TFC and CF Montreal will play home games in Canada; pending quarantine exemption decision

Toronto FC and CF Montreal were given the green light to play at home this weekend, with a limited number of fans in the stands.

Wednesday’s Major League Soccer update on Canadian domestic market games only covers the next few weeks, with two TFC games and one Montreal game affected.

“During this temporary window, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will host their home games on July 17 and 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium (in Sandy, Utah) as conversations continue with the Canadian government regarding the three Canadian teams that will host future games. at home in Canada, ”MLS said in a statement.

Toronto will host Orlando City on Saturday and the New York Red Bulls next Wednesday at BMO Field while Montreal will host FC Cincinnati on Saturday at Saputo Stadium.

“The importance of this homecoming for our team cannot be overstated,” TFC President Bill Manning said in a statement. “It has been a long and difficult time on the road due to the pandemic protocols and the energy and support of our fans at BMO Field has been sorely missed.

“Our return to Canada has given the team an incredible boost this week and we look forward to an emotional night at BMO Field with our fans on Saturday.

Writers’ Block

Bill Manning on TFC’s return to BMO

July 14, 2021

The league said clubs in Toronto and Montreal will follow local and regional guidelines regarding attendance.

A TFC spokesperson said 7,000 fans will be allowed on Saturday and 15,000 next week, with Saturday’s crowd consisting of frontline health workers, first responders and members of the season seats. Montreal will allow 5,000 fans.

“After all this time away, we are really happy to finally be able to play at home,” said Montreal President and CEO Kevin Gilmore in a statement. “The last few months have been very difficult for our players and staff, who have had to go into exile, but they have shown tremendous resilience.

“Our supporters have also been remarkably patient throughout this period, and we look forward to seeing them at Stade Saputo on Saturday. We hope this is one more step in the right direction towards a full comeback.

Montreal (5-3-4) and Toronto (2-8-2) both returned home last week after the federal government eased border restrictions linked to the pandemic for fully vaccinated travelers. The Whitecaps (2-7-3) remain in their temporary home in the United States.

Vancouver will host the LA Galaxy on Saturday and the Houston Dynamo next Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah, which is listed as the site of the club’s home games in July. Vancouver will play its first three road games in August before a home game scheduled for August 21 against Los Angeles FC.

Clubs and match officials traveling to Canada will be subject to public health protocols required of all people entering the country, the league said. Only fully vaccinated players and staff will be excluded from Canadian quarantine requirements.

COVID-19 testing will take place before departure and upon arrival in Canada.

After the next two games at BMO Field, Toronto will travel to Chicago on July 24 before a home game on August 1 against Nashville SC. The league announcement Wednesday does not cover the August 1 game.

There was some confusion following Wednesday’s announcement as to whether Canadian teams had a so-called national interest exemption.

The TFC, for example, used him last year, allowing him to come home to train for stretches with changed quarantine rules. A request has been made for another NIE, which would allow players not fully vaccinated to cross the border with a modified quarantine.

This request has not yet been decided.

But TFC and Montreal, with MLS approval, are adhering to current rules for fully vaccinated travelers crossing the border with regards to next week’s games.

After hosting Cincinnati, Montreal visits New York City FC (at Red Bulls Arena), New England Revolution and Inter Miami CF. His next home game after that is August 4 against Atlanta United.

Montreal last played at Stade Saputo on September 9, when it beat Toronto in front of 250 fans. Vancouver’s last outing at BC Place Stadium was a 2-1 win over Montreal on September 16 with no fans in the stands.

Toronto has not played at BMO Field since September 1, when no fans were allowed. He has played all 31 games since on the road, ending last season in East Hartford, Connecticut, and starting this year in Orlando.

The last time fans were allowed into BMO Field for a TFC game was March 7, 2020, the second game of the regular season.

The Whitecaps have not played at home in front of fans since February 29, 2020.

“We just have to come home. We have to be home. Sport shouldn’t be like this. No sports team should go through this,” Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters at a report. virtual availability Wednesday.

“When we think about the reality of coming home, we always think, ‘Is this real? Is this really going to happen? Will there be a setback? “, he added.” So I don’t want to throw anything away. I just hope we leave as soon as possible. “

Montreal moved its base of operations to Harrison, NY last year and Fort Lauderdale, Florida this year. The Whitecaps settled in Portland and Utah respectively.

All three Canadian teams have a combined 26-40-12 regular season and playoff record since leaving their home markets.

Montreal is currently eighth overall in the league, while Vancouver is 25th and Toronto is last in 27th.

The Baseball Blue Jays are also in return-to-play negotiations. The American League club started the season at its spring training facility in Dunedin, Fla., Before moving operations to Buffalo.

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