The MLS is Back Tournament kicks off on Wednesday, July 8 and the details of the club rosters are gradually being revealed.
Below is information provided by some of the clubs regarding the personnel that did not travel to Orlando:
NYCFC announced on July 8 that backup goalkeeper Brad Stuver did not make the trip to Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament due to a personal matter. League Pool Goalkeeper Charlie Lyon will train with the team while in Orlando.
"Although it's difficult for me to not be with the team in Orlando, I made the decision to remain home in NY because it was best for my family and myself," Stuver said in a team release. "Wishing the guys good luck and a safe and healthy return home.
NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: "After discussions with Brad, it became clear that his unique situation meant it was right for him and his family to not participate in the "MLS is Back Tournament" and we respect his decision.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on July 7 that they will compete without five players who will sit out the tournament. Forwards Lucas Cavallini, Tosaint Ricketts and Fredy Montero are among the five — along with Andy Rose and Georges Mukumbilwa.
In an Instagram post, Montero said it wasn’t an easy decision, but “my family and I have had a complicated few months not only with being isolated in Canada without family or friends but also with an unforeseen health emergency.”
The Colombian forward said he was “deeply disappointed” he’ll be unable to help teammates, but looks forward to rejoining them after the tournament.
Due to the current situation with Covid-19, I made the hard decision to stay with my wife and daughters in Canada, instead of traveling with the team to Florida. It was not an easy decision. I truly love what I do for living and have been eagerly waiting to return to the pitch as much as anyone however the health of my family is my number one priority. My family and I have had a complicated few months not only with being isolated in Canada without family or friends but also with an unforeseen health emergency. I am deeply disappointed that I won’t be able to help my teammates and I am really sorry about it, but I look forward to reuniting with them when they arrive back. God bless you all.
Ricketts will not be playing due to a pre-existing condition, Rose's wife is set to give birth during the tournament and Mukumbilwa — a Canadian permanent resident — was not cleared to travel outside of Canada
Cavallini, the team's new starting forward, released the following statement.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me. I would love to be out on the field with my teammates fighting with everything I have to play for this club and community in Orlando. Unfortunately COVID-19 has had a very big impact, taking away two beloved members of my family. I feel that it is best that I remain home to support my loved ones at this challenging time.”
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha on July 7 explained his decision to sit out the tournament. The defender said he didn’t feel comfortable being separated from his wife and children for a month during the global pandemic. The veteran central defender said he has the support of his teammates and the RSL coaching staff.
On July 6, reigning league MVP Carlos Vela revealed that he would remain in Los Angeles to be with his pregnant wife and support her during a "risk pregnancy." The following was his statement via a league release:
“I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando. I always want to give everything I have to my club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A. However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy. I will miss being with my teammates and coaches, but I will be cheering and supporting LAFC from a distance. I can’t wait to be back on the field, playing for all of you and accomplishing great things with our club. Vamos LAFC!”
Inter Miami CF
Also on July 6, Inter Miami CF forward and No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick, Robbie Robinson, left the team to attend to a personal situation.
Minnesota United FC
Reigning Defender of the Year Ike Opara announced on July 2 that he would be missing out on the MLS is Back Tournament on account of rehab of a preexisting condition. But head coach Adrian Heath is still holding out hope that Opara may be able to join the team for the Knockout Rounds.
(2/2) but will be the biggest fan from home in MN!— Ike Opara (@ikeopara) July 2, 2020