A potential I-55 rivalry in Major League Soccer is looking less likely after St. Louis voters didn't pass a stadium bill that was a key part of a push for an expanion team, but the U.S. Open Cup has come to the rescue.
The Chicago Fire will start its 2017 U.S. Open Cup campaign against Saint Louis FC, the Fire's USL affiliate last year.
St. Louis beat PDL club Michigan Bucks 2-1 in Pontiac, Mich., on Tuesday to advance to the competition's fourth round against the Fire. The Fire will head to World Wide Technology Soccer Park in suburban Fenton, Mo., for the game on June 14.
The June 14 date will slide in between a Fire home game against Atlanta on June 10 and a trip to New England a week later. This will be the first time the Fire will play a team from St. Louis.
Last year, a number of Fire players went to St. Louis to play on loan. Patrick Doody, Collin Fernandez and Drew Conner all spent extended time with the Missouri club. Fernandez is back on loan this year with the Fire's new USL affiliate, Tulsa.
St. Louis is 3-3-3 in the USL this season.
To advance, St. Louis got a pair of first half goals from Sebastian Dalgaard, but the Bucks got back into the game with an early second half goal. St. Louis held on, but not before the bizarre dome in Michigan (where the Fire lost a cup game in 2012) played a small part:
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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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.