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Another player tests positive for coronavirus in MLS Orlando bubble

An empty soccer field at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
A soccer field at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, where the MLS Is Back tournament is being held.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Sporting Kansas City confirmed Friday that one of its players has tested positive for COVID-19. At least 22 players from four teams have tested positive since entering Major League Soccer’s quarantine bubble on June 27.

SKC was among the last teams to arrive in Orlando, checking into the league hotel on July 5. In accordance with MLS protocol, the player who tested positive has been moved to an isolation area of the hotel where he will remain in his room, and be monitored and tested daily.

SKC is scheduled to open group play in the 51-game MLS Is Back tournament Sunday against Minnesota United.

Two teams, FC Dallas (an original MLS club) and Nashville SC (an expansion franchise), withdrew from the tournament earlier this week after multiple players tested positive. Dallas had 11 players and at least two staff members test positive. Nashville had nine players test positive.

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LAFC defender Jordan Harvey shares his diary about life in Orlando, Fla., site of the soccer bubble for the MLS Is Back tournament.

More results will be coming since about half the teams in the MLS quarantine bubble arrived less than a week ago, meaning they are still within the incubation period for COVID-19.

“Only around days five to seven does a test have a reasonable chance of identifying someone as infected,” said Dr. Anne W. Rimoin, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA and director of the school’s Center for Global and Immigrant Health.

“As we have seen with the current sports experiment, keeping this virus at bay — even with elaborate planning — can be difficult. It hinges on perfect behavior and testing, both of which are hard to achieve.

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“The tests that are currently available are imperfect and do not guarantee that someone who tests negative is actually negative. They are designed to identify people who are acutely infected and are less accurate at identifying asymptomatic individuals or people who have a very low level of virus at the earliest stages of infection.

“In fact, the probability of testing negative in the first few days of infection are extremely high.”

LAFC and the Galaxy, who arrived in Florida on Monday, have not reported a positive test. Both teams open play July 13, the Galaxy against the Portland Timbers and LAFC with the Houston Dynamo.

Here’s a list of some notable athletes who have decided not to take part in the sports’ restart amid the coronavirus crisis.

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