Both Hunt and FC Dallas Coach Luchi Gonzalez agreed with the league’s decision to pull the team from the tournament — especially because players have had to rely on workouts conducted over Zoom for the past week, adding in a secondary danger of injuries onset by being improperly prepared to compete.
Hunt said the team was looking into what might have caused the spike, from whom the players competed against in scrimmages to where they sat on the plane. So far, the cases seem unconnected. This “start and stop” struggle might occur across all major sports returning to play, he said, at least until there’s a vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Still, he’s hopeful that the players will recover and come back strong.
“I still believe this team is good enough to win M.L.S. Cup this year,” he said.
The team is set to return to Frisco, Texas, following Florida and Texas safety protocols as it travels. The timeline and exact protocols the team must follow, however, are still undetermined, Hunt said. Both states have seen a significant rise in infections over the past week, with Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas last week mandating residents wear face masks in public to contain the spread.
FC Dallas is not the only missing component from the M.L.S. comeback: The 2019 M.L.S. most valuable player and reigning scoring champion Carlos Vela, a Los Angeles Football Club forward, announced he would skip the season for family reasons.