DC United players will soon be able to return to practice — with some restrictions

With a training base in Virginia as an option, D.C. United players will be able to return to the practice field for individual workouts beginning Friday.

Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia, is the home of United’s United Soccer League affiliate Loudoun United. Practicing outdoors is allowed because Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Northern Virginia will be able to enter phase one of the state’s reopening process on May 29.

“It’s a great step. I just got off of a call with the players and there was a different kind of energy than last week when everything was still closed,” said D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “From a mental standpoint, this is important and shows there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have to do this in steps and make sure it is safe.”

Major League Soccer has not announced its return-to-play plan, but a tournament in Orlando as a possibility to restart the season has been discussed.

According to D.C. United, beginning Friday, players at Segra Field will be able to do the following:

  • Restricting training facility access to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the plan
  • Sanitization and disinfection plans for all training equipment and spaces, including disinfection of any equipment used by players (balls, cones, goals) between every session
  • Completion of a Standard Screening Assessment survey by each player before every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility
  • Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles
  • Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to the field, and again upon return to the parking lot
  • Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment throughout training, while also maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from players at all times
  • Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after individual workouts
  • Segra Field will be divided into a maximum of four quadrants with only one player per quadrant allowed access at a time. There will be no equipment sharing or playing (passing, shooting, etc.) between players
  • Individual training sessions will be limited to 60 minutes per player

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Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson is Senior Sports Director and morning sports anchor. He first arrived at WTOP in 1989, left in 1992 and returned in 1995. He is a three-time winner of the A.I.R. award as best radio sportscaster in D.C. In 2008 he won the Edward R. Murrow award for best writing for sports commentaries.

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