NEW YORK – New York City FC Monday announced that the club will begin holding individual outdoor workouts for players on a voluntary basis beginning this morning.

On Sunday New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that professional sports teams based in New York were allowed to begin training. Major League Soccer had previously announced that players could begin to use outdoor team training fields for individual workouts beginning May 6, when government officials gave the green light during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the health and welfare of our players, staff and fans has been our number one priority,” NYCFC sports director David Lee said in a statement. “After close collaboration and with the approval of team doctors, MLS and the State of New York we will now be using our training pitch for individual player workouts. The safety procedures we implement will be extensive and will fully comply with social distancing procedures from the moment the players and the essential staff arrive to when they leave.

“We are committed to safely proceeding into a multi-phased approach to get our players back on the pitch and this is an important first step to help our players gain fitness in a controlled and safe environment.”

After close consultation with its Chief Medical Officer and NewYork-Presbyterian, NYCFC will implement detailed health and safety protocols during these workouts.

NYCFC trains in Orangeburg, N.Y. in Rockland County.

The club has used the MLS guidelines that were released recently.

They are the following:

* Restricting training facility access to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the plan.

* Sanitization and disinfection plans for all training equipment and spaces, including disinfection of any equipment used by players (balls, cones, goals) between every session.

* Completion of a Standard Screening Assessment survey by each player prior to every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility.

* Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.

* Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to the field, and again on return to the parking lot.

* Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment throughout training, while also maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from players at all times.

* Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after individual workouts.

* Clubs will have the use of the outdoor fields at their training facility, divided into a maximum of four quadrants per field. A maximum of one player per quadrant may participate per training session with no equipment sharing or playing (passing, shooting) between players.

At this time, players and staff are prohibited from accessing locker rooms, gyms and training rooms.”