MLS cancels its last week. Playoffs start Thursday as scheduled.
By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2001
Major League Soccer canceled all six games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, the last weekend of the regular season, Thursday. None of the games, including the Mutiny's match at Columbus Saturday night, will be made up.
The MLS playoffs will begin Thursday as scheduled. The MLS Cup will be played on Oct. 21 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
"As a result of the occurrences we have decided to cancel all six games," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "In addition, the previously postponed four regular-season games will not be rescheduled.
"The driving factor of the decision was the appropriateness of not playing the games. The logistics, such as air travel and security, were secondary."
Garber said the league stands to lose "in excess of several million dollars" by not playing this weekend's games. He said the decision came after consulting with the league's Board of Governors as well as all 12 general managers.
"MLS thinks it's appropriate to take this time to mourn those involved in the tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who have been affected," Garber said.
"We felt that this was the appropriate decision for our fans, staff and players."
MLS offices will be closed today as part the country's day of mourning. No teams are permitted to practice today.
For the Mutiny, its season is over after a dismal 4-21-2 record. Players will break for the rest of the month, then reconvene for offseason training beginning Oct. 1.
"We 100 percent support commissioner Garber's decision," Mutiny general manager Bill Manning said. "This decision allows our front office, coaches, players and fans a chance to reflect upon the tragic events that occurred this week."
The playoffs start with Miami hosting Kansas City, Chicago hosting Dallas, New York/New Jersey traveling to Los Angeles and Columbus playing San Jose.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: The final match of the U.S. Women's Cup between the United States and China scheduled for Sunday in Kansas City has been canceled.
U.S. Soccer said the first game between the rivals on U.S. soil since the Americans beat the Chinese to win the 1999 World Cup, would not be rescheduled.
-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.