ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Pride has withdrawn from this year’s National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup after players and staff tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday.
According to the NWSL, six players and four staff members tested positive. Orlando Pride said those infected were asymptomatic.
“This was obviously a difficult and disappointing outcome for our players, our staff and fans, however this is a decision that was made in order to protect the health of all involved in the Challenge Cup,” said Orlando Pride EVP Amanda Duffy. “While we were all excited to see the 2020 Pride on the field this weekend, our priority is now making sure our players and staff safely recover and providing any support wherever and however possible.”
Players and staff have received medical attention and will be isolated for 14 days, according to a news release. Those who have had close contact with the team members have been notified and are being monitored for symptoms, and will undergo additional COVID-19 testing, the news release states.
The team members did not have any direct interaction with players or coaching staff from Orlando SC or Orlando City B, Orlando Pride said.
The Orlando Pride Training Ground, located 44 miles from the Orlando City Soccer Club Training Ground in Sylvan Lake Park, has been closed and will undergo cleaning and sterilization.
“Additionally, prior decisions from the Club ensured all staff members remained separated with no staff interaction across any of the Club’s three facilities,” Orlando Pride said in a news release.
Read team doctor and Orlando Health chief of sports medicine Daryl Osbahr’s statement below:
“While we were all looking forward to seeing the Pride return to the field, we are unfortunately facing a decision that is necessary and in the best interest for the health of our players and staff. The decision goes far beyond just the positives, but also taking into consideration roommates or partners. I commend the Club for its diligence and reaction following the initial positive test, as well as how the safety of players and staff was prioritized during this difficult and uncertain time. However the guidelines and process that are put in place, including the important protocols and timelines for contact tracing, make it logistically impossible for the Club to participate in the Challenge Cup in Utah.”
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