Teams in first place tend to win awards and players leading a league in goals tend to get some as well.
Nemanja Nikolic was named MLS Player of the Week after scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist in the Chicago Fire's 4-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Nikolic scored twice in the first 20 minutes and assisted on Michael de Leeuw's goal in the 84th minute. Nikolic now has 16 goals and three assists this season. The nearest challenger in the goal-scoring race is Houston's Erick Torres, who has 12 goals.
This award comes a week after David Accam was named Player of the Week for scoring a hat trick and adding an assist against Orlando. Nikolic also won a Player of the Week honor in April and took home Player of the Month honors in May.
Fire defender Matt Polster was also on the Team of the Week after recording two assists.
At 11-3-4, the Fire have a league-best 37 points. The team plays at Portland Wednesday in the final game before going on break for the Gold Cup.
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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