USL announced on Wednesday teams in the Championship and League One can begin doing voluntary small-group training sessions at teams’ outdoor fields, as long as they obtain permission from local authorities to do so, starting May 11.
Four players or less may congregate for non-contact training, allowing players who almost certainly do not have access to a full field and regulation goal in their backyards some much-needed ballwork and shooting practice. Teams will have to notify the league and have strict regulations in place to attempt to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus.
The status of Sacramento Republic FC is unclear at this point. MLS teams have been cleared to begin voluntary individual training starting Wednesday, but in places where stay at home orders remain intact, they did not train. Notably, none of the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy or LAFC trained Wednesday. On the first day only four teams around the league actually held any kind of training.
In addition, another independent USL team in California, Orange County SC, said they were unsure if they would be able to begin training on Monday, as they would need permission from the state, county and city alike to participate. Most likely, the same is true for Sac Republic, and a source with knowledge of the situation told Indomitable City Soccer on Thursday the club is in conversations with authorities to determine a timeline.
It’s one baby step in the process, but it is a promising sign to hopefully bring sports back in the coming months. Obviously there’s no guarantee it will be a linear process and another surge of coronavirus could put plans to restart the USL on ice. But with the other soccer teams in the state, as well as the NBA teams here in California lobbying the state, and with California set to loosen some small shutdown regulations beginning Friday, if teams like Sac Republic can’t train next week, hopefully they can start at some point this month. We’ll keep you posted on details and developments as we learn of them.
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