MLS is Back Tournament fuelling player concerns

Less than a week away from the start of the MLS is Back tournament and there is yet another positive test.

Toronto FC had one member of their travel party test positive Saturday which saw the team delay their travel. This is the second time they have delayed their arrival in Orlando.

The news was first reported by Michael Leach of 680 News on twitter.

The tournament has already had to cancel the match between the

The tournament has already had to cancel the match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas. The cancellation came after six players from Dallas and two players from Vancouver tested positive. 

The Whitecaps managed to catch the tests before arriving in Orlando. Dallas was not as lucky. They arrived in Orlando and immediately had two players test positive. Subsequent tests afterwards revealed four more players testing positive. 

Prior to arriving all members of the team tested negative.

“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,” the team said in a statement “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.”

With the rising number of positive tests in Florida, there is a growing concern among players. There are only seven teams in the bubble already with the remaining teams scheduled to arrive prior to the first games. 

This news comes in ahead of not just this tournament but the return to play for sports across North America. The NBA is set to join the MLS in Orlando on the Disney Resort later this month. The NHL is set to announce their hub cities for the return of hockey. Reports indicate it will be Edmonton and Toronto. 

The NWSL became the first league to return to play. Their tournament already had a major hiccup though as one team, the Orlando Pride, had to withdraw. The Pride had six players and four staff members test positive prior to arriving in Utah. 

The concern is real for sports across the continent. As we inch closer to start of the MLS is Back tournament, we are sure to hear more concerns as well. Whether FC Dallas will have to pull out is up in the air. We should know more in the coming days.