Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that it was extending its suspension for eight weeks in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines dealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with May 10 as a targeted return date.

North America's top soccer league had previously announced a 30-day suspension on March 14.

"MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season," the league said in a statement. "The league is also identifying other available dates. Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations."

The MLS season was just underway when the suspension went into effect.

Each team had played only two matches.

Later on Thursday, the Vancouver Whitecaps released a statement in response to the announcement.

"We fully support the decision announced today by MLS to extend the suspension in accordance with public health recommendations," the statement read. "The most important priority is, and always will be, the health and safety of our players, staff, supporters, partners, and the public. We will continue to work with the league to get back on the pitch as soon as it is safe to do so. We greatly appreciate the support and patience of our fans. We are all in this together and we will get through this, stronger as a community."