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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Four Union players called up to national teams

Andre Blake always working to get better, Atlanta United tactical preview, and more in today’s links

MLS: Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

Union to lose four players for Columbus due to International Break
Andre Blake, Cory Burke, Warren Creavalle and Matt Real will be back on international duty and will be unavailable for selection for the March 23 game at home against Columbus Crew.

Tactical Preview: Atlanta United
Both teams went through tactical revamps in the offseason, and Atlanta introduced the club’s second-ever head coach, Frank de Boer. With Almiron jetting for Newcastle and South American Player of the Year Pity Martinez replacing him, De Boer had some leeway to change the team’s on-field approach. Thus far, returns have been less than desirable.

Andre Blake consistently pushing himself to get better
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake has a simple set of goals on the surface, but with Major League Soccer continuing to get better and evolve, it can be hard for a goalkeeper to improve year over year.

MLS News

Sporting KC keeps the dream alive by advancing in the CONCACAF Champions League
It would be a long toil in getting there, but the hosts would go through thanks to a brace by Kristzian Nemeth and a marker by Roger Espinoza, despite the near-heroic effort from Independiente’s goalkeeper.

Chicago Fire sign Nicolás Gaitán
The former Boca Juniors, Benfica, and Atlético Madrid attacker was acquired by Chicago on a free transfer from Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. Per the club’s press release, the 31-year-old’s salary will be covered by Targeted Allocation Money and Discretionary Targeted Allocation Money. Gaitán is signed through the 2019 season with a club option for 2020.

Inter Miami to play first two years of existence at Lockhart Stadium
The MLS expansion club is working toward building its permanent home at Miami Freedom Park and had already submitted a proposal to the City of Ft. Lauderdale to privately funding the construction and operation of a state-of-the-art soccer training complex at the site of the former home of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and defunct Miami Fusion.

Rest of the World News

Manchester United and Barcelona to meet in Champions League Quarterfinals
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return to the scene of one of his most famous nights after Manchester United were drawn against Barcelona in the quarterfinals of this season’s Champions League.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL float idea of combining World Cup Qualifying
Such a merger of qualifying systems would create one enormous race – stretching from Canada to Argentina – for places at the World Cup, a process which is already on track to become a dramatically different experience around the world as FIFA’s signature event grows from 32 to 48 teams for the 2026 edition.