Kevan George

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Following on the heels of US Major League Soccer allowing clubs to begin to use outdoor team training fields for individual workouts, in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the United Soccer League has opted to do the same.

The move will come as a relief to most clubs and players as the USL had previously extended its training moratorium through May 15 for all of its professional clubs.

Yesterday, the quintet of T&T players inclusive of Minnesota United trio, midfielder Kevin Molino and goalkeepers Greg Ranjitsingh and Dayne St Clair, along with Jones’ brothers, Alvin (Real Salt Lake) and Joevin (Seattle Sounders) had the option to return to training with their respective clubs after the decision to allow players and their clubs to conduct outdoor team workouts was announced by MLS on Friday last.

However, it was noted that all individual workouts are voluntary and may not be in conflict with local public health official or government policies.

By allowing players, voluntarily, to utilise team-operated fields for individual workouts, MLS clubs will be able to provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social distancing measures for players and staff.

And yesterday via a release on the USLSoccer.com website it was stated that: Operating under the guidance of local and state health authorities, the United Soccer League today (Wednesday, May, 6) announced a modification to the previously announced training moratorium that will allow Championship and League One clubs, at their option, to open outdoor fields for non-contact training in small groups as well as training rooms for player treatment.

This means that no fewer than 11 more T&T internationals can now return to training with their clubs in the Championship Division inclusive of Andre Fortune (North Carolina), Leston Paul (Memphis 901 FC), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven), Duane Muckette (Memphis 901), Shannon Gomez (Sacramento Republic), Triston Hodge (Memphis 901 FC), Cordell Cato (Oklahoma City Energy FC), Kevan George (Charlotte Independence), Noah Powder (Real Monarchs), and the duo of Kierron Mason, and Leland Archer, both of Charleston Battery.

Besides, the trio of Jelani Peters (Toronto FC II), Josiah Trimmingham (Forward Madison) and Luke Singh (Toronto FC) of USL League One also has the option to return to training.

Further north, T&T players attached to Canadian Premier League clubs, Akeem Garcia and Andre Rampersad, both of HFX Wanderers; Kareem Moses (Edmonton FC) and Valour FC duo, Federico Pena and Skylar Thomas are also set to resume their seasons.

The USL release added: Small group settings will be limited to up to four players, with no more than one athletic trainer and one member of a club’s technical staff allowed on each field during a session.

However, while the USL has eased up lockdown restrictions for players to train with their clubs it also noted that teams in areas where local and state recommendations for stay-at-home orders have not been lifted should not train or allow treatment that is prohibited by their jurisdiction.

Also, all clubs have been informed to notify the league of their plans to return to the team’s training facility before re-opening while training is voluntary for players.