One of the experimental aspects of sports stopping all of a sudden then restarting after roughly four months off is how different standards in permitted training locally could impact games themselves. After all, a month-plus of preseason training camp being the standard is that way for a reason.
In this case, three teams around MLS — Atlanta United, the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City, began full-team training sessions Monday, the final step before teams actually start playing games again. Meanwhile, one team, the San Jose Earthquakes, haven’t officially gotten clearance to train at all until this week.
This leaves Los Angeles Football Club in the middle, but according to a story from Vince La Rosa on the team’s website Monday, they are closer to the Quakes than to Atlanta, the Revs and Sporting on a training front right now.
LAFC is currently in Phase One of the league’s return to training plan - individual workouts. [LAFC GM John] Thorrington noted LAFC’s goal would be “to move into full-team training as soon as possible in order to prepare ourselves for the tournament in Orlando” but emphasized the need to closely follow orders of local and state officials as part of the process.
Another experiment in all of this coronavirus shutdown and reopening is seeing the range of approaches taken in locales. Time will tell if caution was a better policy or if reopening was done at the right pace — it is worth noting there have been infection spikes in locations that reopened early, as predicted.
So maybe in the long run, LAFC having to take it slow will be the best option for the common good. And while three teams are in full team training sessions, remember there are 22 other teams in a situation more similar to LAFC. Again, we’ll see if the early birds to training and progressing through the stages will have an advantage when all the teams are back out there playing games again, or if any possible detriment to having to wait will be overcome in short order. As with pretty much everything the past few months, it is a time of uncertainty.
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