Report: FC Dallas Ignored Virus Precautions, Leading to Dismissal From MLS Tourney

FC Dallas was "withdrawn" from the upcoming Major League Soccer tourney on Monday

Report: Other Teams Wanted FC Dallas Out of MLS Tournament
FC Dallas midfielder Paxton Pomykal (#18) and his teammates celebrate a goal. (Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / July 7, 2020 11:43 am

After having a slew of players and one coach test positive for COVID-19 since the team arrived in Florida, FC Dallas has been withdrawn from the MLS is Back tournament in Florida by Major League Soccer.

“Given the impact of the number of positive tests on the club’s ability to train and play competitive matches, we have made the decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the MLS is Back Tournament,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “The health of everyone involved in our return to play has always been our top priority, and we will continue to make decisions consistent with that priority

As Garber’s wording indicates, the withdrawal was the league’s — not the team’s — decision, and it seems their hand may have been forced by pressure from other teams to remove FC Dallas from the tournament. Of the 557 players sequestered at a pair of Walt Disney World hotels in preparation for the tournament, only 13 have tested positive for COVID-19: 10 from Dallas, two from Nashville and one from Columbus.

That disproportionate number apparently left some teams feeling as if Dallas FC players were not doing all they could do to avoid contracting the coronavirus, according to veteran soccer reporter Grant Wahl.

Barring something unforeseen, the MLS is Back Tournament is set to open Wednesday with a nationally televised match between Orlando City and Inter Miami.

Thanks to the pandemic, MLS shut down on March 12 after teams had each played two games.

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