EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After 17 members of the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19, professional sports leagues across the country are being even more mindful to the dangers the coronavirus presents to the viability of a season.
The USL Championship and El Paso Locomotive FC is no different in their mindsets, but to date, have yet to have a single positive case of the virus (knocks on wood).
“It’s something that is always in the back of your mind,” said Locomotive FC head coach Mark Lowry. “We’ve been fortunate — I guess we’ve been lucky and we’ve done things the best we can do to make sure that it doesn’t creep into the group. As of right now, we’ve had zero positive cases.”
Coaching accountability has never been more prevalent in a season. The final team standing at the end of the season will be the team that stays healthy on and off the field.
“It comes down to a lot of discipline, hopefully,” said Locomotive FC goalkeeper Logan Ketterer. “I think all of the guys we have here understand that we want to play games and if we want to play games, we have to make sure we’re staying safe and doing the right things.”
“We have a very responsible group of peers that have done things properly,” said Locomotive FC midfielder Richie Ryan. “Hopefully we’ll continue to do so and hopefully we can keep the tests negative that we’ve been doing every week.”
The challenge ahead for Locomotive FC is taking their discipline on the road. El Paso will play their first roach match of the season on Saturday against Phoenix Rising FC.
“We are going to do everything we can do to take the right protocols — we just hope the bus company and the hotel we stay at are too,” said Lowry. “It’s all those things that we now have to come in contact with — which we haven’t come into contact with in months — are doing the same things.”
It is not to say Locomotive FC will go the entire season without a positive case of the virus, but in the early stages of the USL Championship re-start, this team is doing everything possible to keep its roster testing negative.