Ghana and Columbus Crew’s Jonathan Mensah has been getting used to some unique circumstances ahead of the restart of North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS).
The season originally kicked off on 29 February but was suspended in March due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
In order to try and restrict the spread of the disease the MLS teams are effectively living inside a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida.
They are effectively quarantined in their hotels when they are not playing or training.
The latest controversy to hit the MLS is Back tournament was the late withdrawal of FC Dallas when 10 players and a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.
The month-long World Cup style tournament will now feature 25 teams and kicks off on Wednesday.
“We are over a week in the bubble now, it’s not been bad,” the 29-year-old Mensah told BBC Sport.
“Just that we need to be isolated always from the other teams, you can’t go to another floor to see friends from another team.
“It’s a bizarre feeling but at the same time we’re in a global pandemic so we need to treat it as such and be more cautious of our movements, what we touch and all that.”
Mensah says that his experiences at World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations finals will be helpful.
“I’ve been to several tournaments and it’s the same feeling, so you’re preparing and you know you have games every 4 or 5 days so it’s like an Africa Cup of nations or a World Cup format,” he explained.
“I’m used to it but it’s the first time for some of my team mates so I’ve been talking them through how the process goes and that we should take our recovery seriously.
“The feeling is like a major tournament for me.”
He admits that being away from home is not easy.
“It’s tough (being away from family) because when this pandemic started we were at home with our families all the time so now being away from them is very hard,” he added.
“At the same time we understand, they understand, we signed a contract with our clubs so we need to fulfil it and make this happen.
At the same time we’ve been safe, listening to the health personnel and all that so that we can be safe and return top our family healthy as well.
“I need to go back to my family the way I left home so obviously you want to go out there and play, enjoy the game you love so much but at the same time you have to be careful and watch the way you move around.”
Mensah is hoping that he can return to the resort under different circumstances in the near future.
“We’re in one resort 5 minutes away from the parks, myself and my family and my little girl we’ve been thinking about visiting this place but not in this fashion,” he said.
“Hopefully soon we can come back and enjoy the parks.”
Mensah’s Columbus Crew are in a group with Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati and New York Red Bull.
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