Week 19 of the MLS season is upon us, but before this weekend’s 10 matches, there's plenty going on around the league before the players take to the field. Here's your chance to keep up to date with the latest news as it happens.
6:15 pm ET — Alonso: Pizarro, Reyes could be back vs. Orlando
Inter Miami CF won't have Rodolfo Pizarro and Andres Reyes back when they face Montreal this weekend, but head coach Diego Alonso is hopeful both will be back for their Oct. 24 rivalry clash with Orlando City. Pizarro has been on international duty with Mexico and will have to follow quarantine protocols upon his return to the United States, while Reyes has not featured since coming off injured in Miami's loss to Philadelphia on Sept. 27.
"We think that we’re going to be able to count on Rodolfo for the match against Orlando, so he’s going to work next week to be able to prepare for that match," Alonso said of Pizarro's return to the team.
4:15 pm ET — Vermes still not happy about call vs. FCD
If you were wondering whether Peter Vermes had cooled down after Wednesday's match vs. FC Dallas, the answer is no. The Sporting Kansas City head coach went on a nearly 7-minute long speech about the refs and opposing players in the match that had a controversial call that went in favor of FCD. You can watch the whole thing below.
4 pm ET — Barco, Moreno could play vs. Toronto
New Designated Player Marcelino Moreno played just one match for Atlanta United before missing Wednesday night's match against Inter Miami CF. According to interim head coach Stephen Glass, Moreno could be back for Atlanta's match against Toronto FC (7:30 pm ET | TV & Streaming) along with Ezequiel Barco and Franco Escobar.
“We’re hopeful all three will make it. They did training this morning," said Glass during a Friday press conference. "We didn’t do a lot as a group today in terms of active training so they did a bit more than the group today. We’re hoping they come through that fine and we’ll evaluate them tomorrow. They’ve all got a chance to play on Sunday."
2 pm ET — Henry on Miami: "They're tough to play against"
The Montreal Impact and Inter Miami CF will be meeting for the first time on Saturday (7 pm ET | TV & Streaming) and a win for Miami would push them above Montreal in the standings and likely into playoff positioning. Impact head coach Thierry Henry explained why Miami are a difficult matchup during a Friday press conference.
"You have to deal with [Lewis] Morgan, you have to deal with [Matias] Pellegrini, you have to deal with [Blaise] Matuidi, you have to deal with [Gonzalo] Higuain. You have to deal with those guys. They have some guys who are pretty strong at the back," Henry said. "Wil Trapp has been playing again in the team — he's been a solid midfielder in the league — and he also gives them right now a good balance in the team. The coach is also finding a way of playing.
"They're tough to play against. When you have a guy like Gonzalo Higuain, that can finish what you started to create, it also becomes different for you. It's going to be a tough game."
12:51 pm ET — Minnesota cancels training Thursday, Friday
Minnesota’s last two matches were postponed due to a suspected case of COVID-19 among the Minnesota United team delegation.
The Loons are scheduled to host the Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field Sunday (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; on DAZN in Canada). Minnesota provided an update on the club's status at 3 pm ET Friday.
11:35 am ET — Hamid, Moreno questionable for D.C.
In a video conference call with reporters Friday morning, D.C. United interim coach Chad Ashton said goalkeeper Bill Hamid and midfielder Junior Moreno were both questionable heading into a road match against FC Cincinnati Sunday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; on DAZN in Canada).
D.C. United interim coach Chad Ashton says Bill Hamid (illness) and Junior Moreno (injury) are day to day heading into Sunday's match at Cincinnati. "I would call them both questionable," Ashton says. #dcu #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) October 16, 2020
11:51 am ET — Timeline for Mendez, Gallese return to Orlando City SC
Talking with Oscar Pareja now — he says Sebas Méndez and Pedro Gallese are expected to be available for next weekend's match against Inter Miami.— Julia Poe (@jpoe24601) October 16, 2020
According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Julia Poe, both are expected back for Orlando’s Week 20 clash against Inter Miami CF next Saturday. Pareja also addressed when new signing Matheus Aiás might debut, according to Poe.
"If we don't have him for New York, we will have him for the next one. ... It takes forever, but if it's not for this game, it will be for the next one almost for sure," he said.