Tuesday’s soccer news starts with Major League Soccer setting an April 3 start date for the 2021 season. Clubs opening training on February 22 for the 34-game regular season. The league set the 2021 MLS Cup for December 11.
MLS acknowledged that they have yet to reach an agreement with the Players Association after the league invoked the force majeure clause and set a January 29 deadline. In a separate statement, MLS confirmed that it continues to meet with the players over a revised collective bargaining agreement.
Reports had the 2021 MLS season not starting until May as a way to back-load the schedule. In theory, that might have provided the league with the opportunity for fans to attend games in person. Instead, the league set a start date that’s a little over a month later than last season.
As the league pointed out, that creates a challenge for the Canadian teams that aren’t able to easily cross the border. MLS answered that last season by relocating home games for the three Canadian teams to US sites. That’s also how the National Basketball Association is dealing with the Toronto Raptors. The National Hockey League placed all of its teams in the same division where they only play each other in Canada.
In additional MLS moves, Chicago Fire president Nelson Rodriquez is no longer with the club. Rodriguez held executive roles in Chicago for five seasons, joining them after spending a year running Chivas USA. The Seattle Sounders announced that coach Brian Schmetzer will remain with the club.
“It is with great pride that I will be able to continue coaching a club with such a rich history, winning tradition and positive community influence,” Schmetzer said. “I’d like to thank club ownership for this opportunity, as well as all of the current and former players, coaches and staff that have helped build something here I’m very proud of. Lastly, I’d like to thank the fans, who fuel everything we do inside of this club. Seattle is my home and I couldn’t be happier to be staying put.”
Also in the soccer news, Duane Holmes is once again a member of Huddersfield Town, transferring from Derby County. Holmes is a product of the Huddersfield Town youth system and made his professional debut with the club. His contract runs through the 2023-24 season. Huddersfield Town is 14th in the Championship table to Derby County’s 21st.
“Duane’s versatility is very important for us,” Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberan said. “He can play as a midfield eight, a 10, or on either wing. He has enough quality and understanding of football to have an immediate impact in Championship games, plus his knowledge of this club and experience of the division will help his adaptation. We aim to receive the best from him in his second period at Huddersfield Town, and seeing his Terrier Spirit on the pitch.”
SI.com’s Jonathan Wilson on Chelsea’s decision to replace Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel. The NY Times’ Rory Smith with what happened to Chelsea under Lampard. The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein looks at the coaching career of Tuchel. Forbes’ Manuel Veth works through Deloitte’s Football Money League report. DW reports on Hertha BSC’s latest revamp. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle explains the pressure Inter Miami has put on themselves in season two.
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Photo by Maciek Gudrymowicz – ISIPhotos.com