Thursday, July 2, 2020

FC Dallas is Covid Central

Buzz Carrick over at 3rd Degree has been closely covering the mini outbreak of COVID-19 within the FC Dallas team. Here's how he has the timeline of events: 

June 3 – One player tests positive, the 2nd case in MLS. (Reported by MLS)

June 18-19 – Two more cases while still in Frisco. A 4th suspected case turns out to be some other “old school” illness. One of the two players who tested positive was cleared to return to training and the other did not travel.

June 27 – FCD travels to and arrives in Orlando.

June 28 – FCD holds its first training session and has two positive tests.

June 29 – FCD has one more positive test.

June 30 – FCD has three more positive tests.

July 1 – FCD has four more positive tests: three players and one staffer.

This sequence of events has Kevin Baxter of the LA Times stating that the "MLS is Back" tournament could be in jeopardy.

The NWSL got underway with one team (The Orlando Pride, ironically enough) not making the trip to the tournament. It's possible that MLS could do the same with FC Dallas, but I doubt they are able to pull it off. The complexity of rescheduling a league of just a handful of teams like the NWSL is completely different than a league of 26. MLS has also assigned value to the group stage games, as they count towards the regular-season standings.

All over the league we see some teams delaying their flights a bit, so I suspect that they might be waiting on more information from MLS offices on a way to move forward. Several of these tests came back positive after the players arrived, and were living in, the Orlando Bubble.

In future reporting, The USA Today stated that all players and staff on FC Dallas tested negative before arriving to Orlando. I don't think you can all the sudden get sick over the course of a short flight. What this says to me is that either MLS didn't test or they thought they wouldn't really get tested in Orlando.

It's important to note that most MLS teams do not have the kind of press coverage that 3rd Degree provides in Dallas. Even if players or staff of most teams test positive, there's nobody asking.

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