FC Dallas, Nashville SC players cleared to travel home

Guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. in 2019. (John Raoux/AP)

Members of FC Dallas and Nashville SC cleared by doctors to travel returned to Texas and Tennessee, respectively, on Monday.

Both teams were withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament last week due to a rash of COVID-19 positive tests — Dallas pulled out last Monday and Nashville on Thursday.

Dallas said its travelling party included those who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida and subsequently tested negative "in multiple follow-up tests" following isolation.

Some members of the Dallas delegation will remain in isolation in their Florida hotel until cleared by medical officials to return to Texas.

Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez was happy to be home.

"Honestly, it feels nice," he said. "Because we were in a circumstance where we couldn’t even go outside for almost 12 days. So we had a lot of restrictions there and we were going to continue to have them

"So it’s just better to be home and near the family so that we can have some comfort. But at the same just move on. Move forward and prepare for the next battle."

The team is expected to return to training later this week.

Defender Reggie Cannon said it was a "mixed bag" coming home.

"Because we worked so hard for the past three months in quarantine doing everything we possibly can to make the most of this experience. But we just got unlucky and it didn’t work out for us. We’re obviously very disappointed.

"But I think it’s good now for the guys to enjoy family. Because the games are going to come back really quick. We’re going to have another opportunity to make up those games and ultimately prove everybody wrong."

The league hopes to return to games in home markets after the Florida tournament, which is slated to end Aug. 11. But the ultimate decision will depend on local authorities and the state of the pandemic.

Nashville players and staff who had tested negative also returned home. Those who tested positive remain isolated in their hotel rooms, pending medical clearance.

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