FC Dallas has this morning resumed voluntary small group workouts at Toyota Soccer Center. The team had missed the entirety of the previous week between scheduled days off and a brief shut down after a member of the first team tested positive for COVID-19.
The small group workouts are the second of MLS’ three phases in returning to full practices, with today being the first day that MLS clubs can hold full group practices. So far only Atlanta, New England, and Kansas City have returned to full team activity.
Small group training sees up to six players work in a group. Each player occupies a zone to ensure a distance of 10ft. Players can pass and shoot, and can also switch zones. Coaches must maintain personal protective equipment and give instruction from the sideline.
This phase of training does not include testing for the novel Coronavirus which has paused MLS for close to three months. Players and staff who might have come into contact with the unnamed player who tested positive have themselves been tested. FC Dallas declined to comment on those tests, but this would seem to indicate that all tests came back negative as the return required MLS approval.
An FC Dallas spokesperson confirmed that the team does not have a target date to start full-team training at this time. As with the other phases, that will depend on a plan to be approved by MLS in conjunction with local authorities and infectious disease experts.
FC Dallas Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez has taken a few days in each phase to observe how other clubs are handling MLS guidelines, so it’s unlikely that the team would have trained together today even without the positive test.