The Columbus Crew provided a COVID-19 testing update on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed one positive test involving a player this week. Even with one additional positive coronavirus test, the club returned all negative test results Monday and Tuesday in the build-up to the MLS Cup Final between Columbus and the Seattle Sounders this Saturday night.
In addition, the club also confirmed that six Crew players who were previously positive with COVID-19 will return to the squad and resume training. A club spokesperson also confirmed to Massive Report that a seventh player is expected to be cleared and back in training on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s MLS Cup Final. Assuming no new positive tests going forward, the Black & Gold will be without just one player due to COVID-19 for the championship game. The team will train Wednesday through Friday and limit access to indoor interaction, leaving as much to on-field training and interaction as much as possible.
Over the course of the playoffs, the Crew has dealt with at least one positive COVID-19 test to a player for three weeks in a row. Seven players received positive tests before the conference semifinal win against Nashville SC and one additional player received a positive test before the Eastern Conference final against the New England Revolution last weekend. In that timespan the Black & Gold were unable to train for on four separate days out of an abundance of caution.
Earlier in the season, the Black & Gold had a player test positive in Orlando, Florida prior to the MLS is Back Tournament in July. That player had to quarantine away from the team before he was cleared to play. Columbus then had to postpone the team’s Oct. 11 game against Orlando City SC after two staff members, not coaches, tested positive for the virus two days prior to the game.
Franklin County is currently in a Level 3 exposure situation signifying very high exposure and spread of COVID-19 throughout Columbus, Ohio. The city is still getting hundreds of new cases daily as the state of Ohio continues going through this high-wave of coronavirus. The Crew once again will allow fans with 1,500 ticketed public fans permitted to the stadium for the MLS Cup Final.
The Crew’s preparation will continue throughout the week in an attempt to win the club’s second MLS Cup title. They host the Seattle Sounders for the 2020 title this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. E.T. in the final playoff game ever to be played at MAPFRE Stadium.
Massive Report will continue to provide updates on this story as they become available.