Three Revolution players called up to national team duty

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Three Revolution players called up to national team duty

When the Revolution next take the field at Gillette Stadium, Brad Friedel's bench will look a little different than it has so far this season.

That's because not one, not two, but three Revs players have been called up for national team duty. Forward Justin Rennicks, midfielder Zachary Herivaux, and defender Gabriel Somi will all join their respective national teams for upcoming training camps and matches.

Rennicks, who made his MLS debut as a halftime sub last week against Columbus Crew SC, has earned his second U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team call-up of the year after attending a training camp in Florida in January. This time around, Rennicks will join the U-20 MNT for training camp and a pair of matches in Spain later this month to get ready for this summer’s 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Herivaux has been called up to join the Haiti National Team in preparation for its 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying match against Cuba, which will take place in Port-au-Prince on March 24, while Somi will join the Syrian National Team in Iraq for matches against Iraq and Jordan as part of the 2019 International Friendship Championship later this month.

All three players are expected to be unavailable for New England's home game against FC Cincinnati on March 24. The Revs are next in action this Saturday in Toronto, looking to pick up their first win of the young season after starting 0-1-1.

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MLS to return with summer tournament after players approve new CBA

MLS to return with summer tournament after players approve new CBA

A couple of weeks after the Bundesliga returned to action, the path is now clear for Major League Soccer to do the same.

On Wednesday morning, the MLS Players Association voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement through 2025. With the vote, MLS — which suspended its season on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — will hold a summer tournament in the Orlando area.

The Athletic reports that all 26 teams will fly to Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports, the same complex where the NBA is slated to compete this summer, around June 24.

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While exact details of the tournament have not been announced yet, the Washington Post reports that each team will play three group stage matches as part of the regular season before 16 teams advance to the knockout stage, which would not count toward the regular season standings.

The tournament is expected to last six weeks, with the final taking place in August. Players can opt out of the competition if they are granted an exemption due to family or medical reasons.

As for the resumption of the regular season, MLS is reportedly hoping that can take place after the summer tournaments in home markets, though that is dependent on conditions surrounding COVID-19.

Taylor Twellman: MLS 'missing window of opportunity' amid lockout talks

Taylor Twellman: MLS 'missing window of opportunity' amid lockout talks

Major League Soccer is on the verge of a lockout.

If the league and the MLS Players Association can't come to terms on a deal concerning economic concessions for the 2020 season before 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, ESPN's Herculez Gomez reports a lockout will be initiated. 

Former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Mazz on Monday to discuss the current situation in MLS and why he believes the league is missing a golden opportunity to return to action.

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"72 hours. Friday night, I got word that the players voted 'yes' and they were going to be the first league to kick off July 3. Literally, Sunday night at midnight my phone turns into 'the owners are thinking about locking out.'

"You are completely missing the window of opportunity. And I understand that it's not in the top three or four sports in this country, but it's on the precipice of being there with the younger generations. You are 100 percent missing the opportunity, and they can't get out of their own way.

"And by the way, in a global pandemic? If you're going to argue about future pay or play? You lose the paying customer. No one has time for that."

At a time in which fans are craving sports -- any sports, really -- now certainly would be the time for MLS to capitalize on the opportunity to gain new followers and grow the sport. Instead, as Twellman emphasizes, it looks like they may be heading in the opposite direction.

MLS play has been suspended since March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.