Nashville SC’s Eastern Conference semifinal on Sunday appears to be in jeopardy. First reported by ESPN‘s Jeff Carlisle, Columbus Crew SC received two new positive Covid-19 tests on Friday, bringing the total to six players testing positive in the last week.
Carlisle had previously reported that MLS team who suffer coronavirus outbreaks during the postseason will be forced to forfeit if rescheduling is not an option. MLS currently has the last conference semifinal match scheduled for Wednesday, December 2. The match in Columbus could theoretically be pushed back from Sunday, but with Covid’s long incubation period, postponement may not be effective.
The Crew had cancelled in person training after the first positive tests, and held individual training sessions on Friday to maintain fitness ahead of Sunday’s match.
Nashville has already played an opponent in the postseason who have been hampered by Covid cases. Inter Miami were missing five players, including starters like Gonzalo Higuaín and Leandro González Pírez when Nashville beat them 3-0 in the play-in round of the playoffs.
Nashville was withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament earlier this season when nine of their players tested positive after arriving in Orlando, and had another player test positive ahead of their match against New England in October.
Major League Soccer has yet to make a statement on the reported positive cases out of Columbus or how they could impact Sunday’s match.