Here’s your news from the soccer world going into the weekend. But first, regarding the potential MLS Lockout. Thursday afternoon the league made the following announcement:
Major League Soccer and the MLSPA continue to meet daily to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the League in 2021 and beyond. Although we have not finalized a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and remain apart on some key issues, discussions this week have been productive, and we have made progress. Since the negotiations have reached an advanced stage, the League has extended the negotiating period by 24 hours to provide every opportunity to finalize an agreement by 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 5.
If the league goes into lockout, all players will become free agents and could sign temporarily with any team in the world; but would contractually have to return once the lockout ends.
- The CONCACAF Champions League is bringing back the Group Stage in 2023. The new format was announced on Thursday, the group stage will feature regional match-ups and expand the number of teams. [CCL][MLS] - Video below.
- Bournemouth in the English Championship have fired their coach after just less than 6 months in charge. The team has lost 4 straight games. [Guardian]
- Mexico’s Tigres UANL has advanced in the FIFA Club World Cup by edging Ulsan Hyundai 2-1 on Thursday. They face Brazilian side Palmeiras in the semi-final on Sunday. [FIFA][MLS]
- Allegations of racial abuse on players over social media continues to grow. One person has been arrested in the UK. Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta is calling on social media networks to take more responsibility for online abuse. [Guardian]
- Liverpool has been barred from travelling to Germany for scheduled UEFA Champions League match with Leipzig. Will be rescheduled at a neutral site. [Goal]
- Lille in the French Ligue 1 look like title contenders after winning 5 straight games to top the table. [Guardian] US International Tim Weah scored his first goal for the team in the latest match. [SBI]
- PRO referee Kathryn Nesbitt has become the first woman to officiate a CONCACAF League final match. She was assigned as an Asst. Referee in Wednesday’s final between Costa Rican sides Alaljuelense and Deportivo Saprissa. [MLS]
- For the first time a California State Cup competition has been created between the NorCal League and SCDSL. Winners from each age group will advance to the National Finals Cup. [SocWire]
- An investment group hoping to bring USL Championship soccer to Iowa has unveiled plans for a 65 acre, $535 Million stadium project. [USL]
- OL Reign in the NWSL have ended their jersey sponsorship deal with Zulily. [SAH]
- A breakdown of the USMNT Centerback situation. [Benchkings]
- Roster status of Eastern Conference teams as preseason dates get closer. [MLS] And here’s the Roster status of Western Conference teams. [MLS]
- Philadelphia Union has unveiled a new fan-designed 2nd kit inspired by Benjamin Franklin - and it’s NOT white! [BG]
- NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, and USL players unions express their support for MLS Players Union as the threat of lockout looms - “Athletes support athletes”. (USA)
A look at some news items from our Soapbox archives.
- Javier Morales undergoes surgery for injury suffered in preseason game. [2/4/13]
- RSL’s “Gold Bar” kit was revealed. [2/4/14]
- Real Monarchs stadium plan for the Utah State Fair Park goes to the legislature. [2/6/15]
- Demar Kreilach joins Real Salt Lake. [2/7/18]
- RSL’s ‘topography’ kit was revealed. [2/5/20]
And your video of the day - CONCACAF video explaining the new Champions League competition.