Inter Miami will be shorthanded for Friday night’s playoff match. First reported by SBI’s Franco Panizo, five players have tested positive for Covid-19 and did not make the trip up from Miami on Thursday.
Panizo’s report was confirmed by multiple other sources, including ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, who added that Miami’s most recent positive test came early in the week.
I'm also told that the most recent positive test in the #InterMiamiCF camp was in the Sunday/Monday timeframe.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) November 20, 2020
Without getting too deep into speculation, it would seem that these cases are not directly tied to the international break. Major League Soccer recently allowed clubs to bring players back from international duty via charter flight, bypassing the previously required 10 day quarantine period. Miami’s Rodolfo Pizarro returned from duty with the Mexican national team on Wednesday, after Carlisle reports the most recent positive test was returned.
If Miami returns more positive tests and is unable to play, a forfeit is likely. Carlisle previously reported that MLS will attempt to reschedule matches if Covid outbreaks arise. However, in a condensed schedule, with an especially tight first round, potential rescheduling dates are hard to come by. If unable to reschedule, the team with the outbreak will forfeit.
As of Friday morning, the match is still scheduled to be played at 8 PM central at Nissan Stadium. Nashville got the better of their meetings in the regular season, winning 1-0 and drawing 0-0. Tonight’s match is the first playoff appearance for either side.