Schedule changes for Sounders FC announced in MLS is Back Tournament

Joanna Estrada
July 10, 2020

A second club has withdrawn from an ongoing Major League Soccer (MLS) tournament in the United States after a number of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

Nashville joins FC Dallas as clubs removed from the competition due to numerous confirmed COVID-19 cases within its traveling party.

FC Dallas pulled out on Monday after 10 players and one staff member tested positive. The MLS is Back tournament - a World Cup-style competition that includes games that will count in the regular-season standings - is scheduled to last through August 11.

With the tournament reduced to 24 teams, there are six groups of four teams.

That actually balances out each group nicely, with the tournament now divided into six groups of four teams each.

The timetable for the return of players who have tested positive will be determined by MLS' health, safety and medical protocols. But MLS has been forced to rejig its schedule, placing Chicago Fire FC into Group B, along with Vancouver, San Jose, and Seattle.

The Athletic's Paul Tenorio reported Thursday that Nashville players took a vote and the overwhelming majority wanted to play in the tournament without the nine players who tested positive.

Nani stars as MLS returns at Disney World
MLS players observe lengthy moment of silence before league's restart to protest systemic racism

Players of MLS teams participate in a Black Lives Matter pre-game ceremony before match between Orlando City and Inter Miami as part of MLS is back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 08, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. "We've seen time and time again in North America, a Black person dies at the hands of a white person and something else happens and that energy fades away".

On Wednesday, MLS said it had recorded four more positive COVID-19 tests over the last two days.

Despite the surge, the National Basketball Association is scheduled to resume its season in Orlando later this month.

Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Oxford College of Emory University, says the next week could be key for MLS and its tournament.

"What I'm really watching out for is any series of cases in the bubble outside of Dallas and Nashville among teams that have been there at least five to seven days", he said.

Despite that, the team was ravaged by the virus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article