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NWSL announces small group training may begin today

It’s “Phase Two” of the league’s plan to return to play

2020 NWSL Draft Photo by Jose Argueta/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The NWSL announced today that all its teams may begin small group training, if it’s allowed by health officials in a club’s local market. Illinois’ stay at home order remains in place until May 29, so the Chicago Red Stars still can’t take part.

The league has allowed voluntary individual training for weeks now. Under small group training, groups can’t be larger than eight players. Everyone entering a facility still needs to undergo a daily symptom and temperature screening. Weight rooms and training rooms are now available for players to use, as well.

“Following the advice and counsel of our medical advisors, the NWSL is pleased to be taking the next steps to safely return to competition,” NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement.

After five days of small group training, teams will be permitted to begin full training sessions.

The NWSL is reportedly considering hosting all teams in the Salt Lake City, Utah area for a tournament to restart the season. If that plan is finalized soon, the Red Stars could immediately travel to Utah to begin training, rather than wait for local officials in Illinois to clear them to train in Bridgeview.

It’s worth remembering that this is a new situation for all of us, so any move to restart play will likely spark some criticism. That’s something Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler addressed in a tweet over the weekend.