A day after the Union returned from Major League Soccer’s Disney World bubble, the club’s minor-league team in the USL, Union II, announced that “a covered person” in its ranks tested positive for COVID-19.
Spokespeople for the team and the USL said the range of covered individuals encompasses players, USL coaching staff and other personnel who are directly involved with the team.
“The individual has been immediately isolated at home and is in good spirits under the care of team physicians,” a Union statement said. No further details were made available.
Sunday’s Union II home game against Hartford Athletic has been postponed, with no makeup date announced. The two teams met in Hartford on July 29, with 1,375 fans in attendance at 5,500-seat Dillon Stadium – a quarter of capacity, by agreement with state and local officials. Masks were required for all attendees. Hartford has had that number of fans at all of its home games so far, and said Friday that it’s had no positive tests among players or staff.
A Union spokesperson said that when the MLS team arrived in Chester on Thursday, no one from the group accessed any facilities in the team’s campus that spans Subaru Park, two practice fields, parking lots, and the training facility. There would not have been any interaction between the infected person and the MLS traveling party.
During the pandemic period, the USL team has been using locker rooms and training equipment housed in Subaru Park instead of the training facility.
The MLS team won’t get back to training for a few days, though it seems the traveling party will not have to strictly adhere to Pennsylvania’s recommendation of a 14-day quarantine for travelers from Florida. They were tested regularly in the bubble and took a charter flight back home.
Major League Soccer’s tournament concludes Tuesday with the final between the Portland Timbers, which beat the Union in the semifinals, and Orlando City (8 p.m., ESPN and ESPN Deportes). Coincidentally, of the six teams the Union played in the event, those are the two they didn’t beat.
MLS intends to resume its regular season the following day. The Athletic reported that FC Dallas and Nashville SC – the two teams that were forced out of the tournament due to coronavirus outbreaks – will play two games in a few days, with fans in attendance. Texas state laws allow sports venues to be up to 50% full for games.
In a TV interview during FS1′s broadcast of the Union-Portland game, commissioner Don Garber said the league “will get back to our markets [and] we will be announcing our schedule soon.”
Coronavirus cases have been declining in the Philadelphia region, but they are considerably higher in Delaware County than the rest of the area.