The Seattle Sounders won’t have their full complement of internations when they host Los Angeles FC on Tuesday, but it looks like they’ll be pretty close. In addition to having Raúl Ruidíaz available, the Sounders will also likely have Gustav Svensson. The Sounders had been holding out some hope that Xavier Arreaga would also be deemed eligible, but are now planning not to have him.
Meanwhile, LAFC are likely to be without a quartet of internationals as Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios have all tested positive for Covid-19.
Ruidíaz’s situation is the most straightforward. Despite MLS policy normally dictating that players must spend nine days in quarantine after returning to their home market, Ruidíaz was long expected to be eligible to return to team activities immediately as long as he continues to test negative for Covid-19. After having contracted Covid-19 last month, he’s now considered a “recovered person,” allowing him to bypass quarantine protocols.
The situation surrounding Arreaga and Svensson is a bit more complicated. Originally, it was believed neither would be available due to the quarantine requirements. But MLS apparently worked with public health officials to determine that it would be safe for players returning from international duty to have a shorter quarantine as long as they passed tests before and after flying home on charters.
Complicating the situation was that both Svensson and Arreaga had personnel on their national teams who tested positive for Covid-19. In Svensson’s case, it was Sweden’s coach, whose positive test was revealed on Nov. 11. However, with no other positive tests since that time within the Swedish team, Svensson was apparently deemed relatively low risk.
Ecuador, on the other hand, had several players test positive, including two LAFC players. The most recent of those positive tests was reported today. Although Arreaga returned to Seattle today on a commercial flight, the Sounders are not expecting him to be eligible to play. Assuming he continues to test negative for Covid-19, he’d likely be eligible to return if the Sounders advance to the Western Conference semifinals.