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MLS leaves sliver of hope for full Atlanta United season

League says as of now, it still has enough dates to play an entire season's schedule.

ATLANTA — While other sports leagues such as the NBA and MLB have almost certainly lost games due to the coronavirus pandemic, MLS says it still has "enough dates to play the entire season."

But Atlanta United fans hoping for a full season can only take so much encouragement from that, with the league acknowledging it "may become difficult" to play the entire schedule.

In a release issued Tuesday, the league said it had hoped to return to play in mid-May, but that goal is now considered "extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities."

RELATED: When will sports fans feel safe in stadiums again?

"We continue to learn more every day from the medical experts, and we expect to have additional details in the coming weeks regarding when we can return to play," MLS said in its statement. "As we have throughout this process, we will update our fans with every decision, and we thank them for their support and understanding during this extremely challenging time."

If the league does attempt a full schedule, it appears likely it would begin with games played in empty stadiums. On Monday league commissioner Don Garber said games would probably be played at first without fans, terming them "studio" games, Reuters reported.

“From tournament formats and neutral locations, ultimately playing an abridged regular season, but doing everything to get as many games,” he said. 

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