The two players with positive and inconclusive results were retested again on Saturday night and their second tests came back negative --
but not before the postponement. All players on both teams were tested again on Sunday, and the tests were negative, clearing the way for MLS to reschedule the game -- for 9 a.m. ET on Monday. (The
players with positive and inconclusive results will undergo additional testing and will not play in Monday’s match.)
The D.C. United-Toronto FC game had already been pushed back from Friday night, due to Toronto FC's delayed arrival in Orlando. TFC was supposed to fly to Orlando on July 3 but its charter was twice delayed, first so the team could complete pre-flight testing and the second time because a member of the travel party "reported experiencing symptoms to the team medical staff."
Before Toronto FC's departure, Coach Greg Vanney admitted that there was concern about the situation in Florida, where new Covid-19 cases were spiking, and there was no need to "go barreling down right now until they know that have everything under control." (Florida on Sunday reported more than 15,000 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest single-day state total so far during the pandemic.) By the time TFC arrived at the Swan and Dolphin, both FC Dallas and Nashville had suffered outbreaks and were later removed from the tournament.
"These days nothing's really normal,” Toronto FC general manager Ali Curtis said on a virtual conference call after Sunday's postponement. “If anything the normal is kind of uncertainty. There's a different situation each different day, for each different week. And you just have to adapt.”
In an interview with French sports daily L'Equipe that was published on Saturday, Toronto FC defender Chris Mavinga, whose uncle died from Covid-19 in March, said TFC didn't want to go to Florida and until the last minute thought the tournament would be cancelled or postponed. He said he was speechless when MLS players approved the league's restart plan, suggesting that no one in Europe would have ever let it happen.
"It’s as if they sent us to Wuhan in the middle of the pandemic," he was quoted in L'Equipe as saying. "It’s not our safety that worries them but making money."
Despite the multiple postponements and schedule changes -- the dates of the second games for both D.C. United and Toronto FC were pushed back a day because of the latest postponement and the kickoff time of a third game was changed -- Abbott is confident the tournament will proceed.
“We believe the tournament can still be conducted safely,” he said. “At the point we determine we can’t, obviously we would make a decision then.”
In the meantime, testing and retesting will continue with the quick turnaround times MLS needs. Abbott said the league was appreciative of its role in the community -- where there have been long lines for tests and long waits for test results -- and its relationship with testing lab BioReference.
“It’s our view we are not impacting the ability of the public to get tests," he said, "but that is something we would continue to evaluate with them.”