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Harambee Stars captain Wanyama back in action as MLS returns amid coronavirus pandemic

Last updated 1 month ago | By Waweru Titus

Montreal Impact signed Wanyama in March this year following a free transfer with English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. [Photo: Courtesy]

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama is set for action as the Major League Soccer (MLS) returns from its coronavirus pandemic shutdown starting July 8 in Orlando, Florida.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said on Wednesday the league has elaborate plans on how action will resume in a safe environment amid Covid-19.

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The tournament will use extensive medical protocols and a comprehensive coronavirus testing plan developed by infectious disease experts.

"The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play.

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Garber pointed out that stakeholders are committed to fighting racism in the wake of the recent death of George Floyd and the protests that have followed worldwide.

“We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women.

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“Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long,” Garber noted.

All 54 matches will air on MLS partner networks. Broadcasts will feature experimental technologies, including interactive fan elements and unprecedented access to players and coaches, to create a unique experience for viewers.

MLS side, Montreal Impact, signed Wanyama in March following a free transfer with English club Tottenham Hotspur. He signed a three-year contract with the club.

Montreal Impact previously had acquired the discovery rights to the Kenyan from the New England Revolution in exchange for $150,000 (Sh16,000,000) in 2020 General Allocation Money.

At Tottenham Hotspur, the Harambee stars captain registered six goals and one assist in 69 regular-season games, including 47 starts, and 4,385 minutes.

He was part of the team that reached the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League Final, appearing in five games in the knockout stage, starting three, against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax.

He was dressed but not used in the final against Liverpool, last June 1, 2019.

He played in 13 UEFA Champions League games, two Europa League games, nine FA Cup games and four EFL Cup games with the Spurs.

He won the Premier League Goal of the Month for February 2018, following a stunning strike against Liverpool.

MLS TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE

All 26 MLS clubs participating; all matches in Orlando

Group stage followed by knockout rounds

Group stage counts toward regular season

Winner earns 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot

Pre-tournament draw to assign groups

Regular season continues after tournament

SCHEDULE OF MATCHES

July 8: Group Stage begins

July 25-28: Round of 16

July 30-August 1: Quarterfinals

August 5-6: Semifinals

August 11: Final

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