Covid-19: MLS is Back opener for FC Dallas and Vancouver postponed

With FC Dallas players stuck in their rooms because of a rash of positive Covid-19 test results and Vancouver stuck at home after two test results were inconclusive -- subsequent test results were confirmed to be negative -- their opening match at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida scheduled for Thursday was postponed.

No new date for the match was announced though it could be played on July 23, the last day of group play. FC Dallas and the Whitecaps also play on July 15 and 20. July 23 has the 9 a.m. ET slot open. The round-of-16 dates for the Group B winner and runner-up are July 26 and July 27.

So far, MLS has reported that 12 players -- along with two non-players -- have tested positive for Covid-19 out of the 1,191 individuals who are in the bubble at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort near Orlando for a positivity rate of 1.2 percent.

The Dallas web site 3rd Degree has reported on the on-going situation with FC Dallas, which had two players test positive the day after their arrival at the Swan and Dolphin. (Players and staffers aren't cleared to travel from their home markets if they don't test negative but they could subsequently test positive as has happened to FC Dallas players.)

In the days after that, MLS confirmed four more positive results to FC Dallas players on Monday and Tuesday, and 3rd Degree reported that the club had three more positive results on Wednesday and one on Friday for a total of 10 players moved into isolation in a designated area of the MLS hotel with positive results. (One staffer also tested positive.)

With the roster reduced by the 10 players in isolation and the rest of the team unable to practice since the beginning of the week, FC Dallas is in no shape to play a game on Thursday.

The 10 players in isolation will have to wait until they are asymptomatic and test negative twice in a span of 24 hours before they will be released to return to training. (MLS has not stated if any of the 10 players or one staffer has been cleared.)

On Saturday night, MLS released a statement that two more players tested positive from among the 1,191 individuals tested on Friday and Saturday at Swan and Dolphin. That would include a player from a team not yet identified, assuming the other was the 10th FC Dallas player.

The 12th player to test positive so far would be the player Columbus Crew confirmed tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and again in a follow-up test on Thursday.

Vancouver, originally slated to leave Wednesday, will now arrive in Orlando on Monday.

Toronto FC also remains in Canada after scheduled flights to Orlando on Friday and Saturday were postponed. The Friday flight was pushed back because pre-travel testing had not been completed. Saturday's delay came after a member of the Reds' travel party "reported experiencing symptoms to the team medical staff." That will require another round of testing for  the travel party before it is cleared to fly.

Toronto's first match is scheduled for Friday against D.C. United.

Sporting Kansas City will travel to Orlando on Sunday after a member of its traveling delegation received an unconfirmed positive test earlier this week. (It was later determined that the individual had received a false positive.)

In all, seven teams are not yet in Orlando. They are supposed to arrive no less than seven days before their first game, in part to give time to detect any player or staffer who might have picked up Covid-19 before arriving the MLS bubble and isolate them before their team's first contact with another team.

MLS teams not yet in the bubble:
Toronto FC ((departure: Monday; first match: July 10 vs. D.C. United)
Colorado (first match: July 12 vs. Real Salt Lake)
LAFC (departure: Monday first match: July 13 vs. Houston)
LA Galaxy ((departure: Monday; first match: July 13 vs. Portland)
Vancouver (departure: Monday; first match: July 15 vs. Seattle)

2 comments about "Covid-19: MLS is Back opener for FC Dallas and Vancouver postponed".
  1. Mike Lynch, July 5, 2020 at 2:14 p.m.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite lines from "Heartbreak Ridge" - "What's your assessment of this alert?" followed by Clint Eastwood's reply, "?!%$#!!" 

  2. Wooden Ships replied, July 5, 2020 at 9:14 p.m.

    Gunny Highway. "it's a cluster f**k. 

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