Five Nashville MLS players test positive for COVID-19

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Five players from Nashville SC have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the postponement of the club's opening game in Major League Soccer's restart tournament, the team said Tuesday.

A statement from Nashville SC said Wednesday's Group A game against Chicago Fire had been postponed following the positive cases.

Nashville said all of the cases emerged after the team arrived in Orlando, Florida, where 26 teams are being based for the "MLS is Back Tournament."

Two of the cases were confirmed over the weekend while three more cases were confirmed late Monday.

A further four players have received inconclusive test results and require more testing, the team said.

The development is another setback for MLS' restart plans.

On Monday, FC Dallas were withdrawn from the tournament altogether after 10 players and a member of the support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

Nashville said the league would "continue to evaluate the club's participation in the MLS is Back Tournament following the results of additional testing."

In a separate development on Monday, Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela -- the league's reigning Most Valuable Player -- withdrew from the tournament in order to remain in California with his pregnant wife.

MLS had hoped to relaunch their virus-interrupted season at a single location in Florida in a bid to keep teams shielded from the virus.

Since the decision to restart the league was announced, cases across the United States have skyrocketed, with Florida particularly hard hit.