An early morning that had guaranteed to start and end early Sunday became a demanding all-day marathon for Toronto FC and D.C. United.
The teams were slated to kick off their MLS is Back Tournament at 9 a.m. ET at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in the Orlando location. Minutes before the scheduled start, Major League Soccer called off the game– mentioning 2 problematic COVID-19 tests.
A round of pre-game screening Saturday had actually returned a positive test for a D.C. United gamer and an undetermined test for a Toronto gamer. The favorable test was thought about unofficial up until supported by a second test.
While D.C. United made it to the playing field, Toronto never ever left the league hotel.
” Both groups participated in another round of screening (Sunday) and all gamers from the two clubs evaluated negative,” the league said in a declaration provided Sunday evening. “Based on those results, the game will be played (Monday) early morning at 9 a.m. ET.
” The player who received an initial positive test and the gamer whose test was inconclusive will go through additional testing and will not play in (Monday’s) match.”
The league did not determine the gamers in question. Neither did Toronto FC, although GM Ali Curtis did state his gamer was asymptomatic.
The competition, which marks the league’s first action considering that it shut down March 12 due to the global pandemic, has actually already lost FC Dallas and Nashville SC due to a rash of favorable COVID-19 tests.
Sunday was another day of drama and doubt in the pandemic sports world.
” These days nothing’s really regular. If anything the typical is type of unpredictability,” Curtis told a virtual conference call Sunday evening.
” There’s a different circumstance each different day, for each different week,” he added. “And you simply have to adjust.”
It marked the second delay for both Toronto and D.C. United. They were supposed to meet Friday night however the game was pressed back to Sunday due to Toronto’s late arrival at the competition because of the requirement for additional COVID-19 testing in the wake of a gamer reporting symptoms.
Players and staff were checked Saturday in advance of the video game.
The remainder of the Toronto team produced negative results in the latest batch of screening.
Curtis, on the other hand, started his Sunday with a 6 a.m. Zoom call, the first of many.
With the video game anticipated to start at 9 a.m. Monday, both teams faced another early morning wake-up call. Toronto’s pre-game meal Sunday was arranged for 5: 30 a.m.
Toronto’s 2nd video game against the Montreal Impact, initially scheduled for Wednesday, has now been pushed back to Thursday. And D.C. United’s video game versus the New England Transformation will now be used Friday rather of Thursday.
Wednesday’s game between the Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes will now begin at 9 p.m. instead of 10: 30 p.m.
After the threat of lightning postponed Atlanta’s video game against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, there were more hold-ups and drama Sunday.
” We believe the tournament can still be performed securely,” MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott informed a virtual conference call Sunday morning. “And if at the point we identify it can’t, clearly we would decide then.
” In the case of Dallas and Nashville, the decision was made that based upon the extent of the favorable tests in those groups (and) their capability to train, that the more sensible course was to withdraw them.
” But we had developed a set of protocols that are working as they were created, which is to identify gamers that have actually had positive tests for COVID-19, to get rid of and separate them from the group and isolate them. And to continue the procedure of evaluating the other players … We see this (case) as the procedure working.”
Under league procedures, gamers who evaluate favorable are isolated while those who check unfavorable “move on.”
Abbott said because Toronto just arrived last Monday, the decision was made to await the outcomes of tests carried out Sunday early morning before playing the game.
Curtis said his team is still on task at the tournament.
” It’s an important competitors. A lot of people have put a lot of work and effort into (it) … It is necessary that we represent the club and we represent our city as best as we can.”
All of it contributed to a currently difficult morning for the teams given the unusually early kickoff time– made to prevent the Florida heat. Both Toronto captain Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore had slammed the 9 a.m. start, stating it was not conducive to great football.
D.C. goalkeeper Costs Hamid suggested it was a trouble to fans, too.
” To every DC United advocate, our families & friends, I’m sorry you woke up so early to see us play, to then have the match held off AGAIN,” he tweeted.
Curtis stated while Toronto had actually always planned to appear late for the video game, to prevent the heat for as long as possible, the team was on a group Zoom call abut what was happening with the COVID-19 test when he got the call from the league that the video game was off.
While all 24 remaining teams are remaining in the very same hotel, they are isolated from each other in the MLS tournament bubble. Players and other workers are tested every other day.
Curtis said his self-confidence level in the MLS procedures remains “really high.”
” When you take a look at the information, if you strip out the outliers of Dallas and Nashville, I believe the numbers are fairly favourable” he said. “And then when you’re in the bubble you see a few of the measures that are taken which gives you self-confidence.”
However outside, the variety of positive cases continues to climb up.
On Sunday, Florida reported 15,300 brand-new cases over the last 24 hours– a single-day record in the U.S. given that the start of the pandemic.
There were some surprises in Toronto’s planned starting 11 Sunday.
While it fielded the same back 5 as it had in its last league video game March 7, there were four modifications even more forward. Bradley and Argentine newcomer Pablo Piatti, who both missed the opening two video games of the season, were to return from injury.
Tsubasa Endoh and Ayo Akinola were likewise in the beginning 11.
Altidore did not make the matchday23 He was late signing up with the team after spending the lockdown at his Florida home and had to train on his own while fulfilling quarantine.
Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio was a surprise omission from the matchday 23.
Sunday evening’s Sporting Kansas City versus Minnesota United video game went ahead in spite of confirmation Friday by Kansas City that a person of its players had evaluated positive.