As the world attempts to adjust to a new normal due to the coronavirus pandemic, so is the sports world.
The RGV FC Toros, the Rio Grande Valley’s United Soccer League team and affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, returned to the soccer field for limited practice sessions earlier this week with new safety measures and individual workouts.
The 2020 USL season was originally slated to kick off in March, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the season was postponed.
For the RGV FC players, they were excited to get back to practice.
“I want to thank God for the opportunity to get back to training, and I want to thank everyone who participated in making it possible to get back out there. The first day was a success,” RGV FC forward Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. said. “Everyone was giving out positive vibes, real excited to get out there and back to training. And I’m also excited for the future. Little by little, we’re going to get back to our normal lives.”
Temperature check and a squirt of hand sanitizer as players entered the facility, proper spacing is provided, and players are required to fill out daily wellness reports, according to RGV FC head coach Gerson Echeverry.
It’s all part of the USL getting the ball rolling to hopefully play a regular season and playoffs in 2020.
“As things stand today, the USL is still in position to reschedule all matches in both leagues affected by the COVID-19 crisis to date, and will continue to receive guidance from public health experts, as well as a national medical task force comprised of other professional sports leagues and organizations from around the country,” the USL said in a news release April 30. “While a complete season remains the preferred outcome of any return to play scenario, a variety of alternative competitive formats in both the Championship and One League are also being explored as the USL continues to prioritize the health and wellness of everyone involved.”
The next part of the process is moving from limited individual workouts to team-oriented workouts, but the RGV FC Toros are happy to be playing soccer once again.
“It was really fun and great to be out there and see some of my teammates even though it was kind of individual training. It was very hot, that was one of my big takeaways, but overall, just great to be out there and looking forward to getting back on the field and doing some group sessions soon,” RGV FC forward Garrett McLaughlin said.