The NWSL match between the Washington Spirit and the Portland Thorns has been cancelled due to at least four Covid-19 positive tests in the Spirit camp. A source has informed Black and Red United that Washington’s players who tested positive are either asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms at this point in time.
Pablo Maurer of The Athletic is reporting that as many as eight Spirit players are currently unvaccinated, and that the game could be rescheduled for Tuesday if the league’s protocols are cleared:
Game could potentially be rescheduled for Tuesday if COVID protocols are cleared, source tells me.— Pablo Iglesias Maurer (@MLSist) September 4, 2021
There is no word yet from the teams or league on when the game will be replayed.
Update 6:07pm: after mooting the possibility of the teams playing this coming Tuesday, Thorns owner Merritt Paulson has announced that the game will not take place on that date:
Game will not happen this Tuesday.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) September 4, 2021
NWSL will work on a plan to address.
Players who tested positive will have to quarantine for ten days in Portland, while the rest of the team will return home tomorrow. The team trained yesterday before receiving the news of the positive tests, making it likely that the majority of the team’s traveling party would be deemed a “close contact” by NWSL protocols.
The cancellation is the first of its kind in NWSL since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. NWSL’s Covid-19 protocols spell out requirements for both “low risk” and “high risk” close contacts as well as for players and staff that test positive.
Washington’s next scheduled match is at Audi Field on September 12, when they are to take on OL Reign. There is no word on the status of that match, with much hinging on forthcoming Covid-19 testing.