Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber apologized to fans in an open letter Thursday, saying that the decision to postpone the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls should have been made earlier.
The decision to postpone the second leg of the tie to Thursday night due to heavy snow was made at 9 p.m. Wednesday, some 40 minutes after the game's initial scheduled kick-off time.
Below are the second and third paragraphs of Garber's open letter, as published on MLSsoccer.com.
Based on the weather forecasts earlier in the day, we believed that we could still play the game. As you know, soccer is played in inclement weather and we have cancelled very few games in the history of the League. In this case, however, we underestimated the severity of the storm and its effect on our ability to play, and ultimately the enormous impact it had on our fans who traveled to and from Red Bull Arena.
I have heard from many of you about our decision to wait until after the scheduled start time to postpone the game and I know that many of our fans believe that we should have made the decision earlier in the day or even the day before. In retrospect, I wish we had. Although I believe that our intent in trying to preserve the ability to play the match was well meaning, in the end we would have better served our clubs and our fans by making the decision earlier.
Around 700 D.C. United fans were bused to and from Harrison, N.J. Wednesday without seeing a single ball kicked in anger. According to D.C. United Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Doug Hicks, around 250 United supporters have managed to return by bus to see Thursday's rescheduled match.