FC Dallas leaves MLS is Back tournament amid coronavirus cases

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FC Dallas will not participate in the MLS is Back tournament following the high number of positive coronavirus tests within the club, Major League Soccer announced on Monday.

Since arriving at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex on June 27 outside of Orlando, Florida, the club has had 10 players and a member of its technical team tested positive. Since then, the team has been in quarantine, which prevents them from training.

Speaking to ESPN’s Tom Marshall, MLS commissioner Don Garber described the tough but ultimately fair decision by FC Dallas.

“In our opinion, with so many Dallas players who have been positive, they have to go to quarantine, that would not allow them to train and would put them in a position where they could not participate in the tournament and do so. a way that would be in accordance with our protocol, “said Garber. “It was a difficult decision to make, but we felt it was the right decision for the MLS is Back tournament. ”

Of the 557 players currently in Orlando, a total of 13 players have confirmed positive for the coronavirus, 10 of whom are FC Dallas players and the other three from two other clubs.

Garber said the league remains focused on hosting the tournament with the remaining 25 teams on site, which runs from July 8 to August 11.

“In the event that there is an epidemic of virus among our teams, we will make the decision not to go ahead with the tournament, but until then, my clubs and the leadership of the league are very focused on a very close eye on player safety, “said Garber.

FC Dallas had planned to play the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday in their opening tournament match, but the match has been postponed.

With the release of FC Dallas, Garber said it will work with the club after the tournament is over and if a regular season resumes.

“We will have to work with Dallas to replace the three regular season games they will miss. But we are very confident that the integrity of the tournament is in place, ”said Garber. “We knew from the start that we will have to manage a unique dynamic in Florida, in which we will have to be aware that we will have to reschedule the games because of the weather and other things as we go along. “

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