28 MLS Players Test Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Orlando Tournament

GETTY Since players began to travel to Orlando, Florida for the MLS' return on July 8, 28 players have tested positive for COVID-19.

As Major League Soccer and the rest of the sporting world attempts to jump the hurdles of COVID-19, setbacks continue to appear, with the latest being in the form of six FC Dallas players testing positive per the league’s Wednesday release.

In the release, the MLS explains that two sessions of testing have shown that six players of the Texas-based outfit have tested positive for the infectious disease caused by the spread of the coronavirus in the league’s temporary hub in Orlando, Florida.

Major League Soccer today confirmed that six FC Dallas players have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of those six players tested positive immediately upon arrival at the host hotel in Florida for the MLS is Back Tournament on June 27, and the additional four players tested positive within the last two days. Upon receipt of the positive COVID-19 test, all six players immediately participated in a clinical assessment by a healthcare provider and were moved to the isolation area of the hotel. While in isolation, the individuals are in daily communication with and receive remote care from a healthcare provider, including monitoring of symptoms and regular follow-up testing. In addition, the rest of the FC Dallas delegation is following the MLS health and safety protocols and quarantining in their hotel rooms pending the results of additional COVID-19 testing.
No other members of the MLS delegation at the host hotel have tested positive, and no other club has been in contact with the FC Dallas delegation since they arrived in Florida. The League’s protocols include regular screening, testing, social distancing, PPE and a mandatory quarantine for all individuals upon arrival at the hotel until they have a negative test. Thus far, 392 people have been tested with six positives. MLS will continue to report test numbers on a regular basis.

Recent Positive Tests on June 28 and June 30

The news of six undisclosed FC Dallas players testing positives comes shortly after 22 players and six staff tested positive for the disease in the league’s past two updates, which included results of testing both before and after the teams’ travel to Orlando, Florida.

With 18 players testing positive before traveling to Florida and then now 10 testing positive in tests conducted in Orlando, the league has had 28 total players test positive in a few days and just a week before the league’s schedule restart through the MLS is Back Tournament, which is scheduled to begin on July 8.

Statement from FC Dallas on Positive Tests

The MLS also included words from FC Dallas in their official release on the latest six positive tests, including some detail on what the process has been like.

FC Dallas players, coaches and staff departed for the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando, FL on June 27. Every member of the FC Dallas traveling party had tested negative for COVID-19 through an MLS-mandated testing service prior to the club’s departure on Saturday morning.

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.

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.

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.

We continue to learn more information daily from medical experts and are in constant communication with them.

We will provide relevant updates as they become available. FC Dallas will have no further comment at this time.

Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.