Minnesota United players will begin voluntary individual workouts outdoors at their Blaine training facility Tuesday, the team’s first small step toward returning from its suspended season to full team training and presumably games.
It will be the first training there since the season was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic March 12.
Team executives submitted a training proposal to state officials that was approved by MLS. Players will begin training Tuesday.
Four MLS teams began those workouts Wednesday when the league allowed; another five joined Thursday.
Protocols have been established for players, coaches and staff. Players must drive to Blaine alone in their own vehicles, parking in scheduled arrival times in assigned spots. Players will sanitize their hands and have their temperatures measured. They arrive and leave in their training gear and can’t access any indoor facilities.
The practice field will be separated into eight sections, with one player assigned to each section.
Players will be able to shoot on goals, but not on goalkeepers. All equipment will be sanitized after one training session and before the next.
Players must wear masks when arriving and leaving.
MLS has suspended games until June 8 at the earliest.
Curtis back with Whitecaps
All-Star forward Jonna Curtis, who tied for the Whitecaps’ scoring lead this past season, re-signed with the NWHL team for the upcoming season.
Curtis scored 14 goals and had a team-high 22 assists in 21 games for the Whitecaps, sharing the scoring lead with Allie Thunstrom. Curtis’ assists ranked second in the league and her points were tied for third.
Johnson-Hipp to retire
Shawn Johnson-Hipp, who has spent 30 years coaching women’s track and field, cross-country or both at Hamline, will retire at the end of July. Johnson-Hipp became Hamline’s first full-time track and field coach in 1983, and after a six-year break she returned to coaching the Pipers in 2006.