Fresh troubles for MLS is Back tournament, players from two more teams test positive

Major League Soccer postponed a match between Toronto FC and D.C. United shortly before it was scheduled to begin on Sunday morning because of one unconfirmed positive test and one inconclusive test for coronavirus.

The unconfirmed positive test was for a D.C. United player, while a Toronto player returned the inconclusive test

Players and staff are tested the day before each game during the MLS is Back tournament. Because of the positive and inconclusive tests, the league’s protocol for the tournament called for both teams to undergo another set of testing on Sunday.

Both teams had already announced their starting lineups for the match when it was called off shortly before its scheduled kickoff.

The league did not announce when the match would be rescheduled.

The postponement is the latest hiccup for the tournament, which has already had two teams drop out because of a spate of Covid19 cases.

FC Dallas and Nashville were both withdrawn earlier this week, reducing the tournament to 24 teams. FC Dallas had 10 players and one coach test positive for the virus. Nashville had nine players test positive.

The game is now due to be played on July 13 at 9am ET and broadcast domestically on ESPN2. Toronto FC and DC United’s subsequent games in the tournament have also been pushed back a day to help players prepare.

“We believe the tournament can still be conducted safely,” MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott told reporters. “And if at the point we determine it can’t, obviously we would make a decision then.

“In the case of Dallas and Nashville, the decision was made that based on the extent of the positive tests in those teams (and) their ability to train, that the more prudent course was to withdraw them. But we had established a set of protocols that are working as they were designed, which is to identify players that have had positive tests for Covid-19, to remove and separate them from the team and isolate them. And to continue the process of testing the other players…We view this (case) as the process working,” Abbott said.