FC Dallas have become the first Major League Soccer club to be asked to leave the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida, where MLS teams are camped for the MLS is Back Tournament which is scheduled to commence on Wednesday. The tournament is expected to hold at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Before now, there have been reports that the coronavirus pandemic might greatly change the plan of the tournament which was organised in order to complete the season that was abandoned in March due to the pandemic. Reports are saying that confirmed cases of the virus are increasing by the day and that might get worse in the coming days.
FC Dallas that delayed their arrival to the hotel where they were camped ahead of the tournament became the first to be evicted from the resort. MLS had no choice than to evict them from the property less than one week after the team arrived in Orlando for the tournament. They were tested on arrival and were put on self-isolation for nearly a week after 10 players and one technical crew tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
After due consultation, MLS announced on Monday that FC Dallas would have to leave the tournament. “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,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
MLS Players Association wrote, “The removal of FC Dallas from the competition in Orland is a reminder of how difficult the circumstances involving returning to work remain across all sports amidst this pandemic.”
On the part of the evicted club, they have taken the eviction in good faith and the club’s president Dan Hunt wants the world to know that most of the players that tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic, with dull headaches and low fevers as the worst conditions.
“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,” the FC Dallas president said. “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.”
Besides FC Dallas, LA Galaxy star Carlos Vela also withdrew from MLS is Back Tournament
He said he had to withdraw from the tournament because of the health of his family especially that of his wife, Saioa Cañibano, who is heavily pregnant amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “I always want to give everything I have to my Club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A. However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy.”
Carlos Vela was the MLS most valuable player in 2019. He is also the reigning scoring champion of the league.