Phoenix Rising FC and its league, the USL, have been among the first in American professional sports to get back on the field.
Even if their return is just in the form of practice — with regular season games still seemingly a ways away — the sight of players taking part in sport is one for sore eyes.
The soccer club posted a video of its players and head coach back at work on Monday.
The USL, like most other American sports, was put on hold in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. It announced last week that teams would be allowed to hold small-group training sessions starting Monday of this week.
USL’s new protocol allows groups of up to four players, one athletic trainer and one coach to be present at one time, but no other club personnel may be in the vicinity of the field. Rising FC’s social media video showed coach Rick Schantz donning a mask, while players got their temperatures checked upon arrival.
The groups must train on a designated part of the field that is a minimum of six feet away from any other designated part of the pitch. Multiple players and groups are allowed to train at the same time, but social distancing must be preserved from arrival to departure.
It’s been nearly two months since the last time Rising was in action, a 6-1 thrashing over Portland Timbers 2 on the opening weekend of the 2020 season back on March 7.