When Bastian Schweinsteiger arrived with the Fire, there was some skepticism whether the 32-year-old had much left to give.
He hadn't played in any Premier League matches this season at Manchester United due to injuries and manager Jose Mourinho preferring other players ahead of him.
After two goals and an assist in three games with the Fire, in which the team has a 2-0-1 record, the early returns are positive for Schweinsteiger. So was the 'Schweinsteiger is done' narrative wrong?
Kurt Larson wrote on MLSsoccer.com saying as much:
"All of us – including myself – once again have proven our reactionary takes and inferiority complexes are sometimes blinding. We're too eager to latch onto whatever narrative people around the world are perpetuating, often times nonsensically. It's how North American media somehow turned a 32-year-old, World Cup-winner into a broken down, one-way midfielder with nothing left to give."
It's a bit early to be saying Schweinsteiger has proven the doubters wrong. He still has to endure a full season while staying relatively injury-free, but through three games he definitely has.
In the current era of MLS, these signings are starting to be given a skeptical eye, and maybe that's a good thing for the growth of the league. Similar reactions are popping up regarding the speculation of where Chelsea defender John Terry may end up.
Some aging famous players have not worked out in the past and some will likely not work in the future. That's part of professional sports and at least the skepticism shows MLS is becoming more about results on the field than attention off it.
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 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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