MLS to allow individual workouts on team training fields


A worker cleans a door handle at B.C. Place stadium, where Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps play their home games, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Major League Soccer is shutting down for 30 days because of the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

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Major League Soccer is allowing players to return to outdoor team training fields for individual workouts starting Wednesday.

MLS suspended the season because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, closing all team facilities but asking players to remain in market with their teams. The league-wide moratorium on group and team training remains in effect through May 15.

MLS says the individual workouts must follow certain health and safety protocols. The workouts are voluntary and must also follow local public health and government policies.

MLS teams must submit a specific plan for training protocols before players are allowed to start workouts. They will include restricting facilities to essential staff, sanitizing and disinfection of all equipment after each session, screening measures including temperature checks, and staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, as well as designated parking that ensures proper distancing.

Players are still not allowed access to indoor facilities, such as locker rooms.

Players must wear personal protective equipment upon arriving and departing from the fields, while staff will be required to use such equipment — masks and gloves — at all times. Staff must also maintain a distance of 10 feet from players at all times.

Practice fields can be divided into four quadrants, allowing multiple players to train, but only under guidelines that restrict contact and ensure social distancing.

Team plans must be approved by team medical staffs and a local infectious disease expert and must be submitted to MLS and communicated to players.

Teams must also have emergency plans in place for any coronavirus-related issues that might come up, including positive tests.

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