MLS

MLS green lights individual player workouts starting next week

MLS announced that players can return to work next week after they decided to postpone all activities in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

MLS green lights individual player workouts starting next week
Ryan Remiorz AP

On Friday 1 May, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that from next Wednesday they will allow players to start individual training at outdoor facilities. The MLS also said that players have the opportunity to conduct voluntary workouts and the clubs have to adhere to safety protocols for them at their training grounds.

“By allowing players, on a voluntary basis, to utilize team-operated fields for individual workouts, MLS clubs will be able to provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social distancing measures for players and staff,” the league said in a statement.

Teams will need to make a formal plan to the league if it wants to take advantage of the individual workouts. The plan must include 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.

All plans must be reviewed and approved by the club’s medical staff and local infectious disease experts before submitting to Major League Soccer,” the league said. "Every club will designate a member of the staff to oversee adherence to MLS-recommended protocols and club-specific implementation plan.”

All plans must be reviewed and approved by the club’s medical staff and local infectious disease experts before submitting to Major League Soccer. Every club will designate a member of the staff to oversee adherence to MLS-recommended protocols and club-specific implementation plan.

In addition, each club will also be responsible for confirming communication of these protocols to players and staff.