Five teams from USL League Two’s Heartland Division are aiming to play this season, with discussions regarding the format the competition would take currently ongoing amid the challenges currently being faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chicago FC United, the Des Moines Menace, the Green Bay Voyageurs, Kaw Valley FC and the St. Louis Lions will continue to work with the league in exploring altered competition formats that would allow for meaningful matches to be played this summer, while Peoria City – which was scheduled to join League Two for the 2020 season – has elected to push back its official on-field arrival until the 2021 season.
“We support every team in the decisions they make in regard to competing, or sitting out this upcoming season as they deal locally with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said USL League Two Vice President Joel Nash. “We are currently working hard to find the right solution for these five clubs to maintain the competition and rivalries they have established. Our aim is to see them competing on the field this summer.”
The two Canadian clubs that compete in the division – the Thunder Bay Chill and FC Manitoba – will also be absent from a potential Heartland Division this year with travel restrictions likely to complicate cross-border competition. Thunder Bay has elected to go on hiatus to return in 2021, while FC Manitoba is aiming to play a competitive schedule.
“As it has from the start, the health and well-being of the communities our clubs represent – including our supporters, staff, players, coaches, partners, families and friends – must come first,” said Nash. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming Peoria City to League Two next year, and also seeing the return of two of our great Canadian clubs in former champion Thunder Bay and Manitoba FC.”