Union

Alejandro Bedoya's early strike puts Union in U.S. Open Cup semifinals

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Alejandro Bedoya's early strike puts Union in U.S. Open Cup semifinals

CHESTER, Pa. — Alejandro Bedoya scored in the fourth minute and the Union didn’t look back, easily eliminating Orlando City SC, 1-0, in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday at Talen Energy Stadium. 

With the win, the Union advance to their third semifinals appearance in five years, where they will face the winner of Louisville FC and Chicago Fire. The priority location draw for the semifinals and finals will take place on Thursday. The semifinals will begin on Aug. 8. 

“In four years in this competition with this group, we haven’t been beaten in regulation, in 90 minutes,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “We’re a tough out in this competition. Hopefully we get another couple home games and get a break in that regard. Two wins from lifting our first trophy as a club.” 

• Bedoya made it look easy. Off a short corner, Haris Medunjanin’s cross was headed on goal by Fafa Picault. Earl Edwards Jr. made the initial save but it bounced out to the captain, who roofed it from the crease for the 1-0 Union lead and eventual win. 

• Orlando City SC, which entered the match with nine losses in its last 10 MLS games, defeated D.C. United in penalty kicks to reach the quarterfinals. The Union topped the Richmond Kickers and New York Red Bulls on the way to Wednesday’s match.

• Orlando looked like a team that had lost nine straight recently, though the Union couldn’t put the struggling visitors away. The Union finished the match with 53.9 percent possession and 18 shots. Still, it was another game in which the club lacked killer instinct despite territorial domination, resulting in only one goal.

• That domination was powered by the play of Picault, who was the Union’s offensive engine. Late in the second half, Picault beat his man in the box but placed his shot just wide of the right post. It was one of four shot attempts for Picault.

• Despite playing hero on Saturday against the Fire, David Accam struggled on Wednesday. He was active but had little effect, and was replaced in the 60th minute by Marcus Epps. Accam finished with one total shot. 

• It should be noted that Mark McKenzie, a rookie, pocketed Orlando forward Dom Dwyer for the entire match. Dwyer, who couldn’t gain an inch in possession, was forced into trying to draw calls. He was held without a shot attempt. 

“He was a beast,” Curtin said of McKenzie. “He’s a big reason we got a shutout tonight.”

• With the help of that effort from McKenzie, Andre Blake earned the four-save shutout. He wasn’t tested much, but was good when he needed to be.

MLS is Back Tournament 2020: Scores, schedule, TV channels, groups, odds

MLS is Back Tournament 2020: Scores, schedule, TV channels, groups, odds

Major League Soccer in the U.S. is making its comeback, four months after things ground to a halt because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The league resumed play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando with Orlando City and Inter Miami FC playing their first ever game against each other. It's part of a huge, World Cup-style tournament, aptly named the MLS is Back Tournament that will continue through mid-August. It should be quite a show.

What does this mean for the rest of the MLS season? What are these teams playing for in the tournament? And what's the format of this unique event?

Here are all the details you need to know about the MLS's tournament.

What does the tournament look like? When does it start?

Here's a rundown of the tournament format:

- First a group stage, then knockout rounds
- The group stage counts toward regular season points
- Tournament winner earns a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot
- The regular season continues after tournament

And here are the key dates:

- July 8: Group Stage presented by Heineken begins
- July 25-28: Knockout Stage (Round of 16) begins
- July 30-August 1: Quarterfinals
- August 5-6: Semifinals
- August 11: Final

How are the teams grouped? 

Six groups were determined during a draw on June 10. FC Dallas and Nashville SC were forced to drop out due to COVID-19 concerns. The groups now stand:

Group A: Orlando City SC, Inter Miami CF, New York City FC, Philadelphia Union
Group B: Seattle Sounders FC, Chicago Fire FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, San Jose Earthquakes
Group C: Toronto FC, New England Revolution, Montreal Impact, D.C. United
Group D: Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United FC
Group E: Atlanta United FC, FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew SC
Group F: LAFC, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers

Two teams will advance from each of the groups. The four teams with the best remaining records will then close out the Round of 16 knockout stage. 

How do I watch the games?

Games will be broadcast on a mixture of ESPN, TSN (Canada), TUDN (en español), FOX, FS1, TVA Sports (en français), and the respective ESPN, TSN, FOX Sports, TUDN, and TVA Sports apps, along with a few games being broadcast on Twitter. You can find specific television info for each group stage below.

MORE: Union honor Black victims of police violence with jersey names

Where can I find the schedule and results?

Here's the full schedule for the group stage, with television information and results

Wed, July 8

Orlando City SC 2, Inter Miami CF 1

Thu, July 9

Philadelphia Union 1, NYCFC 0
New England Revolution 1, Montreal Impact 0

Fri, July 10

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes - 9:00 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Sat, July 11

Atlanta United vs NY Red Bulls - 8:00 PM ET

USA: FOX, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew SC - 10:30 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Sun, July 12

Toronto FC vs D.C. United - 9:00 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Sporting KC vs Minnesota United - 8:00 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids - 10:30 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Mon, July 13

LAFC vs Houston Dynamo -  8:00 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers - 10:30 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Tue, July 14

Chicago Fire FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC - 9 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN app
Canada: TSN, TSN app

Orlando City SC vs NYCFC - 8 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami FC - 10:30 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app
Canada: TSN, TSN App

MORE: Kevin Durant named part-owner of Union

Wed, July 15

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC - 8:00 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App, TVA Sports, TVA Sports App

Vancouver Whitecaps vs San Jose Earthquakes - 10:30 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Thu, July 16

Atlanta United vs FC Cincinnati - 9:00 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

D.C. United vs New England Revolution - 8:00 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Columbus Crew SC vs NY Red Bulls - 10:30 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Fri, July 17

Sporting KC vs Colorado Rapids - 8:00 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Real Salt Lake vs Minnesota United - 10:30 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Sat, July 18

Portland Timbers vs Houston Dynamo - 8:00 PM ET

USA: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

LAFC vs LA Galaxy - 10:30 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Sun, July 19

San Jose Earthquakes vs Chicago Fire FC -  8:00 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 10:30 PM ET

USA: FS1, TUDN, Fox Sports App, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Mon, July 20

Inter Miami CF vs. New York City FC -  9:00 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC - 8:00 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Tue, July 21

Toronto FC vs New England Revolution - 9:00 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Atlanta United vs Columbus Crew SC - 8:00 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Montreal Impact vs D.C. United - 10:30 PM ET

USA: TUDN, TUDN app, Twitter (English commentary)
Canada: TSN, TSN App, TVA Sports, TVA Sports App

Wed, July 22

Real Salt Lake vs Sporting KC - 9:00 AM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

FC Cincinnati vs NY Red Bulls - 8:00 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Colorado Rapids vs Minnesota United - 10:30 PM ET

USA: ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

Thu, July 23

LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo - 8:00 PM ET

USA: FS1, FOX Sports App, TUDN, TUDN App
Canada: TSN, TSN App

LAFC vs Portland Timbers - 10:30 PM ET

USA: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Canada: TSN, TSN App

What's up with the Union?

When the MLS paused its season in mid-March, the Union had played just two matches: a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas, and a 3-3 draw at LAFC.

The Union are part of Group A, which includes the Union, Orlando City SC, Inter Miami CF, and New York City FC. Two teams from Group A will advance. The Union won their first group match, a 1-0 victory against NYCFC, on July 9.

Who are the best bets to win?

Here's a look at every team's odds to win the tournament, from Fox Bet:

LAFC: +450
Seattle Sounders: +850
Atlanta United: +1000
Toronto FC: +1000
Sporting KC: +1300
Philadelphia Union: +1500
NYCFC: +1500
Inter Miami: +1600
NY Red Bulls: +1700
Columbus Crew: +1900
Minnesota United: +1900
LA Galaxy: +2100
Orlando City SC: +2600
Portland Timbers: +2600
San Jose Earthquakes: +2900
Chicago Fire FC: +3400
New England Revolution: +3400
Montreal Impact: +3400
Real Salt Lake: +4100
Colorado Rapids: +4100
FC Cincinnati: +5100
Houston Dynamo: +5100
DC United: +5100
Vancouver Whitecaps: +6700

Will fans be allowed at games?

Because of safety protocols and restrictions put in place to keep players safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, fans will not be allowed at games.

Is anyone dropping out or opting out?

FC Dallas dropped out of the tournament earlier this week because 10 of the team's players and one member of the team's technical staff tested positive. Nashville SC dropped out of the tournament on July 9 because nine of the team's players tested positive.

LAFC's Carlos Vela and the Vancouver Whitecaps' Fredy Montero have both voluntarily opted out of the tournament.

Philadelphia Union honor Black victims of police brutality with amazing jersey nod

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@PhilaUnion/Twitter

Philadelphia Union honor Black victims of police brutality with amazing jersey nod

The Philadelphia Union returned to action Thursday morning in the MLS is Back Tournament, the first game since June's nationwide protests against police brutality and institutional racism.

In what ESPN's commentators suggested was an unexpected move, the Union revealed their Black Lives Matter shirts to reveal jerseys bearing the names of Black men, women, boys, and girls who were killed by police. 

Here's a look at the team's jerseys:

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament

And here's a list of the Black lives the players honored:

No. 3 Jack Elliott: Eric Garner

No. 4 Mark McKenzie: Tamir Rice

No. 22 Brenden Aaronson: Tyree Crawford

No. 13 Cole Turner: Freddie Gray

No. 15 Olivier Mbaizo: India Kager

No. 27 Kai Wagner: Laquan McDonald

No. 12 Joe Bendik: Justus Howell

No. 5 Jakob Glesnes: Ronell Foster

No. 8 Jose Martinez: Tony Robinson

No. 10 Jamiro Monteiro: Alton Sterling

No. 28 Raymon Gaddis: Breanna Taylor

No. 32 Matt Real: Lamontez Jones

No. 14 Jack de Vries: Willie Tillman

No. 25 Ilsinho: Philando Castile

No. 21 Anthony Fontana: Natasha McKenna

No. 1 Matt Freese: Sandra Bland

No. 11 Alejandro Bedoya: Walter Scott

No. 24 Matej Oravec:  John Crawford III

No. 78 Aurelien Collin: Alteria Woods

No. 18 Andre Blake: George Floyd

No. 23 Kacper Przybylko: Michael Brown

No. 2 Warren Creavalle: Elijah McClain

The names were accompanied by messages on the bottoms of the jerseys, including "One name too many" and "Todos somos iguales", Spanish for "We are all equals".

The Union also created a custom armband for captain Alejandro Bedoya to wear, bearing the names of Black victims of police brutality:

The MLS returned to play Wednesday. The tournament is scheduled to run until August 11.

Elsewhere, the English Premier League wore the phrase "Black Lives Matter" in place of last names on players' jerseys when the league returned last month.

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