D.C. United’s second-division squad, Loudoun United, canceled the final three matches of the season because of multiple cases of the novel coronavirus.
Loudoun United — which was founded last year in large part to develop young players for D.C. United — is the first of 35 USL Championship teams to end its season prematurely during the pandemic.
In a written statement, the organization said “the individuals have been immediately isolated at home and are in good spirits under the care of team physicians.”
The number of infected players and staff members was not announced. But because there were multiple cases, D.C. United spokesman Zachary Abaie said, doctors advised the entire group to quarantine for 14 days.
Had the situation occurred earlier in the season, league spokesman Ryan Madden said, the games would have been rescheduled. But with the regular season ending Oct. 4, there was no opportunity to do that.
Many matches over the course of the USL Championship season have been postponed for health and safety reasons and played at a later date.
On Thursday, the USL announced 10 individuals from five clubs tested positive for the coronavirus — the most since early August. More than 1,400 players and staff members are tested weekly.
Neither the infected people nor the affected teams are identified by the league. Typically, teams identify themselves as part of postponing games.
Loudoun and D.C. players practice separately: Loudoun in Leesburg and D.C. in the District. The MLS team has not had any confirmed positive cases since early summer.
Typically, D.C. players go on assignment with Loudoun for playing time, but because of the pandemic, that has not happened this season.
The Loudoun cancellations do not significantly affect Group F competition. Loudoun (1-9-3) is not in playoff contention, and the canceled games are not forfeits. Rather, using guidelines set when the league started the truncated season this summer, points per game will determine the standings. Pittsburgh and Hartford are far ahead of the other three teams in the group for playoff berths.
With Loudoun’s season over, D.C. is planning to invite forward Kairou Amoustapha and possibly at least one other player for workouts, a person close to the situation said. Amoustapha, a 19-year-old forward from Niger, scored three goals in nine appearances.
He and any other call-ups would have to quarantine first and enter the MLS testing regimen, which requires multiple tests per week.
Meanwhile, captain Peabo Doue, a 28-year-old defender from Takoma Park and West Virginia University, said he is retiring. Loudoun was his sixth lower-league team in eight seasons.
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