PHOENIX — The USL Championship Final between Phoenix Rising FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies has been canceled, according to a statement from the United Soccer League.
The game planned for Sunday will not be played after multiple Tampa Bay players tested positive for COVID-19.
"The decision has been made for the health and safety of everyone involved after multiple persons on the Tampa Bay Rowdies covered persons list tested positive for COVID-19 upon a second round of rapid testing on Saturday morning at the Tampa Bay Rays’ medical facilities. The affected individuals have been immediately isolated at home, are recovering in good spirits under the care of team physicians and infectious disease experts, and all league, local and state health and wellness protocols continue to be followed," the statement said.
The USL decided the season will end.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Phoenix Rising FC are winners of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference titles, respectively.
The league is considering having the 2021 kickoff game between the two clubs, before the start of the Championship season.
“While we are disappointed that the Championship and League One Finals have been cancelled, we understand and appreciate the decision to put player health and wellness first,” said the USL Players Association Executive Committee. “We look forward to seeing all our players back in action at the start of next season.
This would have been the second time in three seasons Rising made it to the USL Championship after defeating the El Paso Locomotive FC in a penalty shootout.
Rising welcomed back fans to Casino Arizona Field in September after the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rising allowed fewer than 1,000 season-ticket members to attend games and all fans and staff members were required to wear masks at all times.