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Brotherly Game Daily Links: MLS begins 26th season with blockbuster opening week

Union season preview, Frei signs extension in Seattle and Denver to host inaugural Concacaf Nations League Final

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-Saprissa at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

MLS 2021 Preview: Philadelphia Union aiming higher after winning first trophy
The Union proved last year it’s possible to compete while also relying heavily on young players. Can they do it again after selling two Best XI players to Europe?

Atlanta United to play Philadelphia Union in Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal
The first leg date and time is still to be determined, but will take place between a window of April 27-29 with the return leg happening between May 4-6.

Jamiro Monteiro again shows Union fans — and the front office — why he’s so important
Monteiro played one of his best games ever for the Union in one of the biggest games in team history.

MLS News

Each MLS team in 2021, previewed by the experts who know them best
MLS enters its 26th season still trying to figure out exactly what it is, but probably stronger than it ever has been before in terms of its standing on the world stage. No, it’s not yet a “league of choice” — something Commissioner Don Garber has long promised — but it is financially stable and competitive from top to bottom, something few other leagues anywhere can boast right now.

Stefan Frei signs Sounders extension through 2023
The contract will keep Frei in a Sounders’ uniform until he is at least 37. While that is getting up there in years even for a goalkeeper, if anything Frei has only been getting better and healthier with age.

Who’s next? Meet MLS’ new wave of young talent
There’s now a deep pool from which to construct responses to that, composed of homegrowns and imports alike. MLS executives are investing more resources in younger players than ever before, while coaches are growing more comfortable entrusting them with significant responsibilities.

Klimala move to Red Bulls reportedly in final stages
Multiple reports have popped up over the last 24 hours all but confirming Patryk Klimala will be joining the New York Red Bulls imminently. First, Jagiellonia Bialystok insider Wojciech Lideros posted on Twitter that the 22-year-old striker completed his move.

Concacaf News

The Crew defeat Real Esteli to advance to quarterfinal of the Champions League
The Crew didn’t need much out of the second leg and it was apparent. The Black & Gold carried a 4-0 aggregate lead from the first let into the home game and put out a lineup of mostly reserves.

The Crew to face Monterrey in the Champions League quarterfinals
Monterrey handled its business with a 3-1 win at home against Atletico Pantoja to win 6-1 on aggregate.

CBS and Concacaf announce agreement for U.S. English-language rights to Concacaf national team properties
The addition of these properties bolsters the extensive lineup of live soccer on Paramount+ including coverage of nearly 80 Concacaf Men’s World Cup Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ previously announced last month.

Denver to host Nations League Finals
Following the 2019 Concacaf Nations League group stage, the Finals were set to take place last June in Houston and Dallas. However, due to Covid-19, the Nations League Finals were pushed to this year. Reducing to one venue, Mile High will host the semifinals, 3rd place match, and the final.

Rest of the World News

Arsenal, Man Utd, Roma, Villarreal into Europa League semis
With their season on the line, Arsenal’s players produced a devastating first-half performance Thursday to beat Slavia Prague and reach the Europa League semifinals.