When the NWSL Challenge Cup gets underway on June 27 to start its season amid the coronavirus pandemic, it will be without at least one club.
On Monday, the Orlando Pride announced that the team has withdrawn from the competition due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests among players and coaches. Team doctor Daryl Osbahr said:
"I commend the Club for its diligence and reaction following the initial positive test, as well as how the safety of players and staff was prioritized during this difficult and uncertain time. However the guidelines and process that are put in place, including the important protocols and timelines for contact tracing, make it logistically impossible for the Club to participate in the Challenge Cup in Utah."
Those who tested positive as well as exposed individuals will quarantine for 14 days.
The Challenge Cup originally planned to include all NWSL clubs is scheduled for June 27 through July 26, but Orlando's absence will create holes among fixtures. As of early Monday afternoon, the NWSL hadn't officially commented on the situation.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post confirmed that the Washington Spirit and North Carolina Courage are among clubs still traveling to Utah for the tournament.
Major League Soccer is resuming its season that was postponed after two matchdays with a 26-team tournament that kicks off July 8.