We are just a week away from the MLS is Back Tournament beginning in Orlando, and all eyes are on how COVID-19 testing goes for clubs as they enter a place with a surging number of cases before the games begin. One of the contenders of the World Cup-style tournament, FC Dallas, tied for the 10th-best odds according to William Hill Sportsbook, announced on Wednesday that everybody traveling had tested negative before leaving on Saturday, but now they have nine players and a coach who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
"Upon arriving in Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament, FC Dallas had two players test positive for COVID-19. The affected players were immediately isolated from their teammates, the entire FC Dallas delegation, other MLS clubs and staff," the club announced in a statement after the first couple of players tested positive.
"As league testing continued, four more players tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of FC Dallas players who tested positive while in Orlando to six."
After the first six positives tests were announced, The Athletic is reporting that three additional players and one coach have also tested positive for the respiratory disease.
The club said it will continue to follow the guidelines of medical experts and is in contact with them and the league as to how to move forward.
"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. 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."
Obviously, this is quite the concern for the league and the club. We saw in the NWSL that the Orlando Pride pulled out of the Challenge Cup due to numerous positive tests.
For FC Dallas, it remains to be seen if any of the affected team personnel will be available for their opening game on July 9 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.