Carlos Vela, the Mexican superstar he signed with Los Angeles FC in 2018, has decided against playing in the tournament as his wife is pregnant. Sailing is the biggest name so far to be turned off.
“I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando,” Vela said in a statement released by his club. “I always want to give everything I have to my Club, to our fans and fans and to the city of L.A.
“However, it is in the best interest of my family’s health to stay home and be with my wife during a high-risk pregnancy. I will miss being with my teammates and coaches, but I will encourage and I will support the LAFC from a distance. “
In a normal world, FC Dallas would have been almost halfway through their season at the moment, with players awaiting the All-Star break in late July. But of course, we’ve come a long way since February when MLS started its 25th season.
Before we can enter the now; we should remember how the season started.
For their part, the Nashville SC debutants kicked off a great adventure, but local rival Atlanta United could only spoil the game with a 2-1 victory. And in Los Angeles on the first day of March, David Beckham saw his Inter Miami team make their MLS debut with a somewhat baffling loss for Los Angeles FC.
How it works
With the exception of FC Dallas, the other 25 teams will meet in a cup competition, with a group stage and then qualifiers.
The results of the group stage will count in the regular season standings that MLS hopes to resume once the tournament is over.
The final will take place on August 11, with the top Eastern and Western teams facing each other.
The winner of the tournament will have an automatic berth in the CONCACAF 2021 Champions League, the regional club tournament across America and the Caribbean.
Additional wrinkles in the tournament include the full review of the video available to the referees and five substitutions as opposed to the normal three.
According to almost all football leagues around the world that have been resumed, due to health problems, fans will not be admitted to the match venues.
Inside the “bubble”
The 25 teams will stay at Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort and play their matches at the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex in Orlando. MLS created a number of security protocols to try to prevent a coronavirus outbreak among computers. These measures include periodic testing, social distancing, and the use of facial masks.
“I think the guys understand why the protocols are there and it’s really important that we comply,” said Luis Robles, Inter Miami CF goalkeeper Luis Robles. “It’s not just one person; it’s the whole community, so we have to be safe.”
Players will be quarantined at their hotel all the time, and for some players, this means being away from their families for as long as they used to be.
“Being away from his family in a pandemic is always a big concern for players. I think Major League Soccer has done a good job of making sure their protocols are in place,” said Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow. , who is the father of two young men. girls, he told CNN Sport.
“That said, this virus is very unpredictable, so it will ask us all to be strict in following protocols and doing everything we can to make sure this tournament starts off well.”
Concern about safety and health
The MLS Players’ Union has recognized the complex nature of organizing a tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The elimination of FC Dallas from the competition in Orlando is a reminder of how difficult it is to maintain the circumstances of returning to work in all sports in the midst of this pandemic,” the players’ union said in a statement Twitter.
And Dallas isn’t the only team with positive evidence. The statistics provided by the league indicate that of the 557 players currently in Orlando, 13 players tested positive for coronavirus, including the ten FC Dallas players.
Teams like Toronto FC and Colorado Rapids have delayed their arrival in Orlando, citing recent test results. The Rapids had two positive players before the expected arrival.
For players and teams already in Orlando, most are trying to stay optimistic and hope that everything can be contained, and the tournament can continue as planned.
“We understand it’s not the most ideal situation, but everyone is excited to get out of there and play again,” Houston Dynamo player Zarek Valentin said.
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese added: “At first it feels a little weird … it’s a situation where MLS has tried everything they can to get organized in the best way possible, and I have to be very proud of our guys because I think we feel very safe around us. ”
Still, Matt Lampson, a Columbus Crew goalkeeper and cancer survivor, feels more uncertain about the MLS return, tweeting “this is serious.”
With coronavirus cases spreading across the United States and Florida in particular, some are wondering if the rapid return of sports is the most prudent thing to focus on now.
“A big part of me wants sports to come back,” CNN’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said in a recent podcast. “It’s how I disconnect. I wish I could sit down and enjoy a game with my family right now.
“But at the same time, it’s hard to reconcile it with what’s happening in the country and the world … and with what I do on a daily basis: get into the hospital, tell people on TV and in this podcast to to stay at home, to get away physically, to wear a mask, to do everything possible to limit the spread of the virus. “
Dr Gupta added: “As much as I want sports to return, and I do, it is also essential that the health of players and staff takes place, especially when cases of infection are on the rise across the country.”