Atlanta United will return to individual workouts at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground on Wednesday, May 6. This week, there will be sessions on Wednesday and Friday, consisting of three separate sessions on each day. Those sessions will each involve six to seven players to allow the maximum amount of space needed for players to comply with safety protocols in place. Due to health and safety protocols, media access to the training grounds is prohibited.
Atlanta United will provide footage and rights-free imagery following the individual workout sessions. In addition, club President Darren Eales will address the media during a video call on Microsoft Teams on Thursday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m. EST. Call information will be disseminated May 6.
Major League Soccer announced May 1 that its players may 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. All individual workouts are voluntary and may not be in conflict with local public health official or government policies.
The individual player workout protocol prohibits access to club facilities including but not limited to locker rooms, team gyms and team training rooms. Team gyms and training rooms may still only be accessed by players receiving post-operative and rehabilitation treatment, as directed by the club’s Chief Medical Officer.
Per league rules, Atlanta submitted a plan to MLS that outlined how the team will implement health and safety protocols, including:
- Restricting training facility access to essential staff only, with specific staff listed in the plan.
- Sanitization and disinfection plans for all training equipment and spaces, including disinfection of any equipment used by players (balls, cones, goals) between every session.
- Completion of a Standard Screening Assessment survey by each player prior to every arrival at the training site, and temperature checks upon arrival at the facility.
- Staggered player and staff arrivals and departures, with designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
- Player use of personal protective equipment from the parking lot to the field, and again on return to the parking lot.
- Staff use of the appropriate personal protective equipment throughout training, while also maintaining a minimum distance of 10 feet from players at all times.
- Hand washing and disinfectant stations for required use before and after individual workouts.
- Clubs will have the use of the outdoor fields at their training facility, divided into a maximum of four quadrants per field. A maximum of one player per quadrant may participate per training session with no equipment sharing or playing (passing, shooting) between players.
- An Emergency Action Plan for all COVID-19 related issues.
The league-wide moratorium on small group and full team training remains in place through Friday, May 15.