MLS franchises can train small groups during a coronavirus pandemic
Photo via  MLS

On Thursday (28th), Major League Soccer (MLS) released the teams to conduct training sessions with their soccer players in the external structures of the clubs in small groups. However, MLS franchises will be required to comply with all health and safety protocols.

In a press release, Major League Soccer said that this measure provides an opportunity for athletes to practice physical activities as long as they respect the distance between them. See all protocols that were imposed on teams in detail:

- Clubs must utilize outdoor fields as indoor training facilities remain closed to all players with the exception of those requiring medical treatment or rehabilitation, under the direction of the team medical staff, that cannot be performed from the safety of their residences.

Clubs may divide each full field into a maximum of two equal halves and may assign a group of players to each full or half field.

Clubs may clearly define up to six zones per half field, spaced at least 10 feet apart. Only one player may be in a zone at any given time in order to maintain physical distancing standards throughout the session. For clarity, a maximum of six players may be assigned to a single group with each player accommodated in a separate zone.

During training sessions, players may switch zones within their own group only if another player is not currently in that zone and players must maintain a physical distance of at least 10 feet from all other players and coaches while moving between zones.

Within a single group, players may pass the ball and shoot on goal; however, all training exercises must allow players to maintain a physical distance of at least 10 feet from one another.

Players may only train with the other players within their own group and may not interact with other groups. While the groups may not be rearranged during a single training session, clubs may rearrange the combination of players in each group from session to session.

Coaches and technical staff must wear a face mask at all times and may direct players from the perimeter of the field, never entering the field, while maintaining at least 10-feet of distance from other staff and players.

Only approved equipment may be used during training session including balls; small and regular goals; rubber dots; small discs and cones; rebounders; rings; GPS Pods and personal equipment that is not shared between players. Mannequins, poles, bands, weights and ball machines may not be used.

Goalkeepers may not spit on their gloves and must clean, disinfect and sanitize their gloves after each training.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the world registered about 5.8 million confirmed cases and approximately 360,000 deaths due to the new coronavirus. In addition, 2.4 million people have recovered from the disease. Regarding the number of infected, the United States (1 million and 700 thousand), Brazil (438,000) and Russia (379,000) remain at the top of the list. However, when we analyze the data regarding the deaths, this statistic changes. United States (102,000), United Kingdom (37,000) and Italy (33,000) are the first three countries with the highest number of deaths.