The Chicago Fire have a few offseason acquisitions that have quickly made their presence felt on the team.
In addition to the standout midfield play of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty, Nemanja Nikolic has four goals in six games. After scoring two goals against New England on Saturday, Nikolic was named MLS Player of the Week.
The Hungarian is the first Fire player to win the honor since Harry Shipp scored a hat trick in his rookie season in 2014.
"Of course I am happy," Nikolic said about the honor after training on Tuesday. "Thanks to my teammates who really helped me in this. I think that from my first day my teammates put a lot of effort to help me to adapt in the league in the city, in the team. Thanks to them now I can say that my first month here in MLS they vote me for player of the week."
Nikolic was joined in the MLS Team of the Week with fellow forward Luis Solignac, who assisted Schweinsteiger's game-winning goal and had a key pass in the build up to Nikolic's second goal.
"Yes, it's great that Niko is scoring goals, but it's also great the performance we got from Lucho, the performance we got from our defense, the performance from the youngsters coming from the bench and obviously the experienced guys," coach Veljko Paunovic said.
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.