Jul 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

6 players test positive for coronavirus before MLS comeback tournament

Illustration of a soccer ball with spikes coming out of it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Six FC Dallas players have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last four days after arriving in Orlando, Florida, the team and Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The league announced last month that it will return to action on July 8 with all 26 teams competing in a 54-game, 35-day, World Cup-style tournament at Disney World, Axios' Kendall Baker reports.

  • U.S. sports leaders envision relaunching games in a “bubble,” or an "invisible, disease-free biodome inside which athletes and staff can live, work and, if they do it right, get bored," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The players' planned competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando would be one such bubble.

Details: Two FC Dallas players tested positive for the virus immediately after arriving at their host hotel in Orlando on June 27, the league said. Four other players tested positive in the last two days and all players are currently in isolation.

  • All FC Dallas players had tested negative prior to their trip for the MLS is Back Tournament, the team said on Wednesday.
  • Florida reported its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases on Sunday.

The big picture: 392 people who have entered the hotel being used by the league for the MLS is Back Tournament have been tested, and only the FC Dallas players have so far tested positive, MLS said. The league did not specify when those people had been tested.

Go deeper: First League Into the Coronavirus Bubble: Women’s Soccer (WSJ)

Go deeper