D.C. United’s opening match at the MLS is Back Tournament against Toronto FC has been postponed, after reports surfaced that each team had a player test positive for Covid-19 in the lead-up to the game. There are no details concerning when this game will be played, and we will continue to update as we hear more.
BREAKING NEWS!!!— Matt Pyzdrowski (@mattpyzdrowski) July 12, 2020
Ok, this is new for me but here we go...
Have a source who just told me the @TorontoFC vs @dcunited game this morning in @MLS is being cancelled.
Each team had a player test positive for COVID overnight.
Protocol is to leave players quarantined at hotel and
I should make this more clear— Matt Pyzdrowski (@mattpyzdrowski) July 12, 2020
Protocol is to leave players who tested positive at the hotel and retest everyone.
DC United has done this
Following these reports, MLS released a statement officially postponing the game:
Major League Soccer announced that today’s D.C. United vs. Toronto FC match has been postponed and will be rescheduled. MLS will announce details later today for the rescheduled match.
MLS will announce details later today for the rescheduled match.
Under the league’s health and safety protocols, clubs are tested the day before each match. The results of yesterday’s tests for D.C. United and Toronto FC produced an initial unconfirmed positive COVID-19 case for one player and an inconclusive test for another player. Because of the arrival time of the clubs in Orlando, the league’s protocol called for retesting both teams this morning and to await the results of those tests prior to playing the match.
Major League Soccer will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants of the MLS is Back Tournament in making these decisions.
Following this protocol, it seems that the only player on D.C. United’s roster who fits the bill is Erik Sorga, who was not on the game day roster and not injured, according to Steve Goff:
D.C. United match vs. Toronto FC is on hold and is expected to be postponed. Teams are on site at stadium. Positive tests. Erik Sorga was not on the game-day roster, despite not being injured. Details to come ...— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) July 12, 2020
All of this highlights the difficulty of trying to play soccer in a bubble, with a pandemic raging across the county and playing in a state among the highest in infection rates at the moment.
There will be more information to come on this game, which has already been delayed once. It will likely compress United’s timeline even further, if they are even able to play the game. These are the initially tests, and will need to be confirmed with a second positive test. Over the next few days, we will see if an outbreak is spreading within the bubble, and if the league can finish the MLS is Back tournament at all.