Major League Soccer teams head to Florida, albeit in stop-start fashion

Major League Soccer teams head to Florida, albeit in stop-start fashion

TORONTO — MLS teams are gradually making their way to Florida for the MLS is Back Tournament, albeit in stop-start fashion.

Toronto FC became one of several teams to delay their departure, pushing its flight from Friday to Saturday, saying more time was needed to complete pre-travel COVID-19 testing.

The New York Red Bulls also delayed their Friday departure, saying a staff member had produced an inconclusive COVID-19 test result. While other staff and players had tested negative Thursday, the Red Bulls said they would reschedule their flight once all the test results were confirmed.

Toronto did not immediately respond to a request for more information about its delay. The team’s 55-word news release did not specify whether there was an issue with its test results or if the results were simply slow to come back.

Nashville SC pushed its Thursday departure back to Friday, citing delays in getting results of its pre-travel screening tests.

Sporting Kansas City, scheduled to fly Sunday, said it had confirmed that a positive test for a member of its travelling delegation had turned out to be a false positive.

While some teams are having issues getting to Florida, establishing a secure MLS bubble there has also proved challenging.

Six players from FC Dallas and one from Columbus Crew SC have already tested positive in the Sunshine State. They have been isolated and are receiving care while the other members of their delegations are in quarantine pending more testing.

Major League Soccer had required teams to arrive in Florida no later than a week before their first game at the tournament, which runs July 8 to Aug. 11 at Disney’s Wide World of Sport Complex in the Orlando area. But issues with test results have caused several delays.

The Vancouver Whitecaps were slated to fly Wednesday but held off after the inconclusive COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results required follow-up tests.

The club said subsequent test results were confirmed to be negative. Still the Whitecaps postponed their flight to permit additional testing and remained in Vancouver as of Friday.

Toronto was forced to call off training Wednesday after problems getting test results in time.

FC Dallas made it to Florida last Saturday, only to have two players test positive upon their arrival at the league’s host hotel. Four other players tested positive soon after.

All six were assessed and moved to the isolation area of the hotel where they continue to receive “remote care from a health-care provider,” the league said.

Coincidentally, Vancouver and Dallas meet July 9 in the first match at the World Cup-style tournament both.

Toronto opens July 10 against D.C. United.

The Montreal Impact, who also kick off July 9 against the New England Revolution, arrived Thursday.

Eleven other teams had arrived in Florida as of Thursday: San Jose Earthquakes, Orlando City, Dallas, Columbus, Minnesota United, FC Cincinnati, Chicago Fire, Inter Miami, New York City FC, Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution.

D.C. United, Portland and Seattle were scheduled to join Nashville in Orlando on Friday.

While all 26 teams are staying in the same hotel, they are not supposed to have contact with each other.

League protocols include regular screening, testing, social distancing, personal protective equipment and a mandatory quarantine for all individuals upon arrival at the hotel until they have a negative test.

MLS has been on hiatus since March 12 when play was suspended two weeks into its season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020.

—-

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff at Stettler Auction Mart keeping busy despite pandemic restrictions

‘We have a lot of technology nowadays so it’s made it a little bit easier to deal with something like this, that’s for sure.’

COVID-19: Active cases in central zone up Tuesday

Central zone active cases remains lowest of all zones

RCMP remind Albertans to practice rail safety

In 2019, Alberta had the second highest number of total railway crossing incidents

Central zone active cases down to 20

Province provides update

2020 Business & Citizenship recipients announced

Event is hosted by the Stettler Regional Board of Trade & Community Development

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

RCMP say body located of man who fell in river during stop for photos in Banff

Parks Canada has said the man was from India and living in Canada on a work visa

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Lacombe beekeepers give the buzz on winterizing hives

Winterizing a honeybee hive is not a simple task, local apiarists say

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read