MLS Creating Soccer Fields for Black Communities

Major League Soccer committed earlier this year to stand alongside the Black Lives Matter movement. It prompted a new MLS-Organization to be created, adeptly named “Black Players for Change”. Their leader, Justin Morrow, announced on September 10th that BPC has partnered with Musco Lighting & the United States Soccer Foundation. This partnership will allow for the construction of twelve “Mini Fields” in Black communities across the United States.

Each respective pitch will honour the twelve founding board members of the “Black Players for Change” organization. It’ll mark the beginning of a lengthy partnership between the Musco Lighting, the United States Soccer Foundation, and BPC. Their goal in developing these Mini Fields is breaking down barriers of systemic racism in youth-based soccer.

The Co-Founder & Director of BPC Strategic Partnerships, Quincy Amarikwa, addressed the announcement made on September 10th. Quincy emphasized the BPCs commitment towards investing in African American footballers across America, where the Co-Founder noted that BPC is starting from the grassroots level. This means an emphasis on youth soccer, which could traverse to MLS with additional programming available.

Quincy Amarikwa thanks the United States Soccer Foundation & Musco Lighting, expressing that their partnership marks the first step in creating tangible assets that can assist African American Youth. Thanks, extended towards their communal investment, and launching platforms that provide African American Communities with future dividends that impact long-term growth.

Donated Funds

The United States Soccer Foundation & Musco Lighting have combined their donated assets towards developing these twelve communal fields. BPCs announcement confirmed that these organizations donated $1.8 Million towards the creation of these fields, with expected locations being announced by October 15th. It’s known that each founding member in the BPC will select an area in their impoverished hometown communities, focusing on African American neighbourhoods. Each founding member will attend the grand openings of their honoured mini fields.

The BPC Executive Director & CO-Founder, Justin Morrow, noted the organization’s thrill in partnering with Musco Lighting and the United States Soccer Foundation. Morrow evoked that it’s the beginning of a long-term partnership that’ll see nationwide scaling of African American soccer.

Diego Valeri 3rd MLS Player to Reach 80 Goals

The Portland Timbers confirmed that their long-time Midfielder, Diego Valeri, has become the 3rd player in Major League Soccer history to obtain 80 Goals & 80 Assists. This notable accomplishment was obtained previously by Landon Donovan and Jaime Monero. However, these two men captured the record of 80 Goals & 80 Assists faster than Diego Valeri. It took Diego several years to obtain this gaol with the Portland Timbers.

The 80th career goal for Diego Valeri came against LA Galaxy at Providence Park on September 2nd. It was a controversial goal that saw referees favour LA Galaxy, prompting the Portland Timbers to lose at 3-2. Most supporters and MLS analysts believed that Diego Valeri’s goal should’ve tied the game, with LA Galaxy’s 3rd point being offside. Diego worked diligently towards obtaining a third goal to tie-up the game, which failed before the 90th-minute closed-out.

Diego Valeri is 34, one of the older footballers in Major League Soccer. He’s maintained eight appearances in the 2020 MLS Regular Season, garnering four goals & two assists in fourteen days. His pace resulted in Valeri acquiring the Portland Timbers a goal every 87-Minutes of playtime. Most analysts praise his talents and note that the Timbers wouldn’t have won the “MLS is Back Tournament” this year without Diego Valeri. It’s expected he’ll be the Major League Soccer’s MVP for 2020. It’d follow suit with Landon Donovan & Jamie Monero obtaining Most Valuable Player after achieving 80 Goals & 80 Assists.

Valeri is notably one of the better competitors throughout the 2019 & 2020 MLS Campaigns. However, his skillsets aren’t the greatest seen in Major League history. He’s ranked 18th for highest goals scored and is unlikely to reach a higher record in his older age. Diego Valeri likely has six years left in professional soccer, where he’ll have to switch over to coaching.

Lack of Fanfare

The Portland Timbers are one of the best teams in Major League Soccer. However, the Portland region hasn’t adopted the football club & it’s resulted in minimal fanfare. Most of their victories are often overshadowed by LA Galaxy, Toronto FC, the Seattle Sounders, or NYFC. After being victorious at the “MLS is Back Tournament”, Portland Timbers has gained more fanfare & could become a contender for the MLS 2020 Championship.

Michael Bradley Discusses Altidore’s BLM Support

The Toronto Football Club was without one of their leading forwards on August 27th. Jozy Altidore determined that the match against Montreal didn’t require his services, sitting out the game for cited personal reasons. This announcement wasn’t issued by Jozy Altidore but instead by his Head Coach, Greg Vanney, which was made after the game had concluded. Altidore was seen sitting in the stands wearing a “Black Lives Matter Movement” shirt.

Greg Vanney didn’t give an official reason for Jozy Altidore’s refusal to compete. However, sporting analysts suspect that the leading forward refused after Wisconsin law enforcement killed Jacob Black, an African American male. Altidore has been a vocal activist amongst the ongoing protests relating to the “Black Lives Matter Movement”. Jozy has demanded racial equality in North America, and the deconstruction of police brutality.

Supporters of TFC from all ethnicities have begun turning against Jozy Altidore, something that an influx of athletes has experienced in recent weeks. Support complaints evoke that these individuals are paid millions to compete in professional sports, and political opinions cannot permit these individuals from not complying with their contractual obligations. American sporting associations aren’t political organizations, and throughout 2020 have begun thinking otherwise. It’s resulted in a large percentage of MLS, NBA, NFL, and NHL supporters from not watching 2020 matches.

TFC Captain Talks Altidore

Michael Bradley was questioned by TSN & ESPN on his thoughts behind Jozy Altidore sitting out the August 27th match-up with the Montreal Impacts. Bradley clarified that the Toronto Football Club supports the decision of Jozy Altidore and that it isn’t his position to expand on why Altidore didn’t compete against the Montreal Impact.

It should be mentioned that the Toronto Football Club has multiple players that are of African descent, including Justin Morrow. The TFC Full-Back leads the “Black players for Change” in Major League Soccer and still didn’t sit out the Montreal Impact match. It’s led multiple competitors to wonder what Altidore’s excuse. Some believe it’s a powerplay from Jozy, which is infamously an attribute of his character when negotiating with clubs. Jozy Altidore could be using the same strategies he’s known for during an influential political climate, which would go against the core nature of supporting the BLM movement.

MLS Unveils 2020 Coronavirus Contingency Plan

Major League Soccer’s Corporate Division announced their “Coronavirus Contingency Plan” for the resumption of their official 2020 season. This announcement comes after their confidence to protect players grows with minimal infections at the “MLS is Back Tournament” in Florida. Protecting their footballers & team personnel when each respective outfit returns to home stadiums will be considerably harder than ensuring safety in Florida. MLS Corporate Division will struggle to maintain a watchful eye on 26 Teams, which are slated to play a remainder of 18 Games during the regular season before Championship Rounds begin.

Major League Soccer is departing from their recent tournament by August 12th, which marks the date when Nashville FC will compete against the Dallas Football Club. These teams will maintain a three-game series that’s played back-to-back, which comes after Nashville & Dallas were forced to withdraw from the “MLS is Back Tournament”. An influx of confirmed infections prompted the removal of both teams. It’s been confirmed that this series, and all remaining games within the regular season won’t allow fans to maintain attendance. This is to ensure that cities hosting MLS Teams don’t have an influx of infections, which will be hard to guarantee with the current conditions associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic in America.

Additional regulations being implemented by MLS to guarantee that an outbreak doesn’t unfold with any of their 26 Teams is the requirement of Charter Flights. Teams aren’t permitted to use standard methods of flying, with these organizations also provided the option of using a multitude of Team Busses. Chartered Flights can’t allow for the full team on a single plane, similar to the requirement of multiple Team Busses if road travel is selected. This regulation could prompt safe environments for MLS Teams if footballers avoid contact with local populations at home or away cities.

Canadian Teams Not Considered

The one element that doesn’t work with Major League Soccer’s Contingency Plan is the implication of travel restrictions onto Canadian Teams. MLS avoided adding Canadian Teams into their Contingency Plan, leaving sports analysts to speculate that these three outfits aren’t being allowed into the regular season. This would create lasting implications on relationships between MLS’s Corporate Division & the Canadian Teams. Those outfits include the Montreal Impacts, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Toronto FC.

Canadian MLS Teams Facing Border Restrictions

Major League Soccer has experienced a period of continuous charge during the COVID-19 pandemic. That won’t change anytime soon, with the “MLS is Back Tournament” slated to end in the coming weeks. This will prompt the revival of regular-season games, which could be challenging for Canadian teams. The Government of Canada has refused to allow teams based in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary compete against their American opponents. The Canadian and American Borders have remained closed amid COVID-19 Restrictions. It’s now prompting MLS to question if Canadian teams will be forced to compete exclusively against each other.

Organizers in Major League Soccer are continuously delegating with Government Officials, Health Authorities & Club Owners to implement one of several scenarios. An inside source working in-correlation with these delegations confirmed that Canadian Clubs are likely to compete on a smaller scale for a short period. Once border restrictions are lifted by the American & Canadian Government, conventional matches held in the Eastern & Western Division will return. This means that the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and the Vancouver White Caps are being forced to contend against exclusively each other.

Implementing this strategy provides Major League Soccer a short timeframe to continue delegations with the Canadian Government. Sports analysts anticipate that MLS Organizers will find themselves struggling to adhere an agreement with the Canadian Government. The Toronto Blue Jays forced delegations onto Government personnel, which influenced an untimely denial to compete at the Rogers Centre. Following what happened to the Blue Jays suggests that American teams won’t be permitted at BMO Field.

Continued Discussions

The inside source promises that discussions with Canadian Politicians are still active and that an agreement could be finalized by next week. Similar sentiments were issued by the Toronto Blue Jays, making analysts question the accuracy of an approval to compete with American Clubs. It’s been months since Toronto FC competed against an opposing team at BMO Field, with Major League Soccer forced to postpone their 2020 Season on March 12th. This occurred two weeks after their season had a standard, with professional football not resuming until early July. The “MLS is Back Tournament” ends on August 11th, with TFC expected to enter the Semi-Finals to Finals.

Nashville SC Leaves MLS is Back Tournament

The MLS is Back Tournament has lost their 2nd team amid continued outbreaks of the novel coronavirus. Nashville SC is the most recent organization to announce their departure from the tournament, leaving a remaining 24 teams. The first team leaving the competition was FC Dallas after they saw ten personnel tested positive for COVID-19. Several individuals were players, with one individual being on the coaching lineup, and the remaining two standing at team personnel.

Nashville SC announced over the weekend that one of their players contracted COVID-19 after arriving in Florida on July 1st. That individual exposed an additional eight players on their team, with it being rumoured that employed personnel were also infected. The Commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, clarified that an influx of positive coronavirus tests within Nashville SC prompted team owners to depart from the “MLS is Back Tournament”. Lack of training throughout seven days would’ve made it impossible for Nashville to compete accurately against their opponents.

The History of Nashville SC….So Far

Considering that Nashville SC is an expansion team for Major League Soccer in 2020, their first season hasn’t been remotely positive. Nashville played two matches before MLS entered their lockdown period, with both games being lost to their opponents. Then the COVID-19 pandemic forced their 1st official season in MLS to be postponed. If that wasn’t enough to deter Nashville, politicians actively fought against the approval of this soccer club’s new stadium. Combine all those factors with the outbreak seen since arriving in Florida & Nashville SC is done with their first season.

Nashville SC would’ve competed in Chicago FC on July 8th. That was postponed for unknown reasons until the next morning, where Don Garber would clarify that Nashville wouldn’t be competing any longer. The team released a formal statement remarking their devastation for not being able to compete, noting that most have tested Asymptomatic for the novel coronavirus & thus cannot risk the lives of opposing players.

Sports analysts are questioning if Major League Soccer will be forced to shut down their tournament. Continued infections throughout Florida are continuously putting footballers at risk, which isn’t right for the league to do for financial gain.

Kevin Silva Enters MLS with TFC

The Toronto Football Club is continuously acquiring new players that’ll increase their chances at obtaining a 2nd MLS Championship. They’ve come close to reaching this goal multiple times but lost to notable teams, like the Seattle Sounders. Greg Vanney & the TFC Squad hope to avoid repeating history after finalizing contract negotiations with Kevin Silva. He’ll stand as the third Goalkeeper for TFC, backing the likes of Quentin Westberg & Alex Bono.

The chances of supporters witnessing Kevin Silva in the “MLS is Back Tournament” is minimal, with Westberg holding priority placement. Under the off chance that Quentin cannot compete in this competition, Alex Bono takes the reigns. Both these Goalkeepers must be terminated from the tournament from a COVID-19 infection before Kevin Silva can defend for TFC.

Kevin Silva was issued a “Loan Contract” from TFC II, the subsidiary team that competes in USL League One. Most soccer analysts are shocked that Greg Vanney provided Kevin Silva with an opportunity into Major League Soccer, with the Goalkeeper appearing eight times for TFC II. Twice those appearances would end in shutouts that didn’t favour Silva. Vanney indicated that January became the period when Silva was becoming considered, with the Goalkeeper showing notable improvements over his recent training camp.

The General Manager for TFC indicated that Kevin Silva had improved his performance in USL League One, becoming an essential asset for TFC II. Matching that with a respectable & driven attitude, Ali Curtis suggested Silva to Greg Vanney. Both the General Manager and TFCs Head Coach anticipate formidable skillsets from Kevin Silva with some professional-grade training. It should be noted that Silva was born in Pennsylvania, eventually moving to Europe, and then returned home in hopes of obtaining MLS placement. That dream has now been accomplished.

TFC Concerns for Safety in Florida

The chance that Kevin Silva will be permitted to compete in the “MLS is Back Tournament” is unlikely. Those chances are dwindling for all TFC Punters, with Greg Vanney & Ali Curtis determining they’ll remain in Florida. Significant penalties would ensue the Toronto Football Club if the General Manager, Head Coach, and Players all rejected the concept of competing.

It should be mentioned that cases of COVID-19 have drastically increased throughout the last fourteen days in Florida. This follows after Florida Politicians reopened their economy without any social distancing requirements. Thousands per day are contracting the virus, including active personnel & players with professional sports teams. TFC doesn’t want an outbreak of COVID-19 in their camp, which could prompt an early departure from the “MLS is Back Tournament”.

TFC Defender Leads MLS Black Players Coalition

Justin Morrow from the Toronto Football Club is taking a leadership position in Major League Soccer. This MLS Defender now stands as the Black Players Coalition Executive Director. Created over the last thirty days, African American & European punters in Major League Soccer held a private meeting to address racial inequality. Their working towards an increase presence of Black Athletes in Major League Soccer, with an average 70% of punters being of European Caucasian Decent. The Black Players Coalition believes that employed athletes should be racially indifferent, meaning 33.33% would be Caucasian. The remaining 66.66% would combine African & Latin descendant players employed by Major League Soccer. This shows that BPC is focusing on genuine equality for all nationalities worldwide, not just African descendants.

After being announced that Justin Morrow is taking the role of Executive Director for the Black Players Coalition, multiple news outlets requested the TFC Defender to make a formal statement. Morrow first noted that the last month has been beautifully maddening, with African Descendant Players in MLS working continuously to create the Black Players Coalition.

Nobody would’ve stopped the advancement on this MLS Sub-Group, with protests & riots being held worldwide for the Black Lives Matter Movement. These actions against racial inequality came after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Law Enforcement. Justin Morrow noted that his death prompted these discussions amongst African Descendant Players. It’d be clarified that most were angered by his murder, amongst the other deaths to African Americans that followed before & after George Floyd.

Why Justin Morrow was Selected

Morrow clarified that seventy African Descendant Players in Major League Soccer attended a Zoom Videoconference. The conversations were heated & passionate, with dozens of punters expressing their pain towards this situation. Morrow clarified that this anger doesn’t solve any issues, which prompted him to turn the course on the conversation towards solutions with Major League Soccer’s involvement. It’s this action that saw those seventy players select Justin Morrow for Executive Director after their emotions had settled. Morrow wasn’t thinking about his present feelings but more for the future of African Descendants in professional soccer. It’s not known what the Black Players Coalition will first set out to accomplish, with details on their plans being kept private by Justin Morrow & other leading figures in this MLS Sub-Group.

The MLS is Back Tournament

Major League Soccer informed their supporters on June 10th that matches would resume by July 8th. Named the MLS is Back Tournament, details regarding the format for this competition was revealed. Teams with notable rivalries are being grouped for three matches with each respective outfit. This will allow for a 54-Game Tournament that’s being held at the Walt Disney World Resorts, ESPN World of Sports Complex. It’ll be held between July 8th to August 11th and support all twenty-six teams’ operations in Major League Soccer. This includes new outfits like Inter Miami FC, who have played a single professional match.

Details regarding the grouping were released on June 11th. The Runner-Up Champs for 2019, Toronto FC, were confirmed for Group C. They’ll compete against the Montreal Impacts. These two outfits have a prolonged rivalry as the two most notable Canadian MLS teams. They’ll also compete against the New England Revolution and D.C. United. This bracket is slated to be the most exciting next to Group B.

Group B is combining the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders, and San Jose Earthquakes. The Seattle Sounders are the 2019 MLS Champions & are expected to win their bracket. Analysts have similar expectations for Toronto FC in Group C. Both these outfits winning their respective groupings would allow a 3rd Championship Rematch between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders.

Groupings weren’t purposely orchestrated, with MLS drawing each team. Each outfit will play three group matches & all points acquired are sustained with regular-season standings. The two teams that dominate their respective group move to the knockout round, which permits sixteen teams. The knockout round implores an identical format & will award the winning group $1 Million U.S Dollars. After this tournament is completed, Major League Soccer will resume their regular season at each team’s respective city. Details on regular-season scheduling haven’t been identified.

Get Prepared

Readers shouldn’t expect the same level of engagement their accustomed to with Major League Soccer. Footballers have been inactive for a prolonged period, with their respective training camps having resumed only last week under specific circumstances. Player drills aren’t supported currently & it’s forcing for the coaching staff to implement unique training regiments. It’ll result in a lesser degree of professional soccer.

MLS Partners with US Youth Soccer

Football analysts were shocked when Major League Soccer announced their partnering with the United States Youth Soccer Organization. They’re the most notable football association for the children and young adults throughout America. Strategic plans are being implemented with this partnership, allowing for MLS to support individual soccer players in the United States. Depending on how their assets are formulated over the next decade, those players could find themselves positioned on an MLS team. It should be noted that this partnership follows after the United States has grown drastically with the youth soccer landscape. There are now 90+ academy clubs in North America, which will join this partnership and work towards creating MLS Champion Players.

It’s estimated that three million boys & girls create the US Youth Soccer Organization. This partnership states that both groups will be scouted towards a position with Major League Soccer. Those players receiving a scouting contract obtain financial resources, ensuring their capable of participating in local tournaments. These regional competitions will be based under the “MLS United States Youth Soccer League”, pitting the best of these young athletes against each other. The more victories obtained by a respective player guarantees their future position in American professional soccer.

When questioned on why this partnership was made, the Senior Director for Player Development with Major League Soccer remarked that this agreement was maintained to create better connections. Children and young adults in their teenage years can inquire about professional contracts, allowing for their overall growth to increase drastically. Gordon Bengtson mentioned that creating this partnership ensures that local communities aren’t outweighed by outside entities like the Mexican Youth Soccer League. MLS should have more American players, a common complaint associated with a league that obtains European players regularly.

The Goals for Children

Major League Soccer and the United States Youth Soccer Organization have implemented guideline requirements for punters. Youth will be required to perform at advanced levels throughout their educational career until a high school diploma is acquired. MLS demands that these youth make education their primary goal, with their football careers coming second. This shows MLS’s commitment to growing the knowledge of our youth.