United States’ Major League Soccer OKs Individual Workouts to Resume
Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
The United States’ Major League Soccer (MLS) has moved a step closer to a possible re-start, which will be good news for online soccer sportsbooks awaiting for full activity after months of sudden stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MLS’ 25th season began on February 29. After it was initially suspended for a month, scheduled fixtures were canceled. A week later, league officials declared that the suspension will be extended until May 10. Then on April 17, they decided to extend anew the COVID-19-induced hiatus to June 8.
But media reports say something else. The so-called “top professional soccer league in the US and Canada” will permit voluntary individual workouts. Starting May 6, players will work on outdoor training fields.
However, teams will still follow government shutdown protocols for prevention. The outbreak of the virus had three million people testing positive around the world. A league-wide moratorium on small group and full team training sessions remains in place through May 15.
The MLS version of new ‘normal’ – in training
A maximum of four players is allowed to conduct their training under special Major League Soccer practice guidelines. It is provided that they shall occupy the four quadrants of the pitch. They are limited to practice in their zone and are not allowed to pass or shoot between zones.
The measure of allowing players to use team-operated pitches gives Major League Soccer teams a chance to control the environment. Social distancing and safety protocols need to be applied by the league upon the advice of medical and disease experts.
Footballers strictly cannot access other team facilities. These places include gyms, locker rooms, and training halls. Only players recovering from surgery or injury have access to these establishments.
Under instruction, MLS must limit any kind of contact to essential staff. They are to sanitize training grounds and equipment. It includes balls, cones, or goals and between each workout. They are to conduct temperature checks to each booter upon arrival. Each facility must provide disinfectant and handwashing stations. All players must use it before and after the workouts.
Player and staff arrivals and departures must be organized on a staggered basis. Major League Soccer teams will be assigned parking spaces. Players must use personal protective equipment in traveling to and from the field from parking lots.
Players and staff members must use protective suits. They must also stay at least 10 feet away from players.
Aside from this, Major League Soccer urges teams to arrange emergency plans in case players contract symptoms or become ill after practice.
United States’ Major League Soccer: An ominous sign
The MLS ruling follows the recent decision by the National Basketball Association to green-light player workouts at team facilities beginning on May 8, top online bookies say.
Aside from those two, NASCAR will flag off at Darlington Raceway on May 17 without fans in attendance. On May 9, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold the first of its three closed-door fight cards in Jacksonville, Florida.
Major League Soccer states that individual workouts must adhere to health and safety regulations, as well as policies that govern the state or city where the team is based. These measures prevent further infections of the disease that has the capability to spread rapidly as medical experts have yet to create a vaccine or medication to completely halt the virus. Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes promoted the new guidelines for player safety purposes. He believes that providing the booters’ private access to practice at their training facilities is appropriate as long as they follow social distancing procedures to prevent COVID-19.
There is a possibility that Major League Soccer teams would allow small group workouts to take place if players don’t get sick. However, this is just an assumption. The league has not declared any timetable for the next possible steps. The COVID-19 situation and prevention measures vary in each MLS-affiliated city.