Fire

Dax McCarty says transition to Fire has been 'pretty easy'

Dax McCarty says transition to Fire has been 'pretty easy'

Locally, the Dax McCarty trade was a big deal for the Chicago Fire because it gave the team a league-experienced midfielder and a former MLS All-Star.

Nationally, the McCarty trade was a big deal because he was the captain of a contending team and he was not pleased with how he exited the New York Red Bulls.

With that behind him, McCarty began assimilating into his new team during the Fire's preseason in Florida. McCarty joined late after being with the U.S. National Team for the start of the Fire's preseason and coach Veljko Paunovic giving him some extra time after playing for the U.S. in a friendly against Serbia on Jan. 29.

"Obviously a quick turnaround from national team camp," McCarty said. "Luckily I was fortunate enough to talk to Pauno and he gave me the weekend after a national team game to come here with my wife and kind of get a lay of the land a little bit. I've been to Chicago plenty of times, but never really that in-depth. I found a place relatively quickly. After that I flew down to meet the team in Florida for preseason."

Once in Florida, McCarty played in five of the Fire's six preseason games. In four of those five he started next to fellow midfield acquition Juninho. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said one of the bright spots of the preseason was how easily the two fit into midfield. The two have 16 MLS seasons between them.

Beyond appearing to fit well with his new midfield partner, McCarty said he has had little problem settling in with his new teammates. Part of that is from familiarity with some of them, including former college teammate Michael Harrington, who was at McCarty's wedding just before he was traded to the Fire.

"It's been really good," McCarty said. "I've known a couple of the guys from my past that are on the team now. I played with Arturo Alvarez in Dallas for a couple years. I played at University of North Carolina with Michael Harrington so it's been a pretty easy transition."

This was the third trade of McCarty's career. He was taken by Portland in the 2010 expansion draft and then traded for D.C. Eight months later he was traded from D.C. to the Red Bulls.

"Obviously not the first time I've changed teams," McCarty said. "I kind of know how the transition works. Obviously it's just the same as any other preseason, trying to get ready for an important season for the Fire."

MLS announces return to play plan for tournament at Disney World

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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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MLS cancels three marquee events in wake of coronavirus, reschedules for 2021

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USA TODAY

MLS cancels three marquee events in wake of coronavirus, reschedules for 2021

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the cancelation of three marquee 2020 events in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 MLS All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup have all been canceled, the league announced Tuesday. Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. was set to host the All-Star game on July 29, and MLS said the 2021 event is now expected to take place at the same venue. 

MLS will resume negotiations with LIGA MX with hopes of squaring off in the 2021 exhibition match.

The second annual Leagues Cup tournament was set to occur between July and September, featuring top MLS and LIGA MX teams. The two leagues canceled the event in a joint decision and plan to play the tournament next year.

Similarly, MLS and LIGA MX jointly canceled the Campeones Cup, which features the reigning MLS champion against the LIGA MX's Campeón de Campeones winner. The 2020 event was scheduled for Aug. 12 at CenturyLink field, home of Seattle Sounders FC. It will return in 2021.