Orlando City’s match scheduled for Sunday at Exploria Stadium against the Columbus Crew has been postponed with no rescheduled date yet available. Major League Soccer announced the postponement of the much-anticipated Eastern Conference showdown — as well as Minnesota United at FC Dallas — out of an abundance of caution following two positive COVID-19 tests among Crew staff members. That announcement came less than 30 minutes ago.
The Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew match was postponed following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Columbus Crew staff. Orlando City confirmed a positive test result among its first team roster earlier on Saturday.
The league said that both matches were postponed to ensure the health and safety of all players and staff and to allow for further testing and evaluation prior to travel and competition.
Earlier today, Orlando City released a statement that one first-team Lion had tested positive for COVID-19 but all other players had received consecutive negative tests and the match was still scheduled to go on per league protocols. With the positive tests on Columbus’ end, MLS did the only thing it could do and postponed the match.
Orlando City’s postponement vs. Columbus was the second match affected today involving the club. Earlier today, Orlando City B’s match against Chattanooga Red Wolves SC was also postponed due to two positive COVID-19 tests among the “covered persons” in Chattanooga’s contingent.
The coronavirus pandemic originally shut Major League Soccer and all other sports down in the spring. The NWSL and MLS were able to safely play a tournament in Orlando in a “bubble” setup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in the summer and shortly thereafter the Major League Soccer regular season resumed. There have been bumps along the way, particularly in recent weeks with Colorado, but continued loosening of restrictions is having an effect across multiple sports, including the National Football League.
With the schedule condensed the rest of the way, the most logical makeup date would be the midweek between the Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 games. That would at least allow Orlando to get back some injured players, as well as Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez, who are both away for international duty.
If there are no other postponements, the Lions will next play on Wednesday night at home against New York City FC at 7:30 p.m.