The celebration following the Loyal's first win was bound to be quiet, they were on the road after all. But the atmosphere in their road game at Tacoma was even more subdued than usual.
Fans were not allowed at Cheney Stadium Wednesday night, the home of the Defiance. That was due to Washington Governor Jay Inslee's suspension of large public gatherings due to Coronavirus cases in Western Washington.
So Landon Donovan's team played in a virtually empty stadium, and came away with a 2-1 win. Francis Atuahene scored both of the team's goals, finding the net in the 35th and 81st minute. Jack Metcalf found Atuahene at the top of the six yard box with a feed from the right side, and the Ghanaian forward delivered the game winning strike.
The win followed a day of somber news in the sports world. Notably, the NBA suspended its season and the NCAA announced that its basketball championships would take place without fans.
The Loyal also announced that their home match on March 14th has been rescheduled. Rio Grande Valley FC will now visit Torero Stadium on Wednesday July 29th.
Team President Warren Smith had this to say about the decision in the team's release:
“Taking care of fans, players and staff is the highest priority at SD Loyal, and the club carefully weighed its options when making the decision to postpone the match. While we had the option to play without fans in attendance, similar to the match being played tonight against Tacoma Defiance, we felt it was in the best interest of our fans to postpone. SD Loyal is a team of the fans, and we want to do all that we can to ensure they get to see their club play. Amid the concerns over COVID-19, we also want to take all appropriate precautions for the safety of our staff, players and fans. We are grateful to Rio Grande Valley FC for agreeing to reschedule the match, and we look forward to playing them here in July.”
San Diego's next scheduled match is at Orange County SC on March 21st.