The ongoing coronavirus outbreak affecting the Colorado Rapids prompted Major League Soccer to postpone the club’s next three scheduled games on Monday.
The Rapids already had missed their past four scheduled games as five players and 13 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
MLS issued a statement that read, in part, “Although there have been no new confirmed cases among Rapids staff and players, based on the total number of cases, Major League Soccer, in consultation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has postponed Colorado Rapids matches for the next 10 days.”
The games affected are: Wednesday at the Seattle Sounders, Sunday vs. Real Salt Lake and Oct. 21 vs. Sporting Kansas City.
The league statement added, “Those individuals who have continued to test negative will have the ability to attend team training but will otherwise remain quarantined.”
The Rapids already missed scheduled games against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 27, at the Portland Timbers on Oct. 3, vs. Los Angeles FC last Wednesday and vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday. The Portland game is due to be made up on Nov. 4. The Sept. 27 contest vs. SKC was due to be contested Oct. 21, but that date is out now, too.
MLS deputy commissioner and president Mark Abbott told ESPN, “When we announced that we’re returning to play in our markets, we said we would prioritize the health and safety of the players and staff.
“And if anytime we thought that we shouldn’t move forward with a match, we would postpone it. We recognized that that could happen, and the health and safety protocols that we have were designed to deal with them.”
It is unclear if Colorado will be able to make up all of the missing games before the end of the regular season. MLS commissioner Don Garber had said in August that if teams wind up playing different numbers of games because of the pandemic, the league would use average points per game instead of total points to determine playoff eligibility.
The Rapids (5-4-4, 19 points) last played on Sept. 23, when they routed the San Jose Earthquakes 5-0 in Commerce City, Colo. Despite having played at least two games fewer than all other MLS teams, Colorado is tied for eighth place in the Western Conference under the standard total-points system.