Real Salt Lake center back Nedum Onuoha has reportedly not traveled to Orlando with the team, according to a tweet from RSL Show host (and occasional RSL Soapbox contributor) Jake Simons.
Onuoha, 33, has rapidly become a bedrock piece of Real Salt Lake’s defensive line, and his absence will certainly be felt on the field.
It’s not clear if it’s for a medical exemption, injury, or if Onuoha decided to stay home as a precaution against COVID-19. With cases in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. hitting record highs, and with teams like FC Dallas seeing significant numbers of players testing positive, one could hardly blame him for acting with extra caution.
Onuoha is hardly the only player to have stayed home from the Orlando tournament. LAFC star Carlos Vela is apparently also staying home.
We have reached out to RSL Communications for comment and will update this story if any is made available.
UPDATE: An RSL spokesperson has declined to comment on the report, adding that they have been instructed by the league to treat it as a regular match. Travel rosters are not typically sent for regular season matches, especially by Real Salt Lake.