These past few months have been a challenging time for everyone around the world as, together, we do what we can to fight back COVID-19 for the safety of our local and global communities.
While we are anxious to return to Kettering’s historic Atwood Stadium to perform in front of our passionate FCB fans, we must all take aggressive steps to do our part in preventing the spread of this deadly disease. Today, the USL has officially canceled the 2020 regular season and playoff dates for League Two. This is disappointing but understandable given the current climate and the logistics involved in scheduling (84) clubs in a North American spring/summer league.
The Flint City Bucks remain determined and hopeful that we will be able to play a USL sanctioned exhibition schedule once it is deemed safe to do so. We are prepared to kick off anytime this summer, even late summer or fall with a celebration of last season’s success.
As a member of the USL League Two Executive Committee for the past two decades, Bucks Chairman, Dan Duggan, has been in daily communication with the USL, its professional entities, and executives at Major League Soccer. We are weighing all options and studying best practices as we continue to rely upon state and local health and government leaders for their guidance.
USL League Two Vice President, Joel Nash stated: “The League is committed to providing support and resources to all clubs that are able to offer elite soccer to their communities this summer. We will continue to follow local and state health guidelines and only return to play when and where it is deemed safe to do so. We are grateful to have incredibly committed clubs and fans and thank them for their tremendous understanding and support during these challenging times.”
Once it is deemed safe for Flint City Bucks players and coaches to assemble, we will go through the arduous task of reevaluating our roster. This usually encompasses twenty different U.S. colleges, universities, and international players representing many countries from around the world. This summer will likely have a more prevalent Michigan flavor due to travel concerns.
There is also a possibility that a USL2 sanctioned exhibition season may be started or played entirely behind closed doors, without fans in attendance. If this happens, we have a plan in place to broadcast all home matches live on regional network television – and live stream as well – so that fans can still get their FCB “fix” this summer.
“I know we are a far cry from where we were last August 3rd when we all celebrated the Bucks USL2 championship at Kettering’s Atwood Stadium,” Chairman Dan Duggan said. “As we went through the winter, we looked forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary season. Our front office team worked diligently in the offseason to plan many special events for our fans. While those plans continue to change and evolve, what has not changed is our commitment to putting the best team on the pitch when it is safe for all of us to play.”
For the time being, enjoy this extended time at home with your family, wash your hands often, and please continue to practice social distancing. We must all team up together to defeat this virus now. When that happens, we will take to the pitch again and give you another exciting season of elite men’s soccer, right here in Flint & Genesee County.
With sincere regards,
Dan Duggan, Chairman
Costa Papista, President