all scores

What we know about the Washington Spirit’s COVID-19 situation

Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

The Washington Spirit’s Saturday night game against the Portland Thorns was postponed due to four positive COVID-19 tests among Spirit players.

The NWSL announced the news via social media on Saturday, stating that the match would be rescheduled and that details would be released in the coming days.

Later, it was reported that up to eight players on the Spirit are unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Thorns owner Merritt Paulson apologized to fans on Twitter, writing, “We expected one of the biggest Thorns crowds of the season tonight. Hopefully we are cleared to play Tues.”

Later, Paulson said the game wouldn’t be played on Tuesday and that the NWSL was working on the schedule.

The COVID-19 outbreak comes at a tense time for the Spirit as the club’s co-owners reportedly fight for control of the team. The conflict between Y. Michele Kang and Steve Baldwin is said to be tied to former coach Richie Burke’s controversial departure from the club. The Spirit announced Burke was stepping down in early August due to health reasons, but soon after it was reported he was fired after allegations of verbal and emotional abuse surfaced.

Baldwin, along with Larry Best, the Spirit’s president of sporting operations, was directly involved in hiring Burke in 2018.

According to another report Saturday, the COVID-19 outbreak can be tied to a party hosted by minority owner Kang.

Meg Linehan of The Athletic has since confirmed that Best has filed a complaint against Kang to the NWSL.

League policy states that a player who tests positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days and be symptom-free for a week before returning to play.

The Spirit’s next game is against OL Reign on Sept. 12.