The numbers are startling. The number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. is skyrocketing and breaking records for the number of infections almost daily. One of the hardest-hit states in Florida and the MLS is determined to bring their season back using Florida as their meeting ground.
MLS athletes and staff members are testing positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Florida.
Major League Soccer is one of the first sports to attempt to restart its season. Fans were excited about the decision to restart the sport and MLS officials set their sights on the Walt Disney World Resort. Teams were flown down to Orlando to create a bubble to restart the sport as safely as possible.
Florida is experiencing one of the most severe spikes in cases in the country and the MLS is not immune to the spread.
Florida recently reported more than 10,000 cases July 1, a record for the state, and within 1,000 infections from the nation’s record set in New York. Orange County, which is home to Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, is facing one of the most devastating outbreaks in the state.
There is a lot of chatter about whether or not is possible for this bubble idea to work.
“So far, most guys have been sticking to their rooms, playing video games, FIFA and 2K. We’ve had the opportunity share meals together, which was nice because I haven’t eaten in a group in a long time,” San Jose defender Tommy Thompson told Tampa Bay Times. “It felt great to be back on the field. When we all got on that bus together and started to train with contact, it felt really good.”
Fans are questioning if this idea is going to work.
Some players have told the press that they do feel safe in the bubble as the teams practice and prepare for the MLS is Back Tournament.
“Everyone is wearing masks, some guys are wearing gloves, and I feel safe 100 percent,” Dallas midfielder Tanner Tessmann told Tampa Bay Times. “They separated us on the buses and on the plane. We are staying one to a room in the hotel. So, I feel really safe. They have good procedures in place, so everything should go smoothly.”
The MLS is Back Tournament is set to begin July 8, considering everything goes according to plan. The rest of the teams are expected to arrive this week with the first game between Inter Miami and Orlando City.