Football Tribe SEA Editor
J.League 1 club Nagoya Grampus braced themselves for a possible COVID-19 cluster as a second player was tested positive for the disease on Sunday. Australian goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak became the third J.League player to be tested positive for COVID-19 after his test results came out on Sunday, following Vissel Kobe’s Gotoku Sakai and Langerak’s Nagoya teammate Mu Kanazaki. Unlike the former two, Langerak was asymptomatic, meaning that he didn’t show any physical symptoms of the disease. Regardless, the 31-year old goalkeeper has admitted himself to an Aichi Prefecture hospital for treatment.
While initial testings done on 19 of Nagoya’s players and staffs came out negative, a further 26 tests were done on the rest of the club’s players and staff members. Langerak was one of those 26 people and while the other 25 tests came out negative, his was the only one that came back positive. And while Langerak had no recent contact with Kanazaki, Nagoya aren’t taking any chances and are performing the necessary measures to contain the infection, such as disinfecting relevant facilities and performing PCR tests on players and staff members who haven’t received them.
Nagoya are also working hard in performing contact tracing in order to further curb down the spread of COVID-19 within their premises, tracking down people who had came into contact with Langerak during his period of infection.
Since his arrival in 2018, Langerak has been the number one goalie for Nagoya. The former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper has some European pedigree beneath his belt, with stints at German sides Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart as well as Spanish outfit Levante UD. Langerak was also capped by the Australia national football team, usually serving as the understudy to the Socceroos’ number one goalie, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Mat Ryan. Langerak’s last appearance for his national team came in a 5-0 friendly win over Oman in December 2018, where he came in as a substitute.