To say that FC Dallas’ entry into the MLS is Back Tournament “bubble” has been rocky would be a dramatic understatement. Since arriving in Florida on June 27, at least six players and one coach have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the blog 3rdDegree.net, 10 players have actually tested positive since arriving. Including players unavailable due to positive tests before departure, there are currently just 18 players on the FC Dallas roster who are able to train with the team.
After the Vancouver Whitecaps’ arrival in Florida was delayed due to an inconclusive test — which eventually came up negative — MLS decided to delay their opening match that had originally been scheduled for July 9. A make-up date has not yet been announced. FC Dallas will now make their MLS is Back Tournament debut on July 15 against the Sounders. The Sounders are scheduled to play the Whitecaps on July 20.
The Columbus Crew and Montreal Impact have also each reported one positive test since arriving in Florida. Later reports have suggested that the Crew’s positive test was a false positive.
This is all against the backdrop of a growing number of cases being reported in Florida, which reported another record of 11,458 cases on Friday.
The Sounders arrived in Florida on Friday without incident and were scheduled to have their first gym session there on Saturday. As is protocol, they are currently isolated from the rest of the teams until they’ve been cleared by another round of testing. The Sounders are scheduled to begin play against the San Jose Earthquakes — who have been training inside the “bubble” for nearly two weeks — on July 10.