A day after the MLS authorized the voluntary return to training, Los Angeles FC became the first professional team in the Californian city to resume activities on Thursday.
“We needed it, really. Go back to see the teammates, the technicians. Do it again now taking these precautions, which are very good. I am very happy to return,” said Ecuadorian defender Diego Palacios.
Los Angeles’ other Los Angeles team, the Galaxy, has yet to report its return, while the Lakers and NBA Clippers are not expected to re-train on Friday, the date the basketball league will reopen. .
Los Angeles FC, where Mexican striker Carlos Vela is a member, remarked in a statement that, “as approved by the MLS, the city of Los Angeles and public health officials, the trainings adhered to a strict set of guidelines to guarantee the safety of the players. “
Although it continues to ask the population to stay in their homes for as long as possible, the California government has begun to lift restrictions and will allow, starting Friday, that some economic activities such as clothing stores, sports goods stores and bookstores can partially reopen.
Almost two months after the suspension of the season, the MLS allows players to train individually from Wednesday in those states where they do not clash with the protocols against the virus, which currently excludes a good part of the 26 teams from the league.
On Wednesday, four franchises reopened – Atlanta United, Orlando City, Sporting Kansas City and Inter Miami, a franchise co-owned by David Beckham – and this Thursday others were added, such as the Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, Nashville SC and Portland Timbers.
The protocols established by the MLS to minimize the risks of contagion establish that the players can only exercise on outdoor courts, with a limit of four players on the pitch.
“I think every player and every club that has been able to start individual practice is satisfied,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in an interview.
These voluntary sessions aim to keep players fit in a safe environment and are a small first step on the road to the resumption of the league, which is suspended at least until June 8.
“I would say we are now cautiously optimistic” about the return to competition, Garber said. “A month ago we were very pessimistic. I think our country has done a pretty good job of reducing the (contagion) curve, which was the goal.”
gbv / cl
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