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The North Carolina Courage celebrate with the championship trophy following their win over the Chicago Red Stars in an NWSL championship soccer game in Cary, N.C., on Oct. 27, 2019.

The Associated Press

The National Women’s Soccer League moved a step closer to resuming play by announcing Monday that players can start training in small groups providing it is done under league protocols and meets the requirements of local authorities.

Teams will be able to progress to full team training on May 30 providing they complete five days of small group training.

“Following the advice and counsel of our medical advisers, the NWSL is pleased to be taking the next steps to safely return to competition,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement.

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The small groups cannot exceed eight players during Phase 2 of the nine-team league’s return to play protocol. Players will have complete a pretraining assessment and undergo daily symptom and temperature screenings as well as other tests.

Players will have to arrive in their training gear and wear masks when arriving and departing the facility. They will be allowed to use weight rooms, training rooms and meeting rooms.

The NWSL season was originally slated to start April 18. The league allowed voluntary individual outdoor workouts on May 6.

Also Monday, English soccer authorities announced they have called off the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and second-tier FA Women’s Championship seasons.

The Super League is home to Canadian internationals Janine Beckie (Manchester City) and Adriana Leon (West Ham).

The two leagues suspended play April 3 due to the pandemic. Manchester City (13-2-1) was leading the standings at the time with six games remaining.

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