Last week our staff debated if this is something FC Dallas should do, and today it became an official thing. Major League Soccer announced that FC Dallas have been withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament due to 10 players and one member of the technical staff confirmed positive for COVID-19. Each of these positive tests either occurred upon the club’s arrival or within a few days of arrival.
According to the league, the decision was made in the best interest of the health of all players and staff participating in the tournament, and in line with protocols created in conjunction with local and national health authorities and infectious disease experts.
“As we continue to focus on the well-being of our players, coaches and staff who are in isolation in Orlando, we understand it is not in their best interests to compete at this time,” said FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez. “While we’re disappointed, the health and safety of our traveling delegation as well as our league partners is our highest priority.”
FC Dallas will cooperate with MLS and local health officials, both in Florida and Texas, on a plan that can safely bring the team back to Frisco in a way that minimizes risk of exposure to all parties involved and ensures their safety.
“We absolutely agree with the league’s decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS is Back Tournament out of safety concerns for our players and staff,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “We’re looking forward to resuming the 2020 season once the entire club is healthy and in position to play competitive matches at the highest level.”
While this is a disappointment that we won’t see FC Dallas play, I can say that our staff is in support of this move as well. We want to see the players get back safely and be able to recover from this disease. The club had not been able to train for over a week with the news of all the positive tests, which certainly was going to put them at a disadvantage ahead of their first match (which after this past weekend was going to be July 15).
We will continue to keep an eye on how things are going in Florida for FC Dallas and the rest of the league as this tournament gets underway.