MLS knockouts: Philadelphia Union hit hard with COVID-19 concerns ahead of Eastern Conference finals against NYCFC

The Philadelphia Union could be in danger of missing some key names for its home playoff game against New York City FC in the Eastern Conference final. The winner will book tickets to the MLS Cup 2021. Only nine players were spotted during Friday’s training session as a number of good players had already joined the league’s COVID health and safety protocols. It’s safe to say that everything is in place for those who will be available to Philly coach Jim Curtin.

Union defender Olivier Mbaizo has been sidelined for the past two games while on COVID protocol but is eligible to return this week. Training had to be canceled on Thursday, but those who could train were back on Friday. That said, Curtin’s comments on Friday did not suggest a positive outlook.

“There’s a lot of emotion, of originality this week,” Curtin said. “We were unable to practice yesterday due to the players complying with the MLS health and safety regulations. We were able to return today. We will follow the league rules with hope to have as many players as possible for Sunday.”

Dig a little deeper if anyone is training today, close to those available, there won’t be enough players for the game to go

Philadelphia quarterback Leon Flach, 20, is not mentioned in the photo above but was also present at Friday’s training session. But with The MLS protocol is murky not sure what will happen. Each member of the team will be treated as a first-class individual for union purposes as they may not always be able to do social distancing and wear a mask.

In the case of positive tests, contact tracing has occurred but protocol dictates that even if a player is negative, they must self-isolate and resubmit an additional negative rapid PCR test. Supplementation was done 24 hours after the negative result. This means that with the game being Sunday at 3pm ET, there won’t be much time left if a negative result isn’t returned by Saturday morning.

Anyone who tests positive could be at risk of missing out on the MLS Cup, but that’s what the League has to worry about most because they need to get through it first. After determining which team members have actually produced positive results, that’s when close relationships come into play. Depending on which event caused the outbreak, people classified as close contacts can participate in the match as long as they undergo daily testing, isolating when not performing necessary work functions. and wear a mask.

Only when someone is in close contact with a high risk should they be isolated and not compete in matches. High-risk contacts are anyone who lives together, exchanges bodily fluids, gathers in an enclosed space for 15 minutes or more with that person, or who tests positive 48 hours before their positive test results. Eating within six feet of each other would also fall into this category.

Fully vaccinated players may be exempt from the quarantine requirement if they test positive, but unvaccinated players must adhere to a five-day quarantine. This means that if any member of the League is unvaccinated and does not attend training, they will be mostly sidelined Sunday’s game due to close connections. Anyone else makes an effort to make the match with enough negative trial and hope. MLS knockouts: Philadelphia Union hit hard with COVID-19 concerns ahead of Eastern Conference finals against NYCFC


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