Toronto FC postponed the team’s trip to Orlando, Florida on Saturday after a member of the TFC travel party reported experiencing “symptoms” to the team medical staff.
According to a release, the individual is isolating at home and is being assessed virtually by the medical staff. It was not reported whether the person with the symptoms is a player, coach or team official. The entire TFC travel party will undergo another round of testing for COVID-19 and will not travel to Orlando for the start of the MLSisBack tournament until those tests are received.
It marked the second day in a row that TFC’s trip to Orlando was postponed. The Reds are slated to open the tournament next Friday (July 10) against D.C. United.
News that TFC’s trip was going to be postponed yet again came on Saturday afternoon when it was reported via social media that the charter flight scheduled to fly to Toronto to pick up the TFC travel party had turned back.
In a conference call on Thursday, TFC coach Greg Vanney expressed concern over his team travelling to Florida, which is currently a hot zone for COVID-19 cases, and said that he’s not sure if playing is worth it if means travelling to the Sunshine State. Florida confirmed 11,458 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, breaking their previous record set on Thursday. There are at least 190,052 total cases reported in Florida and over 3,800 deaths.
After facing D.C. United, the Reds next face 401 Derby rivals Montreal Impact (July 15), D.C. United and New England Revolution (July 21). Spectators will not be allowed at games and the team’s movements will be strictly controlled within the playing and training grounds and hotels.
The MLSisBack tournament group stage matches which will count toward the overall 2020 regular season standings (win = 3 points, draw = 1 point, loss = 0 points). The top two finishers in each group along with the four best third-place teams will move on to the Knockout stage which kicks off with the Round of 16. The winner of the tournament earns a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot. The MLS season was suspended on March 12 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. MLS teams played two regular-season games apiece before play was suspended. TFC opened on Feb. 29 with a 2-2 draw at San Jose against the Earthquakes and defeated New York City FC 1-0 on March 7 at BMO Field – both matches were without the club’s newest DP, winger Pablo Piatti and team captain Michael Bradley, who is said to be completely recovered from off-season ankle surgery and will be ready to play on July 10 against D.C. United.