MLS players returned to training on Wednesday under strict rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the first step toward a resumption of competition for the North American league that has been shut down since mid-March.
A handful of clubs, including 2018 MLS Cup champion Atlanta United and David Beckham's expansion Inter Miami CF side, held voluntary training after receiving clearance from the league in line with local public health policies.
"It's good to see the teammates, obviously we can't be too close to them but it's refreshing being back and we are all hungry to get back at it but we need to take baby steps," said Atlanta defender George Campbell in footage provided by MLS.
"Really we just need to be cautious and have safety as our No. 1 goal. Obviously circumstances are a little different but it feels good to be back."
The workouts began on the same day Germany said the Bundesliga could restart in the second half of May while Spain's La Liga's clubs are testing players this week for COVID-19 as part of a plan to resume competition without spectators in June.
All 26 MLS teams had played two of their 34 scheduled regular season games when action was suspended in mid-March and matches are currently suspended until at least June 8.
The return to training left players hopeful MLS's milestone 25th season would soon resume.
"I was blown away with just how good it felt to be back out on the field, so I think it's a huge positive," Besler said. "And I think we all understand that getting back to games, it's going to be a gradual process.
"At first there might be some rules and guidelines that that seem over the top, but if it means getting back on the field quicker, I think everyone's more than willing to follow because I personally got to feel what it was like to step on a field again, and to wear cleats, and to be outside, and have a ball at my feet and it was awesome."
Besler's teammate Tim Melia also was grateful to return to the pitch.
"Happy to be back. Hope this is something that kind of opens the door to get the whole season going and get back on the field and do the things we love," said Melia
"Everyone's safety right now is the most important thing, from the whole organization and everyone else going through this, so it's a positive thing that everyone is doing in taking all the steps they need to do to make sure we're safe."
"It's the first step but we have a long way now, this is the beginning. Now we are training alone and ... we hope soon we will come to train with a full group," said the Uruguayan.
"Maybe the body is feeling 54 days without training but I think most important in the moment is the safety and we will have time to get in shape."
Players and staff arrived at team facilities on Wednesday at staggered times and were even assigned designated parking spaces to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
The players, wearing protective masks and gloves, were then signalled by a field marshal when they could exit their car to approach a station where they would have their temperature taken and disinfect their hands.
Once cleared, players headed to outdoor fields divided into four quadrants. During each training session, a maximum of one player per quadrant was allowed with no equipment sharing or playing between players.
"I would say that the guys have followed the instructions to a tee," said Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes. "The staff has done a fantastic job in making sure everything is accounted for.
"The other thing is I think the protocol maybe at times is, not to be critical here, a little over the top but it's the right thing to do, especially in this early period to find out how things are working."