July 7 – The MLS has pulled FC Dallas out of the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida following the high number of positive tests for the coronavirus within the club.
Having initially rescheduled the FC Dallas vs Vancouver Whitecaps opening game to July 15, the decision was taken to remove the club completely after 10 players and one staff member test positive. FC Dallas had been in Florida since June 27.
The tournament is scheduled to run from July 8 to August 11 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. MLS took the decision that with the whole team having to go into quarantine with little or no opportunity to train, they would not be able to prepare for the tournament.
FC Dallas will now miss three regular season games that would have been part of the tournament that will go ahead with 25 teams.
There are 557 players currently in Orlando. 13 have tested positive for the coronavirus, 10 of those being FC Dallas players.
MLS commissioner Don Garber told ESPN: “In the event that we have an outbreak of the virus amongst our teams then we’ll make the decision to not go forward with the tournament, but until that time, me and our clubs and the league leadership are very focused on going forward with a very close eye on the safety of the players.”
The MLS Players Association said in a statement: “The removal of FC Dallas from competition in Orlando is a reminder of how difficult the circumstances involving returning to work remains across all sports amidst this pandemic. The players and staff from FC Dallas worked incredibly hard over the last few months to be ready to take the field, but removing the team from the competition is both responsible and necessary.”
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