On a day that saw Florida report a record spike in the number of new cases for the coronavirus -- 5,508 new cases overnight, up from the daily record of 4,049 new cases on Saturday -- and reports of more MLS players testing positive, the San Jose Earthquakes became the first MLS team enter the bubble at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.
MLS is Back Tournament: Schedule
The Quakes headed to Florida because Santa Clara County restrictions have prevented them from conducting full team training. The Bay Area was quick to introduce shelter in place orders in March and has taken a conservative approach about re-opening.
Positive COVID-19 tests. The Colorado Rapids announced that one of their players tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. As a result, all players and team personnel were asked to isolate and training has been temporarily suspended while additional testing takes place. The Rapids also began extensive contact tracing, among other protocols.
MLS clubs are required to conduct testing every other day for full-team training protocols and confirm positive tests via a subsequent secondary test.
In June, the following single positive tests have been announced:
-- FC Dallas (June 3)
-- D.C. United (June 13),
-- Atlanta United (June 18 and 19);
-- Inter Miami (June 19).
All but the FC Dallas and D.C. United cases took place after full training -- with contact -- began. On April 1, in the early stages of the lock-down, the Philadelphia Union reported that one player -- Kacper Przybylko later said it was him -- contracted COVID-19.
MLS clubs aren't required to release confirmations of positive tests, even after regular testing is required.
City sources, 3rd Degree reported that two more FC Dallas players tested positive last Thursday with a potential third player testing positive on Friday.
The Athletic was told by the New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders they each had one player test positive -- the Seattle player has returned to training after passing all protocols while the Revs player is still in quarantine.
The Athletic was also told by a source that New York City FC had multiple positive tests among players and team staff who have since recovered and completed protocols to train with the club. NYCFC announced on March 19, a week after MLS shut down, that a member of its sporting department tested positive.
No dates were given for when these positive tests took place.
Schedule. MLS also released the schedule and television information for the tournament. The tournament begins July 8 and continues with the group stage through July 23.
The 26 teams are divided into six groups -- one group of six and five of four -- and they will each play three group games.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout phase along with the third-place team from the six-team Group A and the top three teams from among the fourth-place team in Group A and the third-place teams from the other five groups. (Originally, the top four third-place teams advanced.)
On seven of the 16 days during the group phase, three games will played -- kicking off at 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET. On days where there are two games, kickoff times will be 8 p.m. and either 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m. ET. For the five days on which there will be just one game, the kickoff time will be 8 p.m. ET.
Television. Of the 54 games, 44 will air on English-language television -- 22 on ESPN, 15 on FS1, six on ESPN2 and one on Fox -- and 52 will be broadcast on Spanish-language television -- 28 on ESPN Deportes and 24 on TUDN.
ESPN will oversee all game production for Fox Sports and TUDN (as well as Canadian and other foreign broadcasters) throughout the tournament. Each broadcast partner will use its own on-air talent and graphics packages