AFC Ann Arbor: Men’s, women’s teams will not compete in 2020

2018 Great Lakes Conference Champions (Courtesy: AFC Ann Arbor)
2018 Great Lakes Conference Champions (Courtesy: AFC Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR – AFC Ann Arbor has announced it is withholding league competition for both its men’s and women’s team for the 2020 season.

In a statement, the club said the decision aligns with the men’s league’s decision to cancel the season on April 30:

“Given the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, AFC Ann Arbor have made the decision to withhold both its men’s and women’s teams from any league competition in the 2020 season. The nature of the situation in the country, as well as the state of Michigan, has made it unfeasible to participate in either the USL League Two, given the cancellation of the league’s season on Thursday, or the UWS league seasons.”

Club officials said the difficult decision was made following talks with the club’s board of directors, staff, and representatives with both USL2 and UWS. The latest guidelines from health professionals also played a factor in the decision.

As for the months ahead, club officials said they intend to provide engaging content for fans, including a “high-quality media experience” despite the season’s cancellation.

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The men’s team had moved up a league in October after competing for three seasons in the National Premier Soccer League.

“Obviously we are really disappointed with the outcome of not having a season," men’s coach Eric Rudland said in a statement. "I felt like we had a top roster compiled, one who would have competed for a national championship. With that being said, the health and well-being of our players as well as the long-term stability of our club is the most important thing, so we respect and support our decision.”

Head women’s coach Boyzzz Khumalo echoed Rudland’s sentiment that the health of the players is a top priority.

“It’s sad, but at the same time, this is what we have to do to make sure that players don’t get ill and that everybody’s staying healthy,” Khumalo said in a statement. "Even though it hurts to go through this, we’ll see them next year.”

Club officials said AFC Ann Arbor is committed to continuing its community initiatives through its Community Kicks program in Ypsilanti and Detroit.

For more information, visit www.afcannarbor.com.

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