Coronavirus watch: Players test positive in MLS, NWSL and show-stopped France

June 19 – Inter Miami and Atlanta United have revealed a player at each club has tested positive for the coronavirus, less than a month before the league is set for a restart in Florida. In France, Saint Etienne has announced five positive tests. 

Both players in the MLS are asymptomatic and in isolation, according to the their respective clubs. The Miami player revealed that he had been in close contact “with an individual who showed mild symptoms” during a health screening. Previously, players at Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas and D.C. United  tested positive as well as staff members at New York City FC.

“Since Atlanta United began individual player workouts on May 6, the club has followed MLS health and safety guidelines, including proper physical distancing and sanitization during individual workouts, small group training sessions and full group training sessions,” said Atlanta in a statement. “The club will continue to work in close consultation with the CDC, local health authorities and Major League Soccer regarding testing and training guidelines.”

Next month, all 26 MLS franchises will participate in a World Cup-style tournament in Florida. The matches would be played in a bio-secure environment at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. At the end of July, the NBA is also planning to resume the season at the complex.

Florida has reported around 86,000 coronavirus cases and over 3,000 fatalities, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University and health officials fear the sunshine state could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

In France, where the peak of the coronavirus outbreak has passed but the league won’t resume this season, five members of top flight club Saint-Etienne tested positive after 54 players and members of staff were tested when they arrived for pre-season training on Wednesday.

The players and members of staff who tested positive have been ordered to self-quarantine at home.

All 26 MLS teams will participate in a World Cup-style tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Florida starting on July 8. The NBA is planning to resume its season at Disney World on July 30, too.

There were more than 2.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States as of Thursday night, according to The New York Times, and more than 118,000 deaths attributed to it. Florida had nearly 86,000 cases, and Georgia had more than 58,000.

Orange County, Florida – where Disney World is located – announced on Thursday that residents now must wear a face mask in public amid a sharp increase in positive cases in the state. Florida saw 3,207 confirmed new cases on Thursday alone, a new daily record in the state, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

NWSL player tests positive

A National Women’s Soccer League player tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.

Neither the player nor the team she plays for were identified due to privacy laws. The team is currently contact tracing and now testing everyone who came in contact with the player. It is the first reported case in the league.

“The health and safety of the players and staff is of utmost importance and the NWSL is doing everything to ensure the affected player is receiving proper care,” the league said in a statement, via the Associated Press.

The NWSL will resume its season on June 27 with a similar tournament as the MLS in Utah. The state had more than 16,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday night, the majority of which were in the Salt Lake City area.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601538475labto1601538475ofdlr1601538475owedi1601538475sni@o1601538475fni1601538475