The National Women's Soccer League could begin play this season as soon as the end of June, The Washington Post reported.
According to the report, league owners voted unanimously to proceed with a plan that envisions competition resuming with a tournament in the Salt Lake City area involving all nine NWSL teams. Play would begin June 27-28 with teams divided into three World Cup-style groups, each containing three teams, and conclude with knockout-style games extending into late July.
The report stated an official announcement could come as early as the end of the week, though it noted details remain unsettled and there is some pushback from players.
The NWSL did not respond to ESPN's request for comment.
The NWSL's eighth season was originally scheduled to begin on April 18, but all league activity was halted in March while teams were still in training camp. The league allowed players to begin using team facilities for individual workouts on May 6, where not in contravention of local health mandates, but last week extended a moratorium on group training through May 24.
Under the reported plan, players and staff selected to travel to the tournament would be tested for the coronavirus beginning this week.
A subsequent report in the Salt Lake City Tribune said players and staff would be tested for the coronavirus regularly once in Utah, but would not be quarantined while staying in area hotels and dormitories.
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an executive order last week lowering the state's risk status, effective May 16. Salt Lake City and some nearby areas remained under the elevated "orange" status. Guidelines for the orange status include leaving home "infrequently" and employees "operate remotely, unless not possible."
Those restrictions are not mentioned in the "yellow" status that is now in effect for much of the state, including the city of Sandy, the Salt Lake City-area home of the NWSL's Utah Royals and MLS' Real Salt Lake.
The Post report described the tournament as a possible precursor to a regular league schedule later in the summer. The regular season was originally scheduled to conclude on Oct. 18, with that schedule accommodating a two-week break for the since-postponed Olympics.
The NWSL would become the first professional league in a team sport in the U.S. to announce a return to play. It would join the likes of NASCAR and UFC, which have already returned to competition, and the PGA and LPGA, which announced revised schedules.
Germany's Bundesliga returned to competition this past week in front of empty stadiums, while women's teams in the Frauen-Bundesliga could return to play at the end of this month.