FC Dallas Withdrawn from MLS Is Back Tournament After Positive COVID-19 Tests

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2020

TEXAS CITY, TX - MARCH 07: Players of FC Dallas pose for photo during an MLS match between FC Dallas and Montreal Impact at Toyota Stadium on March 7, 2020 in Texas City, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Omar Vega/Getty Images

FC Dallas has been withdrawn from the MLS Is Back tournament after several members of the club tested positive for COVID-19, the club announced Monday:

Per an ESPN report, "Dallas had three players test positive before the team arrived to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex on June 27. That has since been followed by 10 players and one coach testing positive for a total of 14 cases. The team has been under quarantine since then, preventing them from training."

The tournament is set to run between July 8 and Aug. 11. FC Dallas was originally scheduled to open the tournament against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 9, though it had been postponed. 

Iliana Limon Romero of the Orlando Sentinel reported that MLS is also expected to make additional schedule alterations due to "a mix of positive tests delaying team travel and more positive tests in the days after teams arrived in Orlando." 

FC Dallas manager Luchi Gonzalez said Sunday that "the priority is getting guys healthy, feeling safe, so that we can be strong in the long term, which I know we're going to accomplish," per Jeff Carlisle of ESPN. 

Because of the high number off positive tests for coronavirus within the club, Gonzalez said they had only been able to meet via Zoom calls while quarantined in their hotel rooms over the past week:

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"We're just trying to stay connected in the Zooms, which is nothing new. We've been doing that the last few months anyway. It does take its toll a bit and we've got to get creative with things and make sure that we're able to stimulate them. And on top of that, give them a mental rest too and almost give them some space so they can connect to their families, and focus on the people they love."

The news follows LAFC forward Carlos Vela announcing Monday that he was skipping the tournament due to his wife being pregnant. 

"I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando. I always want to give everything I have to my Club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A. However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy," he said in a statement, per Tom Marshall of ESPN.

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