Miami, June 22, 2020 (AFP) - The Orlando Pride pulled out of the NWSL's season-opening tournament on Monday after revealing six players and four staff had tested positive for COVID-19.
Orlando had been due to take part in the nine-team NWSL Challenge Cup which kicks off on June 27 in Utah and runs until July 26.
However, the Florida-based team abruptly withdrew on Monday after giving details of a coronavirus outbreak that has hit the club.
"This was obviously a difficult and disappointing outcome for our players, our staff and fans," said Amanda Duffy, Orlando's executive vice president.
"However, this is a decision that was made in order to protect the health of all involved in the Challenge Cup.
"While we were all excited to see the 2020 Pride on the field this weekend, our priority is now making sure our players and staff safely recover and providing any support wherever and however possible."
The club said all players and staff who tested positive had not shown any symptoms of the disease.
Team doctor Daryl Osbahr, meanwhile, said safety and contract tracing protocols put in place for the event made it "logistically impossible" for the club to take part in the tournament.
The news comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida, which is set to host Major League Soccer's return to action next month as well as the resumption of the NBA season.
Both leagues are due to resume play at Orlando's Disneyworld complex.