Bastian Schweinsteiger scores in debut, Fire draw Montreal

Bastian Schweinsteiger scores in debut, Fire draw Montreal

Chicago Fire fans said hello to Bastian Schweinsteiger when he arrived in Chicago on Tuesday. Schweinsteiger said his hello with a goal in his debut on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Fire, the goal was not enough for a win. Montreal took the lead with two goals in the second half before Luis Solignac tied things up with a volley in added time for a 2-2 draw.

Schweinsteiger showed off the passing skill, vision and composure on the ball that allowed him to start for a World Cup-winning Germany and a Champions League-winning Bayern Munich in his career. He also showed off his aerial ability on the goal.

He hasn't been known for goal-scoring in his career. Despite that, Schweinsteiger rose up and headed in a David Accam cross following a short corner in the 17th minute.

Schweinsteiger picked up the ball out of the net, kissed it and ran to the corner where Sector Latino was. The entire team rushed over to him and the Toyota Park crowd gave him a standing ovation.

"It was a great feeling," Schweinsteiger said. "It was a perfect cross."

The Fire had 62 percent of the possession in the first half and Schweinsteiger was creating attacks with some slick passes. However, things took a turn in the other direction in the second half.

Montreal tied the match on a Matteo Mancosu header in the 61st minute. Mancosu got free in the box and headed in a cross from Chris Duvall.

Things got worse 10 minutes later when Fire midfielder Juninho picked up his second yellow card and was sent off, leaving the Fire (1-1-2, 5 points) shorthanded while trying to pick up the winning goal.

The match finished 10v10 when Schweinsteiger hit a through ball to send substitute Luis Solignac on a breakaway. Solignac then was brought down from behind by Victor Cabrera in the 81st minute.

Soon after Schweinsteiger had a chance to put the Fire back in front, but his volley following a corner kick went just wide. Schweinsteiger made some key passes down the stretch, but the Fire were not able to capitalize.

"With 10 players we tried to get chances and it was a very good reaction," Schweinsteiger said. "I think we deserved the draw in the end. We have to live with it, the one point, but it was a very good reaction."

Montreal (0-1-3, 3 points) took the lead when Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla scored in the 90th minute with a shot that snuck in the near post past goalkeeper Jorge Bava.

Solignac's wicked half volley three minutes into added time saved the Fire from a home defeat against a winless Montreal (0-1-3, 3 points) team which was without All-Stars Ignacio Piatti and Laurent Ciman.

"You get an equalizer in the 93rd minute and you want to be happy and you want to feel like it's a positive result, but it's not a good result in the least bit," McCarty said. "It's a terrible result actually. It's going to be tough watching video next week. Defensively it was just shambolic the way we conceded those two goals. If you want to win games in this league, it's going to be impossible if we concede soft goals like that. I don't remember them having very many good chances. I don't remember Bava having to make these ridiculous saves, the ones that he made in Columbus. If you're going to concede goals like that at home, you're in for a long season."

Coach Veljko Paunovic had a more positive tone, seeing improvement from last year.

"Last year we would have lost this game, but in the end now we show the survival instinct," Paunovic said. "That's what we are looking for, to win games at the end or points like today.

"For me I'm happy with the character. I'm also happy that I saw a locker room that is not happy with a point. That's something that I actually want to see."

The Fire are at home next Saturday as well with a game against Columbus.

Chicago Fire's 'MLS is Back' opening match postponed due to COVID-19

Chicago Fire's 'MLS is Back' opening match postponed due to COVID-19

MLS announced on Tuesday that the Chicago Fire’s first game back after the season was suspended due to COVID-19 has been postponed.

The Fire were supposed to play Nashville SC on Wednesday in their opening Group A match of the MLS is Back tournament. But since arriving in Orlando for the tournament, five Nashville players tested positive for COVID-19 and four others received inclusive results, requiring more testing. As a result, MLS is now evaluating Nashville’s participation in the tournament.

The Fire will now return to play on July 14 against Inter Miami CF.

The Fire also announced that the Drive-In Matchday event that was scheduled for Wednesday’s game has been rescheduled for their July 19 game against New York City FC. Fans who registered for that event will have the opportunity to sign-up again for the new date.

This is the second Chicago pro sports match altered as leagues try to return to play. The Chicago Red Stars also had a game cancelled in late June due to Orlando Pride players testing positive for COVID-19.

As MLB, the NHL and the NBA gear up to return it remains to be seen how they will react in a similar situation.

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MLS announces return to play plan for tournament at Disney World

USA Today

MLS announces return to play plan for tournament at Disney World

MLS soccer is coming back this summer.

The league announced a plan to have all 26 MLS clubs resume play on July 8 with a league-wide “MLS is Back Tournament.”

The games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, without fans in the stands.

Here’s how it will work:

Clubs can arrive in Orlando to begin training on June 24. Then a group stage will begin July 8 followed by a knockout stage, starting July 25.

There will be six groups, three for each the Western and Eastern Conferences. The group stage draw will occur on June 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Each team will play three group stage matches, and the results from those games will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings.

Then the top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-place finishers will advance to the knockout stage. That stage starts with a round-of-16, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and then the championship game. The championship game will be played on August 11.

In case of a tie at the end of regulation in the knockout stage, games will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout.

The winner of the tournament will earn a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.

At the conclusion of the tournament, MLS will resume its regular season followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup.

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