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MLS Clubs Given Green Light To Return To Full Team Training

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Major League Soccer has lifted the training moratorium issued on March 12 and has granted clubs permission to return to full team training effective immediately.

However, the protocols surrounding each club’s return is strenuous. MLS has issued strict guidelines for every team to follow before they are granted permission.

First, MLS clubs must create a plan that must be signed off by the respective team’s medical staff and local infectious disease expert prior to submission to MLS to review.

“In order to maintain a safe environment for all players and staff, individual club plans must remain in compliance with local health and government policies and adhere to detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts, including:
  • Players must complete a physical examination, and all players and staff must complete two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests 24 hours apart, 72 hours prior to the start of training, and undergo one baseline antibody (serology) test.
    • Players will be cleared to train by their medical staff only after they have successfully completed their interim physical, completed two negative PCR tests and the serology test.
  • Players, coaches and select staff must complete PCR tests every other day and only those with negative results will be allowed to attend training.
  • Serology testing will be performed once every three months.
  • Individual club test providers must be authorized by the FDA and Health Canada. Turnaround time for tests must be no more than 24 hours.
  • If a player or staff member tests positive, the individual will be isolated. The isolated individual will be tested again at least 24 hours later to ensure the result was not a false positive.  All close contacts will be tested immediately.  Contact tracing will be performed at the direction of the club’s COVID-19 task force and local authorities.
  • A player or staff member that tests positive for COVID-19 may return to training only when cleared by the club’s Chief Medical Officer in consultation with the league medical team.
  • Any player or staff considered to be in a high-risk category for severe illness related to COVID-19 will not be permitted to participate in team training unless cleared by the club’s Chief Medical Officer.”

Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.