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Major League Soccer tournament match at Disney postponed; 8 players test positive

The league says the MLS is Back Tournament group-stage match will be rescheduled after Dallas reports six players and Vancouver reports two testing positive for the coronavirus.
Inter Miami CF players are greeted by fans as they leave their stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, for the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament at Disney World. All 26 Major League Soccer teams will compete in the tournament beginning July 8, as the league tries to return to play during the coronavirus pandemic.
Inter Miami CF players are greeted by fans as they leave their stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, for the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament at Disney World. All 26 Major League Soccer teams will compete in the tournament beginning July 8, as the league tries to return to play during the coronavirus pandemic. [ LYNNE SLADKY | AP ]
Published Jul. 4, 2020
Updated Jul. 4, 2020

The MLS is Back Tournament match between Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps set for Thursday has been postponed after eight players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group-stage game will be rescheduled, the league said Saturday.

Dallas announced earlier this week that six players had tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Florida for the tournament. The entire team was quarantined.

Two Whitecaps players tested positive, forcing the team to remain in Canada, the league said. Additional tests were negative, but the team had to push back travel until Monday.

The MLS is Back Tournament is set to open Wednesday with a match between Orlando City and expansion Inter Miami.

The league’s 26 teams will be sequestered in hotels for the duration of the monthlong tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

MLS shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 after teams had each played two games.

Dallas said all players and staff tested negative for the coronavirus before leaving for the tournament on last Saturday. Upon arrival, two players tested positive. Subsequent tests found four more players infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

“In consultation with MLS medical officials, 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. 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,” the team said in a statement.

The names of the players were not released.

The league said no other team was in contact with the Dallas delegation. League protocol requires players and staff to be tested every two days upon arrival in Florida.

Dallas will now open the tournament on July 15 against the Seattle Sounders, while the Whitecaps will play the San Jose Earthquakes later that day.

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By ANNE M. PETERSON

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