MLS announces 4 more positive tests with tournament underway in Florida

Major League Soccer recorded four more positive COVID-19 tests over the last two days at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida.

The league says the four tests came from two different clubs. There were 1,888 players, coaches, referees, club staff, league staff and other individuals tested on Tuesday and Wednesday at the league’s host hotel in the Orlando area.

The league announced the test findings in a social media post late Wednesday. It did not identify the two clubs with positive tests.

FC Dallas has already been forced to withdraw from the World Cup-style tournament in the wake of positive tests for 10 players and a coach.

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The focus has since switched to Nashville SC.

The league announced earlier this week that five Nashville players had confirmed positive tests with four other players requiring additional testing after recording inconclusive test results.

Commissioner Don Garber told ESPN on Wednesday night that subsequent Nashville test results would be reviewed overnight before making a decision on the expansion club’s participation in the tournament.

The competition kicked off Wednesday night with Orlando City defeating expansion Inter Miami CF 2-1.

The Montreal Impact face the New England Revolution on Thursday evening.

Bedoya helps Union blank New York

Meanwhile, Alejandro Bedoya scored in the 63rd minute and the Philadelphia Union defeated NYCFC 1-0 on Thursday in the MLS is Back tournament.

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson dove and got a hand on the ball but couldn’t keep Bedoya’s left-footed strike out of the net after a scoreless first half.

The teams met on the second day of the monthlong tournament played without fans in attendance at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake preserved Philadelphia’s first win of the season in the 86th minute when he dove to push away Brazilian forward Heber’s shot from the left side of the box.

Teams are divided into six groups for the opening stage of the World Cup-style tournament, with results counting toward the regular season. FC Dallas was forced to withdraw after 10 players and a coach tested positive for COVID-19.

NYCFC finished atop the Eastern Conference last season. The team returned much of its roster, including midfielder Maxi Moralez, who led the league in assists last season with 20. Heber had 15 goals in 22 appearances with the team last season.

NYCFC lost both of its games played before the season was shut down on March 12. The team has yet to score a goal this season.

The Union, which had a loss and a draw to start the season, finished third in the East last year. Forward Kacper Przybylko, who led the Union with 15 goals last season, started.

Players for the Union wore jerseys with the names of people killed by police. Ray Gaddis wore the name Taylor for Breonna Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician who died after being shot eight times by Louisville, Kentucky, officers serving a narcotics search warrant in her apartment. Goalkeeper Blake wore Floyd, for George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

The group stage features early morning games to avoid the heat and humidity in Florida. The game-time temperature was 27.7 Celsius with 88 per cent humidity.

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