MLS announced Friday players can begin to train individually at team facilities, outdoors only, starting May 6, but with considerable conditions put in place.
First, plans must be made ahead of time and must be approved by local health authorities. Players, who can train on a voluntary basis, must get health screenings before arriving, and they must strictly train individually. In addition, enhanced hygiene measures will be in effect, and players will not be allowed to go inside the team facilities for any reason unless they have previously been approved to do so while rehabbing from an injury or surgery.
The big question is whether the San Jose Earthquakes can actually begin training on Wednesday. The state and local authorities have mandated stay at home orders to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, and it’s unclear if this individual training plan would contradict those orders or be allowed.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reported the Quakes will not begin individual training sessions next week, and it’s unclear when they would get approved to begin.
Interesting fallout from this already as it relates to local restrictions. A #Quakes74 official says that they will *not* be resuming individual workouts next week, and instead will be following the guidance of local officials as it relates to any return to play. https://t.co/x9sS0cUFT9— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) May 1, 2020
The individual training plan is intended to be the first step in reopening soccer, and players were said to be losing fitness, despite their best efforts, because most don’t have private access to a field to do extensive ball work and with a goal. From here, the hope would be to open to small group training sessions, then full squad sessions, then once players are fit and MLS gets the green light, to restart playing games in some fashion. Of course, even if this is set to start, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will proceed like that in an orderly fashion, only if the coronavirus does not surge again along any step of the way.
But again, California has been more restrictive than most parts of the country, to considerable success in fighting the spread of coronavirus, and it’s unclear when the Quakes can begin the process of reopening at this stage. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.
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