Bornstein feeling safe in bubble
Fire defender says team taking all precautions to guard against coronavirus in mls tourney
Fire defender Jonathan Bornstein only can speak for himself and the teammates he has chatted with, so he didn’t want to generalize about how everybody is feeling inside the MLS bubble in Orlando, Florida.
On Wednesday, however, Bornstein was clear about how he’s doing. And he was anything but oblivious to what some observers have said about the setup.
‘‘I feel safe,’’ Bornstein said. ‘‘I know there is concern about if all of the protocols are working, where the players who tested positive . . . where did they originally get the virus? There’s a lot of unknowns out there. But I feel like as long as myself and my teammates and the entire Chicago organization continue to do what we’ve been doing and follow the protocols, I think there’s no reason we should be in fear of contracting the virus. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing to stay safe.’’
The questions about the safety of the MLS is Back tournament have been there since the event was announced and grew more pressing as COVID-19 continued to surge in many areas of the country. FC Dallas withdrew from the tournament after 10 players and one staff member tested positive, and the Fire’s opening game Wednesday was postponed because of an outbreak on scheduled opponent Nashville SC, which withdrew from the event Thursday.
‘‘Obviously, you can only control so much, and we’ve been doing that as best as we can in terms of training, in terms of staying safe,’’ Bornstein said. ‘‘When you get a game either postponed or taken away from you, it’s because there’s outside circumstances that you really just have to kind of roll with.’’
Once his disappointment about the postponement passed, Bornstein looked at the positives. He recognized how it allowed the Fire to schedule a friendly with Minnesota United and provided them with a little more time to prepare for their tournament opener Tuesday against the Seattle Sounders.
Though the friendly lasted a half before being washed out, it was also a milestone for the Fire. It was their first time seeing an opponent since March 7, and it was their first time on the field against another team since the coronavirus shutdown.
Bornstein said the latter wasn’t on his mind during the scrimmage. He said he knows the Fire have been proactive with all protocols and thinks Minnesota is doing the same.
‘‘Stepping on the field, it didn’t cross my mind even once about the situation going on around us,’’ Bornstein said. ‘‘Obviously, I think teams like Nashville and teams like Dallas, I really feel for them because they want to be here competing. That’s their job, and I really feel for what they’re going through. Sometimes the situation is out of our hands, but in terms of this [friendly], I can honestly say that it was completely out of my mind.’’ ✶
Jonathan Bornstein CHICAGO FIRE FC