NEW YORK – Major League Soccer announced Monday that FC Dallas have been withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament due to 10 players and one member of the technical staff confirmed positive for COVID-19.
Each of these positive tests either occurred upon the club’s arrival or within a few days of arrival.
The decision was made in the best interest of the health of all players and staff participating in the tournament, and in line with protocols created in conjunction with local and national health authorities and infectious disease experts.
“Given the impact of the number of positive tests on the club’s ability to train and play competitive matches, we have made the decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS is Back Tournament,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “The health of everyone involved in our return to play has always been our top priority, and we will continue to make decisions consistent with that priority.”
Of the 557 players in Orlando, Fla. 13 players have been confirmed positive for COVID-19, 10 of those being FC Dallas players and the remaining three from two other clubs.
“As we continue to focus on the well-being of our players, coaches and staff who are in isolation in Orlando, we understand it is not in their best interests to compete at this time,” FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez said in a statement. “While we’re disappointed, the health and safety of our traveling delegation as well as our league partners is our highest priority.”
FC Dallas stated that it will cooperate with MLS and local health officials in Florida and Texas on a plan that can safely bring the team back to Frisco, Texas in a way that minimizes risk of exposure to all parties involved and ensures their safety.
“We absolutely agree with the league’s decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS is Back Tournament out of safety concerns for our players and staff,” FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said. “We’re looking forward to resuming the 2020 season once the entire club is healthy and in position to play competitive matches at the highest level.”