The Portland Timbers Major League Soccer organization announced that they will be reopening their player training facility as of this week.
With growing plans to reopen the economy, people and businesses all over the country are looking at next steps. Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, recently announced that the state will be allowing particular businesses reopen following approval by the state, and their county passing new guidelines.
Last week, the NBA said they would be allowing teams to open up practice facilities operated by the organizations, in order to regain fitness routines prior to the potential resuming of the season.
Now, the Portland Timbers are following suit.
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The news comes on the same day that Gov. Brown said that sporting events (and other large gatherings) will most likely not return in Oregon until there is a viable vaccine for the coronavirus.
While some leagues have gone on record stating that they will gladly play in front of empty arenas — even going as far as discussing potential sites for centralized league play — the MLS has yet to make a definitive statement. Given the number of players involved and in proximity to one another in soccer, it may not pass guidelines handed down by states until everything is reopened and gatherings of higher numbers can occur.
Timbers players are now allowed to return to the team’s training facility, however, they must remain in isolation and train on their own. Access to the facility is a big relief for players, as the future of their season remains up in the air.
“It’s amazing to be here.”
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 8, 2020
“It felt almost therapeutic to be back out there on the field,” said forward Jeremy Ebobisse to media on Thursday. “A little step feels like a massive one, right now.”
“We have been waiting for a long time to be able to come back to the facility, to be able to train,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “One thing that we definitely miss is having the players here, training in our field – being here, around, doing our job.”
For seven weeks the players have been barred from entering the training facility, where they can now attempt to get into game shape, or at the very least find relief for some of the stress affecting mental health while the team’s immediate future still hangs on an unpredictable global pandemic.