Nashville SC second team forced out of MLS tournament over coronavirus

The MLS is Back tournament is down a second team after Nashville SC was withdrawn due to nine positive coronavirus tests.

On Tuesday, five Nashville players were diagnosed with COVID-19, days after the team’s July 3 arrival. The positive tests leave the MLS tournament with just 24 teams after FC Dallas was forced out when 10 players and one staff member were found to have coronavirus.

“Due to the number of positive tests, the club has been unable to train since arriving in Orlando and would not be able to play matches,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said of Nashville in a statement. “For every decision we make in our return to play, the well-being of our players, staff, officials and all participants is our top priority.”

The league is exploring its schedule in the wake of the withdrawals, with the tournament kicking off Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex outside of Orlando. Teams are being kept in a bubble of two resorts and are subject to rigorous virus testing.