Update (9:10 pm): Let’s just continue to add to this tally, shall we?
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) July 2, 2020
Update (12:50 pm): Major League Soccer and FC Dallas have both confirmed that the reports of six players testing positive for the coronavirus are true.
The following is the official FC Dallas statement that was sent out via email and posted online:
FC Dallas players, coaches and staff departed for the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, FL on June 27. Every member of the FC Dallas traveling party had tested negative for COVID-19 through an MLS-mandated testing service prior to the club’s departure on Saturday morning.
Upon arriving in Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament, FC Dallas had two players test positive for COVID-19. The affected players were immediately isolated from their teammates, the entire FC Dallas delegation, other MLS clubs and staff.
As league testing continued, four more players tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of FC Dallas players who tested positive while in Orlando to six.
In consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly-affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff in Orlando out of an abundance of caution. All members of the club delegation are following MLS health and safety protocols and will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing.
We continue to learn more information daily from medical experts and are in constant communication with them. We will provide relevant updates as they become available.
FC Dallas will have no further comment at this time.
Major League Soccer’s statement is posted here as well:
Major League Soccer today confirmed that six FC Dallas players have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of those six players tested positive immediately upon arrival at the host hotel in Florida for the MLS is Back Tournament on June 27, and the additional four players tested positive within the last two days. Upon receipt of the positive COVID-19 test, all six players immediately participated in a clinical assessment by a healthcare provider and were moved to the isolation area of the hotel. While in isolation, the individuals are in daily communication with and receive remote care from a healthcare provider, including monitoring of symptoms and regular follow-up testing. In addition, the rest of the FC Dallas delegation is following the MLS health and safety protocols and quarantining in their hotel rooms pending the results of additional COVID-19 testing.
No other members of the MLS delegation at the host hotel have tested positive, and no other club has been in contact with the FC Dallas delegation since they arrived in Florida. The League’s protocols include regular screening, testing, social distancing, PPE and a mandatory quarantine for all individuals upon arrival at the hotel until they have a negative test. Thus far, 392 people have been tested with six positives. MLS will continue to report test numbers on a regular basis.
We are one week away from the return of the 2020 season for FC Dallas but all of that seems so distant with the news today that several more positive cases of the coronavirus have spread among the team.
Major League Soccer released a statement early on Wednesday morning, just as they plan to do every other day during this period, to update the number of cases that they have tested in Orlando. Today’s tally showed four new cases, all being players.
Shortly after that, 3rd Degree published a report that their sources have indicated to them that its possible three of those cases were from FCD. That also adds to a number of other cases that were previously reported by them, bringing up the total number within the team to six cases since the club arrived in Florida last week. The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal and Paul Tenorio both have confirmed this report as well.
The new cases are really the bigger story here as they have all come from inside the MLS bubble. Meaning, either the facility wasn’t as clean as it could have been, the staff working there (who can come and go) have cases of their own that aren’t being discussed, or something totally out of the club and league’s hands that they couldn’t foresee.
There are a lot of questions that are still needed to be answered here though. Like, how long will these players be quarantined? When will FC Dallas resume training (Tenorio stated in his tweet that they were off yesterday and today due to this news)? Are any of the players showing signs or symptoms of the virus? What impact will this have on the game-day rosters next week?
Yeah, next week. Think about that for a hot minute. The club is suppose to have a pre-tournament game on Saturday against New York City FC (EDIT: This friendly has been canceled following NYCFC’s later departure from New York a few days ago). What will the status of that game be now?
When I asked the club on Tuesday about the potential for new cases, I was met with a ‘no comment’ type reply. So, when will the club address this?
But most importantly, can MLS and FC Dallas get this situation handled quickly before the rest of the league arrives in Orlando?
What do you all make of this news? Do you think this tournament bubble is truly safe?
This is certainly a developing story that we’ll continue to update you all on as soon as we can. Given the sensitive nature of reporting a virus and who might have it, we don’t plan on reporting player names unless they have come out publicly stating they contracted the virus.