The COVID-19 or coronavirus outbreak has started to affect sports competitions around the world as almost all major sporting events have been postponed or canceled entirely.
This includes the MLB, NCAA, and the USL, which were bringing a lot of hope and joy to San Diego Sports fans. The San Diego Padres were currently second in the Cactus League in spring training with an 18-11 record. The young and ambitious Jayce Tingler was looking promising as the new Friars’ skipper.
This is arguably the most anticipated Padres’ season in years with exciting players like Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Tommy Pham. A young and promising rotation and one of the best bullpens in the MLB gave Padres’ fans hope of the postseason.
Now the Friar faithful will need to wait longer than anticipated for the start of this season as the MLB campaign has been postponed for at least two weeks. Spring training has also been canceled with unresolved questions for this Padres team, like the second base position battle.
Professional soccer finally reached San Diego this year, and after just two games for the San Diego Loyal, the USL season has been suspended for at least a month. San Diego soccer fans were only able to see the Loyal play at home once before the suspension as there was a lot of excitement surrounding the team.
The Loyal started the season undefeated with a win and a draw and are currently first in the USL Western Conference. There was a fantastic turnout for that first-ever home game as the Loyal have already won the hearts of many San Diego sports fans.
Fans were just starting to learn the names of players like Charlie Adams, Sal Zizzo, and Francis Atuahene before the USL made its announcement.
Perhaps the most devastating blow was that the NCAA announced that March Madness is altogether canceled as the San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team lost their chance to compete for a historic national title. The Aztecs finished the regular season with a 30-2 record and were ranked No. 6 in the nation as this was arguably the best team in SDSU men’s basketball history.
The Aztecs had begun the season with an unbelievable 26-0 record as hope and hype was at an all-time high for this institution. Junior guard Malachi Flynn was absolutely incredible as he is in contention for several awards. Now those possible awards do not carry the same weight as the Aztecs cannot play on the national stage.
Other San Diego sports were suspended as well as the San Diego Sockers, San Diego Legion, San Diego Seals, San Diego Strike Force, San Diego Gulls, and 1904 FC all ceased activities. San Diego sports were just starting to blossom again after the San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles.
It had been several years since there was this kind of engagement and excitement for sports teams in San Diego. The COVID-19 outbreak came at possibly the worst time possible for San Diego sports fans with several competitive teams in the region.
However, safety is the primary concern at the moment, and this crisis cannot last forever. While it seems unlikely that the sporting events will return even when they are set to return, the Padres, Loyal, SDSU, and other teams will be back, and the fans will be ready.