New York City FC has announced a revised travel schedule to Orlando to resume its Concacaf Champions League campaign with a quarterfinal match against Liga MX side Tigres UANL after three players tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Cityzens will now travel on the morning of Tuesday, December 15, and play the match later that evening.
The club's latest positive test was confirmed on Friday and all other first-team players and staff have returned negative tests since then. A fourth player has tested negative but was deemed a close contact and will not be traveling for the match.
NYCFC have acquired goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar on loan from Orlando City SC for the remainder of the season ahead of the match, with sporting director David Lee explaining in Tuesday's release the position was among those affected by the positive results. First-choice goalkeeper Sean Johnson later confirmed on social media that he had been deemed a close contact of one of the players who had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be traveling to Orlando.
💙🙏🏾 CCL Update pic.twitter.com/y8Umz1Ltan— Sean Johnson (@SeanJohnGK) December 14, 2020
“2020 has brought forth a tremendous number of challenges, and every team across the league has needed to adapt very quickly to unique scenarios," Lee said. "Unfortunately, our goalkeeper pool has been greatly affected throughout the past week due to COVID protocols. I’d like to thank both Mason and Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations, Luiz Muzzi, for being extremely accommodating to our need and helping us navigate this unprecedented scenario.”
NYCFC are looking to rally from a 1-0 deficit to Tigres following the first leg at Red Bull Arena back in March. Should they advance to the semifinals, the club will remain in Orlando in isolation and continue testing under Concacaf protocol.