Return to soccer! Are IE UPSL teams ready for action?

The UPSL made a statement in May about a condensed season following the outbreak of COVID-19 that paused the 2020 spring season after one game (at least for SoCal divisions). A deadline has been in place on June 10th for teams to declare to the league their intention to play the shortened season. On June 11th, the league was suppose to come out with a schedule and playoff format for the 10 game season that will start June 20th and end around August 22-23rd.

What’s interesting is that the results from the season before the COVID situation hit will be carried over to this condensed format. For IE teams in the Western Conference – SoCal North – Division I, Fury Fc will start with 3 pts and a 1-0-0 record, while IEFC will have no points and a goal difference of -4, losing their season opener on the road. For the Western Conference- SoCal South – Division II, IE United will enjoy their dividends of winning their 1st game ever as a club destroying CF Cachorros USA 8-2. High Desert FC and newly formed IERFC will also enjoy having one W carried over while Fontana international has an L from the first game with a goal difference of -1.

Although the optimism of soccer returning is exciting, the reality that the COVID has had, the impact hits some clubs financially. On the positive note, the UPSL is one of the more affordable national leagues so teams aren’t under tremendous pressure compared to teams of other leagues. Fontana International has decided to not participate in the condensed season and decided to wait till the fall season. As a representative close to the team said its too expensive to only play 10 games with little preparation, and with the coronavirus taking a toll on the players as well, so they are waiting till September and focus on the fall season. IEFC also declined the shortened season, having doubts that the county of San Bernardino is hard (to get access to fields) since COVID-19 cases is going up and schools not opening up anytime soon. Meanwhile, IE United confirmed they are willing to play the condensed season. Fury Fc, HDFC and IERFC have been reached out for comment but no response.

Although the league has not made an announcement or is delayed in delivering the message, the idea is more of an invitation for teams who want to risk the circumstances and are just eager to get back on the pitch. Maybe the number of teams would be insufficient for the idea (in terms of the socal divisions) or it takes more than 24 hours to get a schedule together, who knows. If there is an update, IE soccer would jump on the case…

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