While the Portland Timbers are readying themselves for match play in Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament, the club is helping their families feel a little more comfortable at home.
In a press conference with reporters on Tuesday, Timbers manager Gio Savarese revealed the team is providing meals, house cleaners and even nannies while the tournament takes place.
Every family has different needs, some are receiving food directly to their home so they don't have to go to the supermarket, some are getting nannies, some are getting people to clean their house, making sure if someone needs transportation we have at all times people back in Portland making sure that everything is taken care of. Yesterday we had a meeting with the families asking how we can continue to help, is there any concern and from that standpoint I think the club has done a great job. -- Gio Savarese
Savarese mentioned players like Diego Chara, who has four children, including twin boys he and his wife Sindy welcomed in 2018. There can be many complications that can take place with players being away from their families and inside the MLS bubble for more than a month.
While the club is doing everything possible to make its players and staff feel comfortable, Savarese knows there’s a level of uncertainty once the team arrives at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
[There's] always a level of concern, which is important, because if you aren't concerned then you let your guard down and all of a sudden you aren't as worried as you had been. That's why I have to continue to remind the players that we need to always wear masks, stay on the floors, not come down, avoid conversations with other players on other teams. -- Gio Savarese
Several clubs have opted out of the MLS is Back Tournament, which will kick off on Wednesday, due to positive COVID-19 tests. FC Dallas pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday after reportedly 10 players and one coach tested positive. The Timbers, as of Tuesday, have zero positive tests.
Portland will make its return to the field and MLS is Back debut on July 13 vs. the LA Galaxy.