NEW YORK – Like most other sports, Major League Soccer has had very little going on since their league was officially suspended on March 12th.
But on Friday, there is at least some news of the players returning to team facilities for a little work on their own for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The MLS announced that players can have voluntary workouts at outdoor team facilities starting on May 6th.
Players are still prohibited from using locker rooms, team gyms, and the training room unless already receiving rehabilitation treatment, which was allowed even during the lockdown.
The move is being made to “provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social distancing measures for players and staff,” per a release from the league.
These workouts can only be voluntary and no group activies will be allowed.
In their release, the MLS announced guidelines that each team must follow before they can open up their facility for work.
- Restricting training facility access to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the plan.
- Sanitization and disinfection plans for all training equipment and spaces, including disinfection of any equipment used by players (balls, cones, goals) between every session.
- Completion of a Standard Screening Assessment survey by each player prior to every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility.
- Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
- Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to the field, and again on return to the parking lot.
- Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment throughout training, while also maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from players at all times.
- Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after individual workouts.
- Clubs will have the use of the outdoor fields at their training facility, divided into a maximum of four quadrants per field. A maximum of one player per quadrant may participate per training session with no equipment sharing or playing (passing, shooting) between players.
- An Emergency Action Plan for all COVID-19 related issues.
Chicago Fire FC’s primary facilities remain in Bridgeview near Seat Geek Stadium, which was their home up until last season. They only played two games before the pandemic postponed their season since March 12th, with the team losing to Seattle then tying New England on March 7th in Foxborough.