MLS postpones Vancouver-Dallas game due to COVID-19 tests

(Reuters) – The Vancouver Whitecaps’ opening match against FC Dallas at the MLS Is Back Tournament has been postponed as the Canadian side’s departure for the Orlando-based competition was delayed after two inconclusive COVID-19 tests, the league said on Saturday.

Vancouver were originally scheduled to arrive in Orlando on July 1 ahead of their July 9 group stage match against Dallas, but the game will be played on a date still to be determined, MLS said in a statement.

According to MLS, the subsequent test results were confirmed to be negative and Vancouver will depart for Orlando on Monday.

“The later match date will allow both teams additional training days in Orlando in advance of their first match,” the statement said.

Earlier this week Dallas said six of their players due to compete in the spectator-free tournament at the Walt Disney World Resort tested positive for COVID-19.

All 26 MLS teams will congregate at Disney World for a World Cup-style tournament that will be played from July 8-Aug. 11.

Vancouver and Dallas were drawn into a group with reigning MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes.

Each MLS team had played two of their 34 scheduled regular season games when action was suspended in mid-March because of the virus.

All group stage matches of the tournament will count toward the regular season standings with the tournament champions earning a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)