Minnesota United’s scheduled game Sunday at Sporting Kansas City was canceled by Major League Soccer after the Loons on Saturday confirmed COVID-19 positive a second player in four days.
The club confirmed a player tested positive on Wednesday — their third in October — and another on Saturday after he first tested positive Friday. Wednesday’s game against Colorado was played, with the Loons winning 2-1, when additional testing of players and staff came back negative.
Both the Loons and Sporting Kansas City clinched a playoff spot when the league announced Thursday that its standings and playoff qualification will be determined by points per game earned rather than total points won because of unbalanced schedules caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Barring no other cancellations, the Loons will play 21 games rather than 23 scheduled. Their Oct. 11 game at FC Dallas was postponed, then canceled when two players tested confirmed positive.
The Loons canceled training sessions Friday and Saturday.
Minnesota United and MLS don’t identify players or staff who test positive unless they give permission. Starting left back Chase Gasper wasn’t either a starter or substitute Wednesday and wasn’t scheduled to travel to Kansas City on Sunday.
The Loons now have two regular-season games remaining, both at home: Wednesday against Chicago in a game postponed and rescheduled and next Sunday on “Decision Day” against FC Dallas.
“It’s not ideal,” Loons coach Adrian Heath said Saturday about missed training before Sunday’s game was canceled. “I’d be lying if I said it’s not a concern and it’s not a difficult situation. There’s nothing we can do. We’re in the hands of the league’s protocols and everything that goes with it.”
The Loons were set to fly by chartered jet to Kansas City midmorning Sunday and return that night.