The Orlando Pride announced Monday that the club would withdraw from the NWSL's season-opening tournament after players and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
The National Women's Soccer League announced six players and four staff members tested positive just days before the team was set to begin the tournament in Utah.
“This was obviously a difficult and disappointing outcome for our players, our staff and fans," said Amanda Duffy, the Pride's executive vice president. "However this is a decision that was made in order to protect the health of all involved in the Challenge Cup. While we were all excited to see the 2020 Pride on the field this weekend, our priority is now making sure our players and staff safely recover and providing any support wherever and however possible.”
The club said all players and staff tested were asymptomatic. In a statement, the Pride said the affected team members did not directly interact with any players or staff of Orlando City SC or Orlando City B. It also said the Orlando Pride Training Ground at Sylvan Lake Park has been closed and will undergo thorough cleaning and sterilization.
The NWSL Challenge Cup is scheduled to begin Saturday. The Pride were scheduled to play on the tournament's opening day against the Chicago Red Stars.
The Challenge Cup was created to kick-start the NWSL season after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the beginning of the 2020 campaign and put sports leagues across the country and the world on pause.