In Colorado Rapids, MLS announced on Monday that three more games have been postponed due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within the organization.
“MLS has no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 between Colorado Rapids staff and players today, but based on the total number of cases, Major League Soccer has consulted with the Colorado Public Health and Environment Department to Colorado. We have postponed the Rapids match for the next 10 days. “
Affected games are the October 14th match in Seattle, the October 18th home match against Real Salt Lake, and the October 21st home match against Sporting Kansas City. This is in addition to the four postponements that Rapids has already maintained, two of which have been rescheduled.
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“When we announced our return to the market, we said we would prioritize the health and safety of our players and staff,” MLS Deputy Commissioner and President Mark Abbott told ESPN.
“And whenever we think we shouldn’t go ahead, we postpone the match. Recognize that it can happen and make sure our health and safety protocol addresses them. It was designed. “
As of Monday, 5 Rapids players and 13 staff have been tested positive. Colorado last played when they defeated San Jose Earthquakes 5-0 on September 23.
“Individuals who continue to test negative can participate in team training, but otherwise remain quarantined,” the league statement said.
Abbott said there are all expectations that the season will be completed.
“There’s nothing that makes you think you won’t end the season,” he said.
The decision is made in a relatively high number of cancellations. In addition to the rapids postponement, the FC Dallas-Minnesota United and Columbus Crew-Orlando City match was positive with two players from Minnesota, two staff from Columbus and one player from Orlando. Later, it was postponed last weekend.
The additional postponement of Rapids added stress to the already packed schedule. Pre-playoff matches can consist of an international window from November 8th to 20th, according to sources familiar with the situation. The league is still evaluating the best way to reschedule affected games, including Rapids.
In a media callback on August 8, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said the league would calculate points per game to determine where the team would be placed in the standings, if necessary. There is precedent for such a move in that the league took the same approach when the match was canceled due to 9/11 during the 2001 season.
“It’s pretty clear to all of us that this season is coming, and it will have a lot of competitive balance issues,” he said. “If you need to postpone or cancel a match and cannot change the schedule, we will apply points per match instead of total points when qualifying for the playoffs.”
When asked if MLS was considering a bubble in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Abbott said, “I think the bubble has its strengths and weaknesses. I think it works, but in reality it doesn’t. No, “he said. It also disrupts people’s lives. “