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Sounders cleared to resume individual training as soon as Monday

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Games still appear to be a ways off, but this is at least a step in the right direction.

Seattle Sounders FC Training Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

More than two months after COVID-19 forced a league-wide training moratorium, the Seattle Sounders received clearance to return to limited activities at Starfire Sports Complex. Although MLS recently extended its formal training moratorium through June 1, the league has allowed teams to welcome players back to their facilities for individual, voluntary exercises since May 6. The Sounders, like other teams under state-mandated stay-home orders, have not been among those teams.

That will change as soon as Monday after the Sounders received permission from state health officials on Friday, Sounder at Heart confirmed. About a dozen of the 26 MLS teams have not yet resumed training.

Those sessions will bear only a vague resemblance to “normal”, however. Players will not be allowed to train in groups of any size and can’t even directly interact with coaches. They also won’t be allowed inside — unless they’ve been cleared for medical reasons — and will need to do things like shower at home. According to a report in the Seattle Times, the sessions will be restricted to team personnel as Starfire remains closed to the public.

This would be the first of what will almost certainly be a multi-step process toward returning to play. The league has reportedly made a proposal to return to play in June or July for some sort of single-site tournament, but has not yet made formal plans for resuming the regular-season at home stadiums.