Real Salt Lake Has Entered The Bubble Despite MLS Is Back Tournament Uncertainty
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has landed in Orlando, Florida ahead of their MLS Is Back tournament campaign which is scheduled to begin against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday, July 12.
Entering The Bubble
The team has officially been in the bubble for roughly 48 hours and are learning how to best make light of an otherwise dark and gloomy situation.
Kyle Beckerman acknowledged the surging COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida and admitted that the surge has caused some anxiety. “Obviously now we see ourselves (the team) in a state that is surging so I think that is more of the unknown. What does that mean for us? We just have to hope that everything goes smooth and we can keep staying safe,” Beckerman said.
The players are being tested every second day through an abundance of caution. “Some of the players come back with water in their eyes,” goalkeeper Zac MacMath said.
Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases within the state of Florida, MacMatch shared insight into how the league approached the players association back when the two were in negotiations. “Be here or don’t get paid for it,” MacMath confessed.
MLS Is Back Future Unknown
Real Salt Lake has thus far been in the clear when it comes to positive COVID-19 cases, however, other MLS teams are not as fortunate. FC Dallas reported that over 10 players and staff from their traveling party have tested positive since arriving in Orlando and has since withdrawn from the tournament.
The tournament is going ahead, as of now. Although, that can change at any impact. The league has not been very transparent with the players.
“Honestly it is strange because we are getting all of our information from guys we text throughout the league and we relay it to our teammates. There are rumors, and you do not know what is true and what is not,” MacMatch added.
Regardless, the players are expecting and more importantly planning for Colorado later this week. It is still unknown the quality of soccer that will be played, but an optimistic mindset and positive attitude seem to be enough for the Real Salt Lake playing group to get excited for the upcoming challenge, despite the chaos that surrounds them.
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.