MLS took a small step Friday toward its eventual return.
The league announced that starting Wednesday, players can use outdoor team training fields for individual workouts. The workouts are voluntary and must comply with local policies and “detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts.”
Players are still barred from locker rooms and workout facilities unless they are recovering from surgery. Teams must submit a plan to the league detailing their courses of action, including sanitization, screening and temperature checks upon arrival, staggered arrivals and the use of personal protective equipment.
Staff must be at least 10 feet from players at all times, and teams must break up the fields into four quadrants. Each session can have one player per quadrant, and the players can’t share equipment or play together.
Teams also must have an “emergency action plan” for all issues related to -COVID-19.
“By allowing players, on a voluntary basis, to utilize team-operated fields for individual workouts, MLS clubs will be able to provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social-distancing measures for players and staff,” the league said in a news release.
How this affects the Fire remains to be seen. The team has been in touch with local officials about how to proceed, and the Fire are working through their next steps.
The leaguewide moratorium on full team training remains in place through May 15.