MLS announced that it removed FC Dallas from the MLS is Back tournament, just a couple days before the commencement of the tournament. This was after multiple FC Dallas players contracted the virus since landing in Orlando in late June.
FC Dallas is the first team to opt-out of the tournament.
The news was first reported by Paul Tenorio of The Athletic.
Reporting with @samstejskal: FC Dallas will not compete in the #MLSisBack tournament, per multiple sources with knowledge of the decision.
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) July 6, 2020
This was due to the worrying rise of COVID 19 cases in the club. The league tried to remedy this by enforcing a total lockdown for the club when the numbers began to rise.
.@FCDallas manager Luchi Gonzalez confirms to ESPN that the entire team has been quarantined in their rooms for 6 days in an abundance of caution following the positive Covid tests earlier in the week. Players and coach who tested positive remain isolated in another wing of hotel
— Stefano Fusaro (@S_Fusaro) July 5, 2020
Both Dan Hunt and Luchi Gonzalez supported the league’s decision to withdraw the club from the tournament.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) July 6, 2020
What This Means
Although fans are extremely disappointed with the exclusion of FC Dallas from the tournament, the news is not really surprising. With 10 players and one staffer diagnosed with COVID 19, it would have been very difficult for the team to continue with the tournament. However, as we have reported earlier this week, there were more reasons for the club to withdraw from the tournament. The health and well-being of the players and staff are more important than watching them play.
There are repercussions that come from the team’s exit. The group stage games of the tournament would have counted towards the regular-season point total, so MLS has to figure out how to replace those matches for the club. There are still questions on whether or not the league will be able to return this year, but in the case that it does, Dallas will have more matches to the player in the same time span.
However, the main worry is the tournament. There have been three other reported cases that have been confirmed in Orlando for two other teams, but the issue seems far more severe than the league is letting on.
Apparently, Nashville SC has had 8 cases of COVID 19 since arriving in Orlando on July 4th.
? @NashvilleSC tiene por lo menos 8 casos positivos de COVID-19, según fuentes de la liga.
? Nashville SC has at least 8 positive COVID-19 cases, per league sources.@TUDNUSA / @TUDNMEX / @TudnRadio pic.twitter.com/jErxFungUe
— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) July 7, 2020
Additionally, many teams have had to delay their flights to Orlando due to positive or inconclusive tests within the club.
MLS has downplayed the severity of these issues, with the commissioner Don Garber stating that the league is in “a pretty good spot.”
But with the number of cases rising every day, coupled with reported problems in the Orlando Bubble, the success of the tournament seems to be in jeopardy.
— Diego Rubio (@DiegoRubio_) July 5, 2020
What do you think that the league should do? Should they ditch the tournament and create a new plan?
Or should they march on and hope that the issues are too severe?
Featured Image: USA Today