible if the season is outright cancelled.
Teams in the Premier League received the updated timeline from Boris Johnson on May 11th, which came after the Johnson administration contacted organizers. They collectively determined the logistical challenges associated with reopening the season, creating strategies that will ensure the safety of footballers and team personnel. It should be noted that the Premier League has been postponed for sixty days, with teams losing millions during the national lockdown. Lifting restriction measures on these football clubs will guarantee their long-term survival.
The United Kingdom unveiled their strategic plan to lift the lockdown measures. Level two allows for sporting events, cultural festivals, and social venues to be held. Considering that Boris Johnson informed the British that the nation is barely at level four, there’s still notable work needed for football to return. COVID-19 Medical Experts have expressed that the June 1st estimation for British sports to resume is unlikely. That’d mean no need cases of the novel coronavirus for fourteen days in Great Britain, which most likely won’t happen until a vaccine is released.
Boris Johnson was forced to make these decisions after large crowds in Britain continued to engage in regular activity. It’s also seeing the British Prime Minister enact more fines onto those breaking social distancing protocols, possibly seeing them get arrested with a lengthy prison sentence.