DC United

New proposal would have MLS play its games in Orlando this summer

New proposal would have MLS play its games in Orlando this summer

As the German top-flight soccer league, the Bundesliga, gets set to return to play this weekend, Major League Soccer has reportedly proposed a new option for its own return. 

The proposal would take all 26 MLS teams to Orlando, where they would practice and play matches at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex while being quarantined at one of the resorts near Walt Disney World.
Some MLS teams have been able to return to individual training at team facilities in the past week as their states start to open back up from the coronavirus pandemic. The plan is for some of those teams to start training in small groups in the coming weeks just as the Bundesliga did in ramping up to its return.

MLS reportedly wants to bring all 26 of its teams to Orlando to start training on June 1st with a June 22nd date to resume competitive matches. What the format of those matches looks like remains unclear. It’s also not certain whether they will be counted towards the 2019 regular-season standings or be a standalone tournament.

The availability of testing remains an issue as the number of players and staff would total around 1,000 people, according to reporting from the Washington Post. At a time when the American public is struggling to get adequate testing, it is unknown whether MLS could garner the needed number of tests to insure the safety of its players and staff in Orlando.

The Orlando plan is one of multiple options MLS is reportedly looking into, but there is also the backdrop of the league proposing a uniform 20-percent cut on players’ salaries ,which will require a resolution before the league returns to play.

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MLS postpones DC United match against Toronto FC amid health concerns

MLS postpones DC United match against Toronto FC amid health concerns

D.C. United’s opening match of the MLS is Back tournament against Toronto FC on Sunday was postponed minutes before play was set to begin.

The league announced that upon testing both clubs for the coronavirus Saturday, one player received “an initial unconfirmed positive” and another’s test came back inconclusive. Citing health protocols that require all players to be retested before playing again, the MLS decided to reschedule Sunday’s match for Monday morning.

RELATED: FC DALLAS WITHDRAWS FROM MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT AFTER 10 POSITIVE COVID-19 TESTS

According to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott told reporters on a conference call that the positive test came from a sample of a D.C. United player. Rookie forward Erik Sorga was originally slated to be on the team’s bench but was dropped off the game-day roster with no announcement coming from the club.

Goff also reported that the MLS cleared both teams to arrive at the complex in Orlando for the match Sunday. D.C. United did so while Toronto FC stayed back.

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FC Dallas-Vancouver Whitecaps match postponed after eight positive coronavirus tests

FC Dallas-Vancouver Whitecaps match postponed after eight positive coronavirus tests

The MLS is Back Tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps set for Thursday has been postponed after eight players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group-stage game will be rescheduled, the league said Saturday.

FC Dallas announced earlier this week that six players had tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Florida for the tournament. The entire team was quarantined.

Two Whitecaps players tested positive, forcing the team to remain in Canada, the league said. Additional tests were negative, but the team had to push back travel until Monday.

RELATED: WHEN ARE SPORTS RETURNING FROM CORONAVIRUS

The MLS is Back Tournament is set to open on Wednesday with a match between Orlando City and expansion Inter Miami.

The league's 26 teams will be sequestered in hotels for the duration of the monthlong tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

MLS shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 after teams had each played two games.

FC Dallas said all players and staff tested negative for the coronavirus before leaving for the tournament on last Saturday. Upon arrival, two players tested positive. Subsequent tests found four more players infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

"In consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff in Orlando out of an abundance of caution. All members of the club delegation are following MLS health and safety protocols and will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing," the team said in a statement.

The names of the players were not released.

The league said no other team was in contact with the FC Dallas delegation. League protocol requires players and staff to be tested every two days upon arrival in Florida.

FC Dallas will now open the tournament on July 15 against the Seattle Sounders, while the Whitecaps will play the San Jose Earthquakes later that day.

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