Two USL Championship matches called off hours before kickoff on West Coast after positive COVID-19 tests

Just how difficult it is to smoothly conduct a pro sports league season outside a bubble has become apparent this week.

With 18 positive COVID-19 cases among its players and staff, the Miami Marlins remain quarantined in Philadelphia and won't play this week, the first full week of the shortened Major League Baseball season, and three other teams have had to reschedule games.

On Wednesday night, two USL Championship games were postponed.

First, the San Diego Loyal's match against LA Galaxy II was postponed two hours before kickoff after it tweeted "covered individuals scheduled to be involved" in the match tested positive for COVID-19, as part of the league-mandated weekly routine testing. (It didn't state which team or teams.)

Then,  just 17 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of its home game against Orange County SC, Sacramento Republic FC tweeted that the match was called off after it was "notified tonight of a positive COVID-19 test result from a previous opponent." Sac Republic FC played Galaxy II on Saturday in Carson; it has yet to play San Diego.

Four postponements on Wednesday. The postponements brought to four the number of games scheduled for Wednesday that had to be rescheduled. Two other games were postponed because of public health orders related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico United's home opener against the Real Monarchs was rescheduled because New Mexico state policies ban two teams from being on the field together and require visiting teams to quarantine for 14 days. (New Mexico United has continued to train and play away games using a medical exemption, but its group is otherwise quarantining.)

The Charlotte Independence agreed to reschedule its match against North Carolina FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews, its home field, the Charlotte Observer reported, because the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation "asked to be cautious" as the state of North Carolina implemented its reopening of sports facilities.

Last week, two Reno 1868 FC road games and two Austin Bold FC games -- one at home, the other on the road -- were rescheduled after COVID-19 positive cases.

The USL Championship's COVID-19 protocols triggered a seventh postponement -- Rio Grande Valley FC vs. San Antonio FC -- on July 17. So far, one USL League One game -- South Georgia Tormenta FC vs. Richmond Kickers -- has been postponed because of COVID-19.

USL Championship: Health and Wellness Protocols

Testing results. The USL and USL Players Association agreed to release testing results once a week. On Monday, the league reported four individuals testing positive from four USL Championship clubs and two individuals testing positive from one USL League One club, but they covered tests completed through a week earlier (July 13-20), not the last week (July 20-27). The first report from a week before that (July 6-13): nine individuals testing positive from eight USL Championship clubs and eight individuals testing positive from five USL Championship clubs.

Testing protocols.  USL testing protocols require players and staff members -- those in close contact with players -- to be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week. If someone is symptomatic or been in close contact for a prolonged period with someone diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19, they will quarantined and given additional tests.

USL Championship schedule changes:
July 17
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. San Antonio FC (rescheduled for July 19)
July 23
Austin Bold FC vs. FC Tulsa (rescheduled for Sept. 8)
Tacoma Defiance vs. Reno 1868 FC (rescheduled for Sept. 16 at Reno 1868 FC)
July 26
Colorado Springs Switchbacks vs. Austin Bold FC (rescheduled for Aug. 26)
Timbers 2 vs. Reno 1868 FC (rescheduled for July 29)
July 29
New Mexico United vs. Real Monarchs (rescheduled for Aug. 19 at Real Monarchs)
Charlotte Independence vs. North Carolina FC (rescheduled for Aug. 26)
San Diego Loyal vs. LA Galaxy II (postponed -- date to be determined)
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Orange County SC (postponed -- date to be determined)
Sept. 12
Real Monarchs vs. New Mexico United (rescheduled for same day at New Mexico United)
Oct. 3
Reno 1868 FC vs. Tacoma Defiance (rescheduled for same day at Tacoma Defiance)

USL League One schedule changes:
July 21
South Georgia Tormenta FC vs. Richmond Kickers (rescheduled for July 28)
2 comments about "Two USL Championship matches called off hours before kickoff on West Coast after positive COVID-19 tests".
  1. frank schoon, July 30, 2020 at 10:01 a.m.

    So what else is new... I'm shocked.   This is why I just can't into the game this season....it's such a toss up, not knowing what to expect....  I can't believe that coaches can be fired this season with all this garbage going on...

  2. James Madison, July 30, 2020 at 2:31 p.m.

    The positive test results show a lack of discipline among the players (and maybe also staff members, if they too test positive).  England and Germany can play without pleyers becoming infected.  Why not the US?  No wonder we are unable to qualify for the World Cup.

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