Drake Hills, Nashville Tennessean
Published 12:26 p.m. ET July 9, 2020 | Updated 1:01 p.m. ET July 9, 2020
SportsPulse: As Christine Brennan points out, the Ivy League’s decisions have often been a tell tale sign for all college sports and it’s time to prepare for a fall without college football.
The coronavirus spread among the Nashville SC ranks has grown consistently since its last training session June 30. By Thursday, its chances of participating in the MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando were erased entirely.
Nashville SC will exit the MLS Is Back Tournament, the team confirmed, after nine Nashville players tested positive for the coronavirus from July 5-8. Nashville is the second club that MLS has withdrawn from the tournament. FC Dallas exited Monday after 10 players and one coach tested positive.
MLS already postponed the club’s first match against Chicago on Wednesday. Its next match was scheduled for July 14 against Philadelphia Union.
“It was determined that the club would not be medically cleared to get sufficient training before their next match,” the team said in a statement. “As a result, it was decided that it would be in the best interest of the health and safety of the players, the staff and the rest of the league that Nashville SC does not participate in the tournament.”
Nashville fullback Brayan Beckeles self-identified Monday as one of the players who tested positive for the coronavirus. The club has cited the HIPAA Privacy Rule, a federal law that provides protection of individual health and personal information, for not identifying other players who tested positive.
Nashville has not trained since June 30 and not played since March 8 against the Portland Timbers. Although Commissioner Don Garber told reporters in June he was “very optimistic” the league’s regular season would resume in the fall, no plans have been confirmed.
Said Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre: “Our focus now lays on the recovery of our players who have been infected with COVID-19 and on getting our complete traveling party back home safely. Once everyone is safe and healthy in Nashville, we can then turn the page and focus on our preparation and participation in the return to play for the latter half of the season post Orlando.”
Follow Drake on Twitter at @LiveLifeDrake.