Life without soccer: IOC sets new 2021 start date for Tokyo Olympics

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FILE – In this May 17, 2015, file photo, United States’ midfielder Megan Rapinoe dribbles against Mexico during a soccer friendly match at StubHub Center? in Carson, Calif. Rapinoe, who is coming off of ACL surgery on her right knee in December, has been named to the national team roster for the Rio Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File0

The Tokyo Olympics have a new start date — July 23, 2021.

The International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the Games last week, but at the time did not provide a new start date. The competition was originally set to start on July 24, 2020. The new schedule will begin a year and a day later and run through Aug. 8, 2021.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach offered only one option for a new starting date on a conference call with the other international federations. The group voted unanimously for the July 23 start date.

All teams already qualified for the Olympics will retain their slot with the rescheduled date. In women’s soccer, 10 of the 12 possible teams have already qualified, including the United States. Similarly, 14 of the possible 16 teams have qualified for the men’s tournament — however the remaining qualifiers are for Concacaf, including the U.S. men’s national team.

The next step for all federations will be the rescheduling of remaining qualifying tournaments.

Former Revolution player joins coronavirus fight as physician

Former New England Revolution midfielder Marshall Leonard traded in his jersey for a white coat in the years following his retirement in 2007.

His brother, Franklin, shared the former player became an attending physician last week and immediately dove into the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as he started work at a New York City emergency room.

From all of us at the #NERevs, we send our heartfelt thanks to former club alum Marshall Leonard for answering the call in caring for the affected in NYC ???? https://t.co/fXVl4qMQUz

— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 28, 2020

Leonard played with the Revolution from 2002 to 2007, helping bolster the defense when other players went down with injuries. He netted one goal and added two assists in 63 total appearances during his six-year career with the team. During his final season, he won the U.S. Open Cup with the Revolution.

Megan Rapinoe, girlfriend Sue Bird host Instagram Live sessions

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe is currently self-quarantining with her girlfriend — and women’s basketball icon — Sue Bird. The couple have hosted several Instagram Live sessions to answer questions from fans during the past week.

The duo shared stories about their quarantine workouts, their taste in music and their thoughts on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo while drinking Moscow Mules.

The most entertaining story was Rapinoe’s memory of the time she tried to keep up drinking with Bird, Phoenix Mercury coach Penny Taylor and Bird’s former University of Connecticut teammate Diana Taurasi on vacation in Hawaii.

Rapinoe started the story with the defense that she’s small — 5-foot-6, compared to the 5-foot-9 Bird, 6-foot Taurasi and 6-foot-1 Taylor. Bird went on to explain that Rapinoe spent “from noon until like 9 p.m.” drinking chardonnay on the flight to Hawaii, then proceeded to exit dinner several times to throw up, getting sick in a plant on one occasion.

Rapinoe interrupted to issue a correction — “I wish it was in a plant, it was in the foyer heading to the bathroom.”

The two-time World Cup champion and 2019 Ballon d’Or recipient ended the evening passed out on the floor of the bathroom, and Bird ended the story with a warning.

“I’m just going to say this right now for anyone asking, you can’t drink with UConn players,” Bird said. “It’s something about how they recruit us. It’s like in our DNA.”

The couple also concluded the Instagram Live by showing off their singing abilities:

Folks, start your day by watching this duet of Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe singing “Complicated” after several drinks on day ??? of quarantine pic.twitter.com/UCxIipH1Cu

— Alexa Philippou (@alexaphilippou) March 29, 2020

New Mexico United supports blood drive

USL team New Mexico United is continuing to give back to its community through a blood drive. 

With state blood banks running low due to the increased need during the coronavirus crisis, the club partnered with the New Mexico Department of Health and Vitalant to support blood drives in New Mexico.

Health officials have encouraged healthy people to give blood, noting the precautions blood centers take to make sure donors are protected from potential virus spread.

Every drop matters! We have a few more spots left for Tuesday’s blood drive. Head to the link below to sign up!https://t.co/wY3ILieTGf#NMUnited #WeAreUnited #SomosUnidos pic.twitter.com/nWRefnBZyT

— New Mexico United (@NewMexicoUTD) March 29, 2020

While MLS, the NWSL and the USL are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pro Soccer USA will provide the latest news and updates, examples of what the soccer community is doing to pass time and some recommendations for readers to keep busy while hunkering down at home.

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Related TopicsCoronavirusfeaturedMegan RapinoeNew England RevolutionNew Mexico UnitedUSLUSWNT

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