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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Union feeling pressure of Club America rematch

MLS Playoff schedule announced, FIFA to begin touring potential 2026 World Cup venues and more in today’s links

Andrew Zwarych / Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union News

Philadelphia Union sense weight of Club America CCL rematch: “It’s a challenge we want”
They’re still fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, though that can be deceptive given the testing trips to CF Montréal, Minnesota, Toronto and NYCFC at Yankee Stadium in the coming weeks. And they’re happy to be idle this weekend as they gear up for the midweek CCL showdown. But with so much invested in that massive occasion, the risk of a hangover is very real no matter Wednesday’s result.

MLS News

Atlanta United convincingly defeats Orlando City 3-0
Goals from George Campbell and Ezequiel Barco delivered the first points of the Pineda era in a dominant display over the Lions in what will be a massive three points in the Five Stripes’ push for a Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Portland Timbers scrap past the Whitecaps 1-0 in BC; win third straight on the road
An own goal created by Sebastian Blanco and Felipe Mora, along with some resolute defending, provided the difference in the Cascadia clash.

MLS playoffs schedule to feature Thanksgiving Day game on Fox
Major League Soccer today announced the match schedule and broadcast details for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs and 2021 MLS Cup, which include the league’s first Thanksgiving Day match on FOX, as well as four consecutive weekends of postseason action on ABC.

Weekend Cheat Sheet: Your guide to watching MLS Week 24
We’re finally past all that pesky international break stuff and back to real soccer. And back in a big way. Every single game over the next three days has something to offer. Just sit back and enjoy.

LAFC sign former Chelsea goalkeeper Jamal Blackman
Blackman, 27, is a product of Chelsea’s academy and had been with the Premier League club his entire career, though spent most of his time out on loan. He made stops all over the English lower tiers, as well as Dutch side Vitesse for a half-season, and most recently was on loan at Rotherham.

Minnesota United signs Michael Boxall to new two-year contract
Boxall, 33, has made 105 regular-season MLS appearances, all of them starts, with the Loons and has 124 league appearances overall, with four goals scored. The center back joined the Loons during the 2017 season. He also has played in 33 games for the New Zealand national team.

Concacaf News

Current U.S. Soccer Rights-Holders ESPN and Fox Sports Not the Favorites in Bidding for Next English-Language Contract
The next contract for the U.S. Soccer rights, which include the USMNT and USWNT, is different from the current one in some significant ways. For starters, the U.S. rights will no longer be bundled with the rights for Major League Soccer, as they have been for the 2015-22 rights period.

FIFA kicks off venue visits to FIFA World Cup 2026 candidate host cities
The initial tour will last nine days, with visits to the following US cities: Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami.