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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Bob Bradley named new Head Coach and Director of Toronto FC

Union clear first hurdle for long playoff run, Carles Gil named MLS Comeback Player of the Year, and more in today’s links

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Portland Timbers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

Clearing first hurdle bodes well for something new – a long Union playoff run
Zoom out on the Union’s 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls after extra time in the opening round of the MLS Cup Playoffs Saturday, and the elements of a long run playoff run are there. Exacerbated by the Red Bulls’ decision to stalemate the game into a series of battles, it devolved into, as Jim Curtin eloquently summarized, “turnovers, mistakes, second balls, fighting, head balls, clearances, collisions – it was chaos.”

Nashville SC’s attacking resurgence in time for conference semifinal against the Philadelphia Union
Nashville will need that juice from Round One to carry over to Sunday’s match, and its best players – Mukhtar, Zimmerman, McCarty and CJ Sapong – must be healthy and contributing goals for a chance at victory.

MLS News

Toronto FC names Bob Bradley head coach and sporting director
Bradley brings over 20 years of head coaching experience to Toronto. In addition to his work as a club coach, Bradley has coached both the United States and Egyptian national teams. Canada will mark the sixth country where Bradley has served in a head coaching role.

Carles Gil named Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year
Gil totaled 4 goals and 18 assists, his eight game-winning assists tying the league record. Gil’s spectacular offensive play, combined with his leadership as team captain, also have positioned him as a Most Valuable Player finalist and a likely Best XI selection.

One big question facing every Conference Semifinalist in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup playoffs
Let’s dive into the Conference Semifinals of these 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs and come up with one big question for each of the teams left standing.

US Soccer News

USMNT to play January home World cup qualifiers in Columbus and St. Paul
Get the cold gear ready. U.S. Soccer announced this morning that the United States Men’s National Team will play home World Cup qualifiers at Lower.com Field in Columbus as well as Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota during the January international window.

Rest of the World News

World Cup host Qatar used ex-CIA officer to spy on FIFA, U.S. bid that competed to host 2022 tournament
Qatar sought an edge in securing hosting rights by hiring former CIA officer turned private contractor Kevin Chalker to spy on rival bid teams and key soccer officials who picked the winner in 2010.