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Union Place 11 Players in COVID-19 Protocols Ahead of MLS Eastern Conference Final

Eleven Philadelphia Union players have entered into the MLS's health and safety protocols on the eve of the Eastern Conference final against New York City FC.

The list of players includes six starters: captain Alejandro Bedoya, left back Kai Wagner, goalkeeper Andre Blake and center backs Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott.  Midfielders Ilsinho and Quinn Sullivan, defender Alvas Powell, backup goalkeeper Joe Bendik and forwards Cory Burke and Sergio Santos.

"We hope to have as many players available as possible for our game against NYCFC," manager Jim Curtin said on Friday. "... Our players have worked tirelessly to get to this point. I know they'll be brave even in the adversity that we're facing.

"We've stepped up in big moments all year long. Be it international absences, the challenges of Concacaf, players losing loved ones. Adversity on and off the field, this group always finds a way to step up. We will make our fans proud."

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According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald, Curtin said earlier this year that the entire team has been vaccinated. MLS protocols dictate that even vaccinated players who test positive must quarantine for 10 days, while high-risk close contacts of someone who tests positive must quarantine for five days. 

However, vaccinated players who are high-risk close contact don't have to quarantine if they are asymptomatic and continually test negative. 

Tannenwald also reported that there are no plans to postpone Sunday's game against NYCFC despite the news. The Union reached the Eastern Conference final after defeating Nashville on penalty kicks last week. 

The winner of Sunday's game will head to the MLS Cup final next Saturday against either the Portland Timbers or Real Salt Lake.

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