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Brotherly Game Daily Links: Union host Fire as Przybylko return to Subaru Park

Union face Chicago, Ballon d’or shortlist released, and more in today’s links

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Union News

Know Your Enemy | Union look to extinguish Chicago Fire FC
The turnaround for the midwestern side has been stunning, with star signing Xherdan Shaqiri leading the way. The playmaker known affectionately as The Cube is the most talented player in the Fire squad, but he doesn’t need to dominate the ball to influence games. Instead, he’s smart enough to put himself in spaces that simplify the game for his teammates.

The Union have forged an identity through success on multiple levels
The Union have won the war to brand themselves as a winning team, but can they battle and emerge victorious against the Chicago Fire?

MLS News

MLS is now a transfer-market destination league, and investment in youth has played a big role in that
The numbers reveal the extent to which MLS has become more of a player in the international market. According to the league, in 2022 MLS paid $175m in transfer/acquisition fees, and for the fourth consecutive year it set a new high for transfer fees paid, double the amount paid five years ago.

DC United defender Brendan Hines-Ike out for season
Hines-Ike is expected to be sidelined for up to six months after the operation helped repair a Lisfranc injury (mid-foot sprain). The timeline (as few as 4.5 months) should see him be healthy for the 2023 campaign. The 27-year-old was second in minutes played (1,685) on the Black-and-Red this year. He only trails fellow center back Steve Birnbaum.

Charlotte FC defender Guzmán Corujo done for season with ACL injury
The Uruguayan defender, 26, was one of Charlotte’s steadiest players this year. He is the expansion club’s only outfield player to start all games thus far, and is second in minutes played (2,082) behind goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina.

Rest of the World News

Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi left off nominees list for first time since 2005 as Karim Benzema leads contenders
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema leads the nominees as he bids to win the first Ballon d’Or award of his career. Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland were also included in the list of this year’s nominees.