6/6/20,  MLS Avoids lockout-returns in July, Indy 11 back July 11, La Liga back Wed, German games

Huge news that the USL and Indy 11 have set a provisional return date to resume the 2020 season of July 11.    Exact details on format and schedules is expected to come out in the coming weeks.  But great to hear our soccer team is back to training and preparing to resume the season!

The MLS also is back after the owners threatened a lock-out if the players didn’t agree to new terms.  Nuts – but calmer heads prevailed and the MLS and the player association agreed on a new deal to get the season underway in July in Orlando.  Full tournament details have not been announced but great to see MLS returning hopefully with some evening ESPN games on the docket! (who am I kidding – they will put them on ESPN+ – but a guy can hope right) 😊.  The initial TV schedule has been released for the NWSL return in late June (see in the OBC) – good to see the games on CBS Sports Network at least – many cable networks have that station – though you may have to search for it.

Carmel FC has returned to Training !

Tryouts Confirmed for June 22

Anyone looking to workout 1 on 1 with Indy 11 Goalkeeper Jordan Farr – can email him direct at farrjordn13@gmail.com   Not sure when CFC GK Training might return with new Corona Virus guidelines.

Event: Indiana Soccer All-Star eCup Series & State Tourney
Date: June 11th – July 9th, 2020
Registration Link: https://gyo.gg/lg/indiana-soccer-all-star-series-summer-2020/
Registration Closing Date: June 18th, 2020 at 7:00 pm Eastern.
If you are having trouble please email Shawn at: shawn@harenadata.net or Gus at gus@soccerindiana.org  For more information please visit: https://www.soccerindiana.org/soccer-ecup/

GAMES ON TV 

Sat, June 6  

9:30 am Fox Sport2                          RB Leipzig (Adams) vs Paderborn

9:30 am FS1                                        Beyer Leverkusen vs Bayer Munich

12:30 pm FS2                                      Dortmund (Gio Reyna) vs Hertha

Sun, June 7  

7:30 am Fox Sport1                         Werder Bremen (Sargent) vs Wolfsburg (John Brooks)

9:30 am Fox Sport 1                           Union Berlin vs Schalke (Mckinney)

12:30 pm FS 1                                    Ausberg vs Koln

Thurs,  June 11 

4 pm beIN Sport                                 Sevilla vs Real Betis (LA LIGA RETURN)

Fri,  June 12  

9:30 am Fox Sport2                            Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig (Adams) 

Wed, June 17                                      EPL Returns

Sat, June 20                                        Serie A (Italy) Returns

NWSL Challenge Cup schedule

NC Courage vs Portland Thorns FC | June 27 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

NC Courage vs Houston Dash | July 1 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

NC Courage vs Orlando Pride | July 5 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

C Courage vs Utah Royals FC | July 12 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup quarter finals | July 17-18 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup semi finals | July 22 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup final | July 26 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

World
La Liga state of play, schedule for remainder of 2019-20 season

Serie A fixtures set for remainder of 2019-20 season

EPL Schedule Release

Top European Leagues Return soon
Germany won’t punish players for George Floyd protests

Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 29

EPL

Why EPLs Return Project is Set Up for Failure – Ryan Bailey Yahoo Sports
Behind the numbers: Reported Chelsea signing Werner

Liverpool Might Clinch Title at Home
Chelsea season restart preview

Season restart preview: Arsenal

Newcastle fans angered by lack of refunds

USA

US  Soccer Players Lend chime in on Enough is Enough Video
USMNT’s Steffen, Adams express solidarity with Floyd

DeAndre Yedlin echoes grandpa’s heartbreak over George Floyd’s death

McKennie: I have to stand up for what I believe in

USWNT’s Rapinoe won’t compete in NWSL tournament

MLS

MLS, players reach CBA deal, avoid lockout

Why MLS Summer Tourney May Not be a Good Idea
MLS players union ratifies agreement clearing way for return in early July

MLS boss: Virus to cost us $1bn in revenue

– Davis: Beckham, Miami still waiting for home game
Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann has MLS on his soccer bucket list

USL CHAMPIONSHIP ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF 2020 SEASON

By Indy Eleven Communications, 06/04/20, 3:30PM EDT  Following Board of Governors Vote, USLC Set for Provisional Return Date of July 11

In conjunction with the United Soccer League, Indy Eleven is pleased to announce that the USL Championship Board of Governors voted on Thursday in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season, with a provisional start date set for July 11.

While additional information on competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks, it’s important to note that the league’s return to play will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines. USL HQ also remains in regular dialogue with the USL Players Association on all matters concerning player health and wellness protocols and looks forward to continuing those discussions.“The Indy Eleven organization is energized by today’s news that our promising 2020 USL Championship season will continue,” stated Greg Stremlaw, Indy Eleven President & CEO. “We want to thank the United Soccer Leagues, USL Championship Board of Governors and numerous other organizations and advisory boards for the collaboration and consultation that resulted in this important decision.“As exciting as today’s positive news is, it is merely a starting point, and we look forward to our continued contribution to the discourse that will determine the structure of the 2020 season,” continued Stremlaw. “Everyone at Indy Eleven looks forward to providing best-in-class examples of how USL Championship clubs can work with local health and government agencies to ensure our return to games is done in a safe and responsible fashion for our players, staff and fans.”To Indy Eleven and USL supporters across the country, we are grateful for your support throughout this process and look forward to being back in action with you all soon.

MLS lockout avoided as players, league ratify bargaining agreement to 2025

Jun 3, 2020  Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent

The MLS Players Association approved a proposal from MLS related to economics in 2020, as well as a modified collective bargaining agreement, the union announced on Wednesday.The approval of the proposal avoids a lockout that had been threatened by MLS and enables the league to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The league has been shut down since March 12.”MLS Players today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, which will run through the 2025 season,” the MLSPA said in a statement. “Today’s vote also finalizes a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides playrs with certainty for the months ahead. It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love.”

The approval now opens the door for the league to return to the field next month with a tournament to be held at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. (ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Co.) The teams are expected to arrive in Orlando, Florida, in three weeks. “We recognize that we are all moving forward — as players, as fans, as societies, as a world — into a future that looks much different than the one we envisioned a few months ago,” the MLSPA added. “There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent, and more important, than competing on the field.”We are grieving, we are fed up, we expect change, and we expect action. This change won’t come on the field, but it will come partly through the force and determination of all who seek justice and equality. We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy.”We are committed as a group to doing all that we can — both as leaders in our sport as well as leaders in our communities — to help carry our countries, our communities, our league, and our sport forward.”A union source told ESPN that the total amount of economic concessions is over $100 million. It includes an across-the-board salary cut of 7.5% that isn’t retroactive and is set to kick in for the May 31 payroll period. Players will have the option to delay the salary cut until after the Orlando tournament, but the total amount of the cut will be the same. Performance and individual bonuses will be capped at $5 million for this season.Both sides had agreed to a framework on a new CBA in February following the expiration of the previous deal, but it wasn’t ratified by either side, providing MLS with an opening to renegotiate some of its terms. The alterations to the CBA involve the introduction of a force majeure clause in which either side can back out of the deal in the case of a catastrophic event like a pandemic.MLS had been trying to have the clause tied to specific attendance numbers in case a second wave of COVID-19 struck North America later this year, but the players succeeded in pushing back against that form of the clause. The approved version allows either side to back out of the deal with 30 days’ notice if the CBA becomes economically unfeasible. A revenue sharing plan tied to a new broadcast rights deal set to begin in 2023 has also been modified. The original terms would have resulted in 25% of the broadcast rights fee that was $100 million above 2022 levels being funneled into each team’s salary budget. The two sides agreed to reduce the percentage in 2023 to 12.5%. The percentage would return to 25% in 2024.The salary bumps spelled out in the CBA will now be delayed by a year so that 2020’s terms will cotinue into 2021, while 2021’s original terms will be moved to 2022, and so on until the end of the deal. The length of the CBA has now been extended by one year, until Jan. 31, 2026.

Why the MLS summer tournament plan may not be a good idea

Caitlin Murray,Yahoo Sports•June 3, 2020

As sports leagues in the United States race to see which one can schedule a return date first, Major League Soccer has an opportunity. With competitors like the NBA and NHL looking at still-unconfirmed returns in July, swift action could leave MLS as the only major North American men’s sport with live games on television.MLS and the MLS Players Association announced Wednesday they had reached an agreement to restart games soon, reportedly as early as June 24. The agreed-upon plan would see MLS host a knockout tournament in Orlando, Florida, while players are sequestered at Disney World resorts and regularly tested for COVID-19.This format raises questions about logistics and safety that the league is apparently addressing. But there’s another question to ask: Is it worth it for MLS to host this tournament at all?

Why MLS’s chief selling point won’t be on display

It’s easy to see why MLS wants this. While the league has played second-fiddle to the ones considered the major sports in America, this plan could offer prime-time TV slots and eyeballs MLS would otherwise never have access to. If the TV ratings for a documentary about Michael Jordan and a golf exhibition featuring non-golfers like Tom Brady are any indication, Americans are starved for sports content. Just imagine. Bored fans who have never watched soccer outside of World Cups and Olympics will tune in to MLS for the first time. Mainstream sports talk radio hosts and columnists, desperate for something new to talk about, will latch onto MLS.The NBA isn’t looking at a return until July 31, and the NHL may not resume until August. MLB was looking at June 30, but negotiations between the league and players have gone poorly so far. “Unlike the other leagues where their fan bases are deeply mature and have been around for generations, our absence from the sports scene made it really crucial for us to get back,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said Wednesday.His implication was that no one will forget those other leagues exist, but MLS risks losing relevance as long as it doesn’t play games. If MLS can hog the spotlight for itself, no matter how briefly, it would be a much bigger boost to the relatively young soccer league than its well-established competitors. Perhaps Garber is right. But there’s a flipside here. MLS’s most compelling aspects won’t be on display – not at what Alejandro Bedoya called a “luxurious prison” – and newcomers will be sampling a degraded product.Unlike the NFL, NBA and MLB, MLS can’t claim it’s the best league in the world at its given sport. If someone wants to watch the best soccer, they will tune into the English Premier League or a handful of other leagues around Europe. What MLS has going for it is a robust supporters culture unlike anything traditional American sports offer.The fans, perhaps more than the players, are MLS’s unique selling proposition. The Timbers Army may deride the league for using footage of their stunningly elaborate tifo displays and smoke-filled chants, but it’s easy to see why these images are favored. They’re captivating and create an intoxicating, electrifying atmosphere in which it’s easy to be swept up. Mercedes-Benz Stadium never looks like a more fun place to be than when Atlanta United and its supporters are in the house. (Sorry, Falcons.But those fans aren’t going to be in Orlando. Whether the venues are quiet enough to hear a pin drop or the “home” teams get to pick their own playlists to serve as the soundtrack, any American who thought soccer lacked excitement is not going to be swayed by an awkward makeshift quarantine tournament“We’ll have more cameras on this broadcast than would be on a typical ESPN, Fox or Univision game,” Garber said. “There’ll be more access to audio and views in these broadcasts that would be in a typical game, and we’ll be able to utilize some technology to be able to deliver value to our teams that we’re experimenting with in these broadcasts.”If MLS and its broadcast partners get creative enough, technical enhancements may help. But there is no replacement for real-life fans and genuine passion – and casual watchers tuning in to MLS for the first time won’t get to see any of that.

Does MLS risk alienating fans who already love soccer?

The bigger worry for MLS may not be traditional American sports fans. The biggest risk may be with soccer fans, the ones who wake up early on weekends to watch the Premier League in droves but don’t attend MLS games in their own backyard.These are the fans – often derided as “eurosnobs” – who love soccer but won’t give MLS the time of day because they deem it a far inferior product. They aren’t entirely wrong. MLS isn’t close to the EPL but those fans aren’t exactly right, either. The “retirement league” jokes no longer apply as MLS’s stars get younger and more exciting, and MLS’s quality has grown massively in the past five years. MLS, under normal circumstances, can feature some worthwhile soccer in front of packed crowds.Yet the Orlando tournament figures to be MLS’s worst version of itself. The players will be coming off a much longer and more stagnant layoff than usual, and their “preseason” will be shorter too. Getting players game fit will be a challenge, and the threat of injuries is always present.To put it bluntly, the product on the field might not be very good, and first impressions matter. No one is going to watch subpar EPL games and decide that EPL isn’t good. No one will watch the NBA without fans and decide it’s boring. In Garber’s own words, fans are “deeply mature” in their view of those leagues.If a fan tunes in to MLS for the first time, what are they going to get? And if it’s not good enough, what is the likelihood that was MLS’s only shot and that fan will never give it another try? It’s a risk.That’s not to say there isn’t potentially a huge upside for MLS. Garber said Wednesday that MLS will take a billion-dollar revenue hit due to the pandemic. That’s a lot of money for any league, and MLS needs to do anything it can to claw back those losses.There’s also the potential to build partnerships at a time when everyone is looking for a way to weather this pandemic together.MLS’s proposed plan reportedly includes doubleheaders with morning games as well as evening games, and MLS could find itself being broadcast in untapped and sports-starved markets in Asia and Europe. Stateside, meanwhile, MLS’s current broadcast deal ends in 2022, and by working with ESPN and its parent company Disney to launch this tournament when ESPN needs content, that could build equity for the next round of broadcast negotiations.But the downsides are plentiful, too.

An MLS summer tournament without some big stars?

Reports indicate some star players can opt out of MLS’s tournament if they have legitimate concerns around COVID-19, such as a significant other who is pregnant.Both LAFC’s Carlos Vela and the L.A. Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez fall into that category, and it’s a good bet neither will be there. Vela was the league’s MVP and top scorer last year.MLS players are required to play in the tournament in Orlando, Garber said, but he added there will be exceptions for special circumstances without outlining them. Depending on what those exceptions are, other star players may also not be in Orlando. MLS can’t make a compelling case when its best players aren’t there. This also brings up another group of soccer fans MLS should strive to court during its quarantine competition, but may not be equipped to: Spanish-speakers.Liga MX games, not to mention El Clásicos between Barcelona and Real Madrid, routinely dominate soccer TV ratings in the United States, while the top-rated MLS games get fractions of the audience.The country’s most sizable soccer audience speaks Spanish and cares more about teams in Mexico and Spain. MLS has historically struggled to reach these fans, which is why the league continuously looks for ways to partner with Liga MX.Players like Vela and Chicharito are important for that outreach. But those players may not be in Orlando, and others might not be, either.Regardless, it appears MLS isn’t letting what it lacks hold this plan back. There may be no fans, missing stars and so-so soccer. But MLS does have a live sports product it can put on TV. In the age of COVID-19, that may be all MLS needs. Whether it’s the right decision for the long term or tarnishes an MLS brand that is still struggling to solidify its identity, time will tell.

Caitlin Murray is a contributor to Yahoo Sports and her book about the U.S. women’s national team, The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer, is out now. Follow her on Twitter @caitlinmurr.

2020 NWSL Challenge Cup details have been announced

CBS All Access will host all the matches of the preliminary round (and more) which will feature the North Carolina Courage

By Kudzi Musarurwa@kudzim88  Jun 5, 2020, 8:05am EDT

The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup is almost upon us and the National Women’s Soccer League revealed the preliminary round schedule for the tournament, which will begin in late June and end in late July. The NWSL will also be the first professional league in the United States of America that will return to play since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.The North Carolina Courage are set to kick off the preliminary round on June 27 against Portland Thorns FC, a team they have faced twice in the NWSL Championship. The team will then play the Houston Dash on July 1, the Orlando Pride on July 5 and then end the round against Utah Royals FC on July 12.The Courage will look to once again dominate proceedings and can send out a signal to the rest of the league with an opening day win against the Thorns. The match should not be expected to be the highest of quality due to the lack of play all the players have had this year but the rivalry between the two teams means that players will be looking to play hard throughout the 90 minutes. The Courage then have a game against a Houston Dash side that will be an unknown quantity at this stage. The team has seen a lot of reshuffling and players trades so how the Dash will look to set up will not be known until they play their first match. The Pride are a team the NC Courage have had no trouble playing against in the past and that does not look like it could change at this tournament. While the Courage have remained a strong and deep team, Orlando have not shown that they are a better outfit than they were last season. This could be a big score win for the Courage. However, the last match the Courage play is against the Royals who have given North Carolina problems in the past. Utah have seemingly found a way to slow down the Courage attack but with the departure of Becky Sauerbrunn, the Courage may have an easier time of it this year against the Royals.All the matches are set to be played at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah and should be available live on CBS All Access (in the United States and Canada) and the league’s Twitch channel (for international viewers). Matches are also set to be re-aired on the CBS Sports Network as well. The times for the preliminary round have not been announced yet but will be expected to be released over the coming weeks. The quarter finals will then play out over July 17 and July 18, the semi finals on July 22 and the final slated for July 26.

NWSL Challenge Cup schedule

NC Courage vs Portland Thorns FC | June 27 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

NC Courage vs Houston Dash | July 1 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

NC Courage vs Orlando Pride | July 5 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

C Courage vs Utah Royals FC | July 12 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup quarter finals | July 17-18 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup semi finals | July 22 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

Challenge Cup final | July 26 | CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access,

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