Coronavirus & Soccer
Mike Koeshartanto

Coronavirus: Soccer Teams, Leagues Get Creative

It goes without saying, but the COVID-19 pandemic has had major effects on a lot of industries, including sports. What do teams and players do when on-field activity – the backbone of their existence – is taken away from them?

The void left by the postponement or cancellation of soccer-related activities has left many sullen and longing for normalcy. With no end in sight, however, many have turned to social media and video games to keep fans engaged.

Our favorite quarantine activities from the soccer world

The soccer world is full of creative people and desperate times call for desperate measures. How are players, clubs, and media outlets around the world staying relevant in a period of on-field inactivity? By now you’ve likely all seen the #StayAtHomeChallenge or perhaps even juggled a roll of toilet paper yourself.

Far beyond the virality of 1- and 2-ply TP, many teams and players have found other ways to be creative and remain relevant. See a few of our favorite examples below.

The Athletic removes paywall for My Favorite Story series

The sports-centric, subscription-based media outlet has some of the top soccer writers in the U.S. In an attempt to introduce new subscribers to the medium, The Athletic let authors pick their favorite article and promote them as free. Here are a few great articles for you to read while working from home:

  • Paul Tenorio – The first American coach to win a Champions League match: Inside Jesse Marsch’s historic European night
  • Matt PentzMiscast from start, Clint Dempsey will leave Seattle with complicated legacy
  • Meg Linehan – The inside story of Sky Blue’s 2020 NWSL draft
  • Pablo Maurer – The story behind the most famous photo shoot in American soccer history

The Athletic has since removed the paywall for the entire site during the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check out Pablo’s and Sam Stejskal’s accounts of 25 stories of previously unknown pranks and hilarity in MLS history.

Connect Four and tic-tac-toe provide brief entertainment on Twitter

In absence of a Premier League game, Southampton took to Twitter to engage with Norwich in a friendly game of tic-tac-toe. Norwich never engaged, so Manchester City stepped in at half time and completed the game.

In the most ambitious crossover you didn’t know you needed, Bayer Leverkusen’s U.S. account and Hull City engaged in a riveting game of Connect Four.

MLS teams use FIFA to simulate league game

The Timbers and Revs took to FIFA and simulated a 90-minute game on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to a combined ~90K viewers. You can view the entire thrilling 4-4 draw here!


Leyton Orient creates their own version of March Madness

College basketball fans are without the pinnacle event on their sports calendars; however, fourth tier English club, Leyton Orient, were quick to create a FIFA tournament bracket to potentially fill the void. After announcing an open call for FIFA players representing interested clubs from around the world, 128 – from Amsterdam to Orlando to Sydney – heeded the call. See upcoming fixture dates and updated results here.


Watford simulates game using Football Manager

After news of the 2019/20 Premier League season postponement, Watford turned to their partners at Football Manager to simulate what was supposed to be their next game. The stream has been viewed almost 750,000 (!) times on Twitter.

Inter Miami takes social distancing to new, creative levels

As we all continue to practice social distancing by staying home, Inter Miami took the advice close to the heart. Earlier this week the club debuted a new look for the club’s logo with the herons separated.


Forward Madison uses YouTube to unveil jersey

While it remains to be seen when the USL League One season will get underway, forward-thinking club, Forward Madison, got creative with their away jersey reveal. Their scheduled release party was postponed leaving only one alternative: YouTube! The team also hosted a Coffee with the Mingos video hangout featuring executives from the club and USL – part of an ongoing series. The club also hosted a cooking show!

USL turns to Rocket League to engage current, new fans

Staying in USL, the league announced it will conduct a 32-team Rocket League tournament. Citing a need to try something different (aka not FIFA), USL Championship and League One teams will compete in the USL eCup beginning on March 31st.

The matches will be streamed on Twitch, with each club also selecting a charity benefiting their local communities that viewers can donate to during the broadcast.

Categories: Just For Fun