The MLS is Back Tournament kicks off on Wednesday, July 8 and the details of the club rosters are gradually being revealed.
Below is information provided by some of the clubs regarding the personnel that traveled to Orlando:
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on July 7 that they will compete without five players who will sit out the tournament. Forwards Lucas Cavallini, Tosaint Ricketts and Fredy Montero are among the five — along with Andy Rose and Georges Mukumbilwa.
In an Instagram post, Montero said it wasn’t an easy decision, but “my family and I have had a complicated few months not only with being isolated in Canada without family or friends but also with an unforeseen health emergency.”
The Colombian forward said he was “deeply disappointed” he’ll be unable to help teammates, but looks forward to rejoining them after the tournament.
Ricketts will not be playing due to a pre-existing condition, Rose’s wife is set to give birth during the tournament and Mukumbilwa — a Canadian permanent resident — was not cleared to travel outside of Canada
Cavallini, the team’s new starting forward, released the following statement.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me. I would love to be out on the field with my teammates fighting with everything I have to play for this club and community in Orlando. Unfortunately COVID-19 has had a very big impact, taking away two beloved members of my family. I feel that it is best that I remain home to support my loved ones at this challenging time.”
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha on July 7 explained his decision to sit out the tournament. The defender said he didn’t feel comfortable being separated from his wife and children for a month during the global pandemic. The veteran central defender said he has the support of his teammates and the RSL coaching staff.
— Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) July 7, 2020
On July 6, reigning league MVP Carlos Vela revealed that he would remain in Los Angeles to be with his pregnant wife and support her during a “risk pregnancy.” The following was his statement via a league release:
“I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando. I always want to give everything I have to my club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A. However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy. I will miss being with my teammates and coaches, but I will be cheering and supporting LAFC from a distance. I can’t wait to be back on the field, playing for all of you and accomplishing great things with our club. Vamos LAFC!”