Fire

Michael de Leeuw showed off red glove to protect cut on left hand

Michael de Leeuw showed off red glove to protect cut on left hand

Michael de Leeuw came off the bench in the Chicago Fire's April 1 match against Montreal while recovering from one injury and left the field 14 minutes later after suffering a different injury.

De Leeuw had a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Fire's match in Atlanta on March 18. After an off week for the team, he came off the bench against Montreal while still regaining his fitness from the hamstring injury.

Not long after coming onto the field, de Leeuw got stepped on. The thing about getting stepped on by a soccer player is that cleats are sharp. Sharp enough to cause a gash on de Leeuw's left hand. The gash caused de Leeuw to get six stitches from the middle of his index finger past his knuckle to the back of his hand.

"It was a deep cut," de Leeuw said after the April 8 win against Columbus. "Now it's still a little bit sore, but it's OK."

The Dutch forward returned to the lineup against Columbus and played the whole 90 minutes.

During the week leading up to that match, de Leeuw was training with a black and white glove to protect his hand and the stitches. Come gameday, de Leeuw's glove was red to match the Fire's home color.

"The glove was good," de Leeuw said. "It's more a little bit irritating. As a soccer player you're never injury free. There's always something that you're feeling in your body. Now it's my hand, but it's not a big problem. It's not really an issue. It's just irritating."

It may not have bothered him on the field, but as far as day-to-day activity, de Leeuw still couldn't close his hand all the way on Saturday. However, he says that was only a big problem for a couple days.

"In the beginning the first couple of days it was (affecting non-soccer activity), but now I can do a lot of things with my hand," de Leeuw said. "It's not so bad. The first couple of days it was annoying, but not anymore."

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

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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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