“While we’ve now released our full return-to-play guidelines, it’s important that everyone first follow local and state regulations before taking any steps forward,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas. “Different areas of the country are at different phases, or even returning to previous phases, as the entire country continues to deal with coronavirus outbreaks. Clubs and teams should take a slow and methodical progression between phases to make sure that all participants will be as safe as possible.”
The Phase III guidelines released by U.S. Soccer July 15 allow for full team competition, while continuing strategies to prevent COVID spread, including medical clearances, check-in protocol, contact tracing, and social distancing and PPE in certain situations.
Phase I allows for training in small groups; Phase II allows for full-team training with restrictions; Phase IV is no restrictions.
“Regardless of which phase a club or team is operating in, everyone should be prepared to take a step back and revert to an earlier phase if needed,” said Chiampas. “This can be in response to increased risk, cluster outbreaks, updates to public health guidelines or an inability to safely maintain COVID-19 prevention and response protocols. It is important to remain vigilant and flexible as we prepare for every scenario. By prioritizing the safety of our soccer community, we can preserve the health of those around us and help ensure that our sport can remain a part of our lives at this time.”