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Decision on Nashville SC’s Participation in MLS-is-Back to be Made Overnight

Nashville SC could be the second club to withdraw...

MLS players and staff are staying in a “closed environment” at Swan and Dolphin resort on Disney property outside Orlando. 

Nashville SC could be the second club, after FC Dallas, to withdraw and return home from the MLS-is-Back tournament in Orlando.

The league announced Tuesday, that five of the club’s players had tested positive for COVID-19, with four others receiving inconclusive results.

The Athletic then reported Wednesday, the four players with inconclusive results now had confirmed positive results, a situation which clearly puts Nashville’s participation in grave jeopardy.

Given that FC Dallas were withdrawn when they had ten players test positive, I cannot see how the Nashville team can remain in the tournament.

Health & Safety is of course paramount and according to TSN’s Kristian Jack, already some players from other clubs have expressed their wish that Nashville be returned home for reasons of safety.

“We are working very closely with our ID doctors; we’re going to meet with them after tonight’s game,” Garber told ESPN at half-time during Orlando City’s opening game win over Inter-Miami.

“If we find that we have a situation with Nashville where they can’t continue in the tournament, then we’ll make that decision overnight, and move forward from there.”

Should Nashville be forced to withdraw it will leave one group with only 3 teams (from the withdrawal of FC Dallas) and Group A, the largest group with six teams, then reduced to five.

To balance the tournament the league may now decide to place one of the remaining three clubs in Group A who have not yet played (NYCFC, Philadelphia or Chicago), into Group B, making the tournament six groups with four teams in each, although with NYCFC and Philadelphia due to play at 0900 hrs, later this morning (Thursday), the obvious candidate to join Group B would be Chicago, who had scheduled to be Nashville’s first opponent.

Montreal Impact plays its first match in the tournament this evening (Thursday) at 0800 hrs. New England Revolution provides the opposition.