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.
By ANNE M. PETERSON
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.
SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first
UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.