In what can be considered a positive step forward in returning to normalcy, Major League Soccer announced Friday that starting this Wednesday, May 6, players may resume training at team facilities for their individual workouts.
According to a news release from the league, the workouts are voluntary and will be held in accordance with current COVID-19 safety protocols.
In addition, with outdoor training fields being split into quadrants, only four players will be allowed on the pitch at any time. Equipment will not be shared, and there will be no passing between players. Player arrival will be staggered, with players expected to wear personal protective equipment to and from the facility.
Players will also be subject to a standard screening assessment prior to each training session, and players will have their temperature taken prior to their workouts. Other precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus will be implemented.
The league’s current moratorium on full team training activities will continue until Friday, May 15.
According to the Revolution, the club is “currently working towards a plan that could provide our players the option to use the club’s outdoor fields for their individual workouts. These workouts would only take place if they can be done in a manner that is in compliance with all state and local regulations.”
Recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker extended his stay-at-home order through May 18.
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
Take a deep breath, everyone. Our long soccer-less nightmare may be over sooner than we think… or is it not?
It’s been nearly two months — we’re at about seven weeks and a day — since MLS and other sporting entities put a halt to their seasons, and this news is, without a shadow of a doubt, a breath of fresh air. It’s quite possible that at some point in the future, we will have a return to soccer.
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. The league could, in two weeks’ time, continue its moratorium on full team training for another series of weeks. This situation is so fluid that it can change by the end of the weekend. It could change in about an hour. Five minutes from now. It could change as I’m writing this.
I, for one, am tempering my expectations: while I am glad that the players will be back to work, if only four at a time and on a voluntary basis starting Wednesday, I’m keeping a level head in knowing that the whole situation could take a nose dive at any time.
At this point, optimism that we’ll be able to salvage a good chunk of the season is all we have. But if it goes south, we have to be prepared for that possibility.