Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (July 9, 2020) – Nashville Soccer Club in conjunction with Major League Soccer announced today that the club will withdraw its participation in the MLS Is Back Tournament due to positive COVID-19 cases among its players.
Nashville SC arrived in Orlando, Fla. on July 3, having taken all the necessary steps and following all the mandated protocols established by the league as well as local and national health authorities to minimize the risk and exposure to the virus. Despite the precautions, one player tested positive upon arrival at the host hotel, and another eight Nashville SC players tested positive upon a few days of arrival.
Following daily testing of players and staff during the past nine days, it was determined that the club would not be medically cleared to get sufficient training before their next match. As a result, it was decided that it would be in the best interest of the health and safety of the players, the staff and the rest of the league that Nashville SC does not participate in the tournament.
“In what has been a challenging year, and in an uncharted environment created by the Tornado that devastated our city and COVID-19, this is another big disappointing outcome for Nashville SC and its supporters,” said Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre. “Our focus now lays on the recovery of our players who have been infected with COVID-19 and on getting our complete traveling party back home safely. Once everyone is safe and healthy in Nashville, we can then turn the page and focus on our preparation and participation in the return to play for the latter half of the season post Orlando.”
Nashville SC is working with MLS and local health officials on a plan to bring home those players and staff who have consistently tested negative throughout their time in Orlando, Fla. as soon as it ensures everyone’s safety in the process.
The timetable for the return of players who have tested positive will be determined by MLS’ health, safety and medical protocols.