Jonathan dos Santos - LA Galaxy - solo shot
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Around the league: Latest MLS club news for Friday, October 23

Rounding up the latest news and developments from around the league today:


3:54 pm ET – Jona, Feltscher back

The LA Galaxy will have some reinforcements for Sunday's El Trafico, as midfielder Jonathan dos Santos and defender Rolf Feltscher are both back in contention.  

3:11 pm ET – Vela might make return

LAFC might have forward Carlos Vela back at an opportune time, with head coach Bob Bradley noting the reigning MVP is progressing well from his MCL tear. He's missed LAFC's last 11 games.

Further, defender Tristan Blackmon might also be available for selection and four key players from South America are back in the mix. Chief among them? Golden Boot leader Diego Rossi, who was recently with Brian Rodriguez for Uruguay's World Cup qualifiers. 

3:00 pm ET – Casseres back for RBNY

New York Red Bulls interim head coach Bradley Carnell revealed that Cristian Casseres Jr. is back for Saturday's game at Chicago (7:30 PM ET | TV & streaming info). The midfielder was recently with Venezuela for Conmebol World Cup qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Carnell said that Kaku "just misses it by one day" after representing Paraguay during the October FIFA window. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, players have had to quarantine upon returning from international duty.

2:15 pm ET – Akinola return nearing?

Previewing Toronto FC's upcoming match, head coach Greg Vanney noted that forward Ayo Akinola is "questionable" and could soon return. They also have forward Jozy Altidore out, so they'll hope Akinola can soon build off scoring eight goals in 13 games this season.

As for other updates, left back Justin Morrow is available for selection and center back Chris Mavinga is a bit further off.

2:10 pm ET – Vanney on Shield decision

The Supporters' Shield Foundation announced Friday that it'll indeed hand out the Supporters' Shield in 2020, a decision that Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney embraced. Vanney's TFC are the current Shield favorites with 41 points through 19 games. 

"I don’t think it just is about our team," Vanney said. "I think it’s about all the players in the league who have competed this season through thick and thin and through tough times. When you start a season, your goal is always to win trophies and really there’s three of them out there: the domestic championship, the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. The Supporters’ Shield is the long haul, and it’s the one team that endures the most over the long haul.

"I think it’s the right thing. I applaud them again for being open-minded and bringing it back to the equation, and for us it’s a goal of ours and so we’re working to try and achieve it. But there’s three, four, five teams that are still within reach, and so there’s still a lot of work to be done. But we’re excited about the prospect, as I’m sure other teams are in the league, that there’s an opportunity to lift a trophy at the end of the regular season."

The reversal adds another layer to Saturday's match between Toronto and the Philadelphia Union (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info), as they're the top two teams in the Shield race.

1:10 pm ET – Dax sings Anunga’s praises

During his nine games (six starts) in MLS, Cameroonian midfielder Tah Brian Anunga has been a bright spot for expansion side Nashville SC. Just ask veteran Dax McCarty, who effused high marks for the 24-year-old.

1:03 pm ET – Fire internationals returning

Chicago Fire FC have been without midfielder Gaston Gimenez and left back Miguel Angel Navarro for three games due to October international call-ups, though the latter is good to go this Saturday against the New York Red Bulls (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info).

Head coach Raphael Wicky addressed the situation in his pregame press conference, noting that Navarro is available after being with Venezuela for Conmebol World Cup qualifiers. As for Gimenez, a Designated Player, his travel from Paraguay duty was delayed and he’ll return to training next week.

12:20 pm ET – NYCFC’s plans for no Chanot, Castellanos

New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila faces a couple lineup decisions for this Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info), particularly with center back Maxime Chanot and forward Taty Castellanos missing through yellow-card accumulation.

As for Chanot’s replacement, it seems as though Sebastien Ibeagha will slot into the XI alongside Alexander Callens and make his fifth appearance of 2020. James Sands would be another possible solution, but he’s still recovering from a fracture in his right foot.

“He's the one that is coming in when Callens or Maxi is out of the team, so to get another start for him is good,” Delia said of Ibeagha. “He did a good job in Miami and I'm sure he will do a good job tomorrow as well. But of course I'm happy that he gets more minutes.”

At center forward, Deila didn’t want to tip his hand too much. He mentioned attackers Gary Mackay-Steven and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi as possible replacements, plus attacking midfielders Jesus Medina and Maxi Moralez. The situation’s further compounded by normal starter Heber being out for the season with a torn ACL.

“We have different solutions, but I think it's important that we keep ourselves to what we have done and not change too much,” Delia said. “It, of course, has to be some of the front players that has to play the No. 9. If it's Gary or Isi or Jesus, Maxi can play as a false No. 9. We'll see tomorrow."

9:32 am ET – Gil travels to Nashville

Carles Gil watch is officially on, as the New England Revolution tweeted a photo Friday morning of the 2019 Best XI midfielder traveling to Nashville SC ahead of their Friday night matchup (8:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). 

Gil had surgery on his left Achilles tendon back on Aug. 4, and a club release said the Spaniard faced an anticipated recovery period of 3-5 months. He's since returned to training and isn't on New England's injury report. Could the 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year return ahead of schedule?