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MLS tournament match postponed after eight players test positive for coronavirus

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks during a news conference.
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

The MLS Is Back tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps has been postponed eight players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group-stage game will be rescheduled, the league said Saturday.

FC Dallas announced earlier in the week that six players had tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Florida for the tournament. The entire team was quarantined.

Two Whitecaps players tested positive, forcing the team to remain in Canada, the league said. Additional tests were negative, but the team had to push back travel until Monday.

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The MLS is Back Tournament is set to open Wednesday with a match between Orlando City and expansion Inter Miami.

MLS Is Back tournament could be in jeopardy due to players testing positive for COVID-19 and other clubs delaying their arrival to Orlando, Fla.

The league’s 26 teams will be sequestered in hotels for the duration of the monthlong tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

MLS shut down March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic after teams had each played two games.

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FC Dallas said all players and staff tested negative for the coronavirus before leaving for the tournament last Saturday. Upon arrival, two players tested positive. Subsequent tests found four more players infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

“In consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff in Orlando out of an abundance of caution,” the team said in a statement. “All members of the club delegation are following MLS health and safety protocols and will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing.”

The names of the players were not released.

The league said no other team was in contact with the FC Dallas delegation. League protocol requires players and staff to be tested every two days upon arrival in Florida.

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FC Dallas will now open the tournament July 15 against the Seattle Sounders, while the Whitecaps will play the San Jose Earthquakes later that day.


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