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San Jose Earthquakes arrive in Orlando to begin MLS is Back Tournament preparations

Almeyda admits “We’re behind the rest of the league.”

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MLS: Toronto FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes are the very first team in MLS to reach the bubble for the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament, touching down in Orlando Wednesday evening to begin their training camp ahead of the competition.

The Quakes are the only team in the league that has not been cleared locally to train in full group sessions, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and were the last team to even get clearance to train in individual ballwork sessions. They were widely expected to be among the first teams to go to Orlando, as a result, and they took advantage of it.

The flipside is the obvious concern regarding the situation on the ground in Orlando right now. Orange County, Florida is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases right now, and the situation has impacted soccer, too, with the NWSL’s Orlando Pride experiencing such an outbreak on their team at home that they completely withdrew from that league’s bubble tournament, set to start Saturday in Utah. And that’s the spot that all of MLS is going to!

On the bright side, the preventative measures taken in Santa Clara County and by the Earthquakes individually appears to have paid off, with a report in The Athletic Wednesday noting the Quakes have yet to have a player test positive for coronavirus throughout the pandemic. Obviously, just because you catch coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you necessarily failed at trying to prevent it, but the proof was in the pudding at home. Now, going to a flaring hotspot? Here’s hoping the bubble is nice and tight at Disney World.

The Earthquakes are scheduled to kick off the MLS is Back Tournament July 10 against the Seattle Sounders. You can get more schedule info for the Quakes here.

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