LAFC’s match with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, the team’s final road game of the MLS regular season, was postponed Saturday because of three positive COVID-19 tests.
One LAFC player failed a test Tuesday, and two more positive tests were announced Friday. Those two players were tested following Wednesday’s game with the Houston Dynamo and were confirmed positive Thursday, but the team waited a day before releasing the results publicly.
The Dynamo players were tested Thursday after returning from Los Angeles and cleared to go forward with Saturday’s match at FC Dallas.
The three infected LAFC players were placed in isolation under a doctor’s care while the remaining players and staff all tested negative both Friday and Saturday. But the league, acting on what it said was an abundance of caution, called off the game to allow for additional testing and evaluation.
Sunday’s game could be made up this week since both LAFC and San Jose are not scheduled to play again until Nov. 8, the final match day of the regular season.
LAFC (9-7-4) has already clinched a playoff berth but needs to move up at least one place in the Western Conference standings to open the postseason at home. The game looms even larger for San Jose, which is locked in a five-team fight for the final two playoff berths.
Because MLS has had to cancel so many games because of COVID-19 infections, the league is using a points-per-game formula to determine the standings.
That leaves the Earthquakes needing a win over LAFC and a victory over Seattle next Sunday to assure them of their second playoff berth since 2012.
MLS also postponed Minnesota United’s Sunday match at Sporting Kansas City after a second Minnesota United player tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday. That game will not be rescheduled.