As we all sit at home seeing news reports about COVID-19, the yearning for soccer’s return continues to grow. The game plays such an outsized role in our lives that its absence creates a void that remote training, social media challenges and backyard technical sessions only partially fill.
It’s not entirely clear when that gap will close up, either, as the virus continues to chart its course. The growing death, case and unemployment figures are, in a word, chilling. They test our collective resolve, too.
But eventually soccer will return, and questions linger as to how the local landscape will look on the pandemic's other side. We won’t pretend to have all the answers, but the consequences are sure to be far-reaching.
Mindful of that, here are five areas to keep an eye on. Most are rooted in the interim, while some long-term effects are already coming into view.