Major League Soccer pulled FC Dallas out of its tournament near Orlando, Fla., after 10 players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, M.L.S. officials announced on Monday.
The positive tests appeared after the team arrived on July 1 in Florida, where the tournament starts Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. All of the team’s players, coaches and staff were quarantining in their rooms as of Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
“Given the impact of the number of positive tests on the club’s ability to train and play competitive matches, we have made the decision to withdraw FC Dallas from the M.L.S. is Back Tournament,” M.L.S. Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
Three players from two other teams also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 13 out of 557 players in Florida. The remaining 25 clubs are set to compete in the monthlong tournament, as M.L.S. becomes one of the first professional sports leagues to return to competition in North America. The National Women’s Soccer League is underway, and the N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. are set to hold similar tournaments in Florida later in July.
FC Dallas Coach Luchi Gonzalez agreed with the league’s decision to pull the team from the tournament, according to a team statement. The team is set to return to Frisco, Texas, following Florida and Texas safety protocols. Both states have seen a significant rise in infections over the past week, with Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas last week mandating residents wear face masks in public to contain the spread.
“We’re looking forward to resuming the 2020 season once the entire club is healthy and in position to play competitive matches at the highest level,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said.
His team is not the only missing component from the M.L.S. comeback: The 2019 M.L.S. most valuable player and reigning scoring champion Carlos Vela, a Los Angeles Football Club forward, announced he would skip the season for family reasons.
“I always want to give everything I have to my Club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A.,” he said in a statement. “However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy.”