On April 22, 2020, ECS called for the continued suspension of the MLS season. We expressed concerns about a variety of elements, the most important of which is the safety of players and staff. On June 10, Major League Soccer announced the #MLSisBack tournament, set to take place behind closed doors just outside of Orlando, Florida in July and August.

Since that announcement, the state of Florida has seen an alarming increase in the positive cases of COVID-19 and reversed a number of "re-opening" efforts across the state, including the area surrounding this tournament. We believe that sending our players, coaches, and staff to “quarantine” within the confines of the Walt Disney World resort is putting their careers, if not lives, in harm’s way. As of this week, MLS has announced 20 players and 6 staff have tested positive for COVID-19, which can only be expected to increase as teams co-locate in the hotel, training facilities, and matches. Additionally, the hotel staff, food delivery workers, media and broadcast production teams, and others allowed access in and out of the #MLSisBack “quarantine” are all potential vectors for communication of COVID-19, and simply having them work for this tournament creates potentially unhealthy scenarios for everyone involved.

Major League Soccer has stated that they prioritized their commitment to media partners and sponsors in the creation of this tournament, and that is evident with the unacceptable risks they are putting on the players and staff. We continue our call for the suspension of the MLS season until matches can be played in a manner that is safe for players, team personnel, and fans.

We encourage fans and supporters of Seattle Sounders FC (and all MLS clubs) to contemplate the risks being forced upon their teams. The league and their media partners are assuming we will tune in to their broadcasts and other content. Entertainment is not worth the health and careers of the players and teams we support, and we encourage all fans and supporters to reach out to club and league officials and social media outlets to put an end to this dangerous tournament.