Major League Soccer has announced that it will begin to allow individual player workouts in outdoor facilities beginning on Wednesday, May 6.
Luchi Gonzalez had previously mentioned his hope to begin limited workouts, as well as a plan that the club would have to present to MLS. Under MLS’ guideline, teams will be allowed to have essential staff on site as approved by the league. Players will not be able to access locker rooms, indoor training facilities or gyms. Players rehabbing injury have been permitted to use team facilities for rehabilitation, and will continue to be the exemption.
As part of the protocol, players will have to wear a face covering from the parking lot to the practice field, while staff will need to use adequate personal protective equipment and maintain 10ft distance to the player.
Each club will present a plan to MLS in conjunction with the team’s medical staff as well as local infection disease experts. The plan will need to address the following:
- Restricting training facility access to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the plan.
- Sanitization and disinfection plans for all training equipment and spaces, including disinfection of any equipment used by players (balls, cones, goals) between every session.
- Completion of a Standard Screening Assessment survey by each player prior to every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility.
- Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
- Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to the field, and again on return to the parking lot.
- Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment throughout training, while also maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from players at all times.
- Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after individual workouts.
- Clubs will have the use of the outdoor fields at their training facility, divided into a maximum of four quadrants per field. A maximum of one player per quadrant may participate per training session with no equipment sharing or playing (passing, shooting) between players.
- An Emergency Action Plan for all COVID-19 related issues.
MLS’ training moratorium remains in effect until at least May 15, and is expected to last some time as other markets deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.