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MLS Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus Weeks Before Orlando Tournament

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A player for Major League Soccer has tested positive for coronavirus, just three weeks before a tournament is scheduled to be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

In a statement Saturday, D.C. United said the unnamed player has mild symptoms and has not been hospitalized.

“Throughout individual player workouts and small group training sessions, D.C. United adhered to proper physical distancing and sanitization protocols, and no other players or staff have tested positive or presented symptoms,” it read.

The player did not participate in a large gathering last weekend at Audi Field in support of Black Lives Matter, and is currently in self-quarantine.

This is the third professional soccer player to test positive for COVID-19. A player on FC Dallas tested positive on June 3, and Philadelphia Union player Kacper Przybylko tested positive April 1. DC United, like other MLS teams, has mandatory testing in place as players resume team training.

After this positive test result, MLS and local health officials will need to clear the team before they can return to the field.

The announcement comes as the team, along with 25 others, prepare to participate in a series of 54 matches over three weeks at the ESPN arena on Walt Disney World property.  The tournament starts July 8.

The winning team will compete in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.

There will be no fans in the stands and players must submit to mandatory testing during the tournament. 

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Daneille Prieur