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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Union enjoy rest before playoffs

Brenden Aaronson says Cincy in good hands with Albright, every Eastern Conference playoff team’s strengths and weaknesses and more in today’s links

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

After proving skeptics wrong by finishing second in the East, some of the Union’s iron men finally get to rest
“We didn’t play perfect all year,” manager Jim Curtin said, “but we also showed a lot of toughness, a lot of resiliency.”

USMNT’s Brenden Aaronson: FC Cincinnati in good hands with Chris Albright
While Albright was with the Union in the front office, he contributed to a kind of soccer renaissance at the club, which has become an annual fixture in the MLS Cup playoffs and in 2020 won the Supporters Shield, which is awarded to the league’s regular season champion.

MLS News

Former USMNT Defender Matt Besler Retires
Besler, 34, played 12 seasons with Sporting Kansas City, then signed as a free agent with Austin, where he played 20 matches this season for the expansion club. He was the MLS defender of the year in 2012 and helped Kansas City win the league championship in 2013.

Atlanta United’s Bello drawing interest from Champions League clubs
Atlanta United President Darren Eales confirmed Tuesday that Champions League and Europa League-level clubs are making inquires about Bello, a 19-year-old fullback. Eales declined to say which clubs.

Every Eastern Conference playoff team’s strength and weakness
Today, which will serve as part one of the column, we’re going to look at one strength and one weakness of each Eastern Conference playoff team to help establish a baseline as the postseason grows ever closer.

U.S. Soccer News

U.S. Soccer, Nike extend apparel partnership for USMNT, USWNT
Terms of the deal, which U.S. Soccer said is the largest commercial agreement in the history of the national governing body, were not disclosed but multiple media reports said it was a 10-year agreement.

Premier League to Announce Record U.S. Broadcasting Deal
The league is expected to bring in at least $1.5 billion over six years starting with the 2022-2023 season. A deal of that size would give each of the league’s 20 clubs $39.3 million.

Rest of the World News

The Craziest Sports Story of 2021 Is FC Sheriff
Real Madrid-Slaying Champions League Underdog. Money-Laundering Front for Arms Smugglers. Pride of a Soviet-Style Country that Doesn’t Exist.