It was reported on Monday that FC Dallas will not be participating in the controversial MLS is Back Tournament because 10 of its players and one staff member have coronavirus according to Tom Marshall of ESPN. The Major League Soccer season was to begin this season in Orlando starting on Wednesday, and at this time still plans to proceed with 25 clubs instead of 26.
Heading into the tournament MLS announced that all games from the group stage of the tournament will count towards the 2020 MLS regular season standings. The games in the knockout stage of the tournament will not count toward the standings, however the winner will represent the MLS in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. That position is usually reserved for the MLS regular season champion.
So, due to the current events, one will assume that the MLS will need to make some adjustments to their regular season schedule once the MLS is Back Tournament is completed. FC Dallas will have makeup games against the Seattle Sounders FC, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and the San Jose Earthquakes. Those four teams were initially to comprise Group B.
It should be noted that Florida is a coronavirus hotspot at the moment, and it is clearly unsafe for professional sports athletes to conglomerate there. At the moment there have been 213, 794 cases of coronavirus in Florida, with 180, 528 active cases, and 3,841 deaths. The MLS clearly has a decision to make, and it might be in the best interest in the health of all soccer players to scrap this tournament altogether.
One must also realize that FC Dallas had three positive tests before arriving at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL on June 27. It is not known if the three players who initially tested positive traveled with FC Dallas to Orlando and spread the disease to their teammates.
The state of Texas is also very unsafe for people to be in groups as well. There have been 210,006 cases of coronavirus there, with 103, 215 active cases, and 2738 deaths.
Last season FC Dallas finished in seventh place in the Western Conference with a record of 13 wins, 12 losses, and nine draws for 48 points. They reached the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, but lost 4-3 in overtime to the Seattle Sounders FC. The top scorer for FC Dallas in 2019 was Jesus Ferreira of Santa Marta, Colombia, who had eight goals in 34 games.