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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Flach looking to build off strong 2021 debut season

Bedoya overcoming Father Time, Chicago makes Shaqiri highest paid player in franchise history and more in today’s links

MLS: Playoffs- Semifinals-Nashville SC at Philadelphia Union Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

After a strong first season in Philly, Flach eager to show continued growth in 2022
Last season, the Philadelphia Union remained one of the better teams in the league despite losing two Best XI players in Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie in the previous offseason. Leon Flach, 20, was a key contributor to last season’s success playing over 3000 minutes in the defensive midfield position.

Alejandro Bedoya still beating back Father Time, much to Jim Curtin’s benefit
Bedoya has been a warrior, as he approaches his seventh season in MLS. He’s made no fewer than 28 starts in the four 34-game seasons in which he’s played. In the pandemic-shortened 2021, he started 21 of 23 matches.

MLS News

Chicago Fire sign Xherdan Shaqiri to club record deal
The $7.5 million transfer fee paid to Olympique Lyonnais makes him the most expensive player in Fire history.

Atlanta United signs Thiago Almada from Velez Sarsfield
Last season, Almada made 38 total appearances and tallied nine goals and six assists. He made 32 combined appearances in the Liga Profesional and the Copa de la Liga and scored seven goals with six assists.

Caden Clark loan return announced as Edwards and Luquinhas deals inch closer for Red Bulls
The move required New York to drop their latest stack of reportedly flush GAM money this offseason, sending allocation dollars first to Toronto ($575k) to gain the second spot and then to FC Cincinnati ($100k) to obtain first spot on the MLS allocation list.

Josecarlos Van Rankin re-signs with Portland
Van Rankin played the third-most minutes for the team last year and appeared in all but one regular-season league game. His return also means that the Timbers retain their first choice back line, once all are healthy. With a new goalkeeper stepping in this season, maintaining that familiarity will be key.

Rest of the World News

Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku nets winner to beat Al Hilal and reach Club World Cup final
Thomas Tuchel’s side opened the scoring on 31 minutes when striker Romelu Lukaku powered home from six yards out, but failed to convert any of their other chances, despite a dominant performance against the Saudi Arabian side.