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Around The Forest: Timbers can capture the Cascadia Cup with a win

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Union’s Brian Carroll hangs up the boots, RFK is in its final days and more!

Portland:

Cascadia Cup | Timbers in position to capture cup Sunday with win over Whitecaps | Portland Timbers
Along with finalizing their seeding position in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, the Portland Timbers could clinch their fourth-ever Cascadia Cup if they defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park on MLS Decision Day, presented by AT&T (1pm PT, ROOT SPORTS).

Major League Soccer:

Houston Dynamo Supporter Group El Batallón Brings Latino Soccer Fan Culture to MLS
After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Houston turned to its blossoming sports scene in order to bring some normalcy back to the city. Led by Jose Altuve’s bat, the Astros have made it to their first ALCS ever–although they had made the World Series before as part of the National League.

Kit man, father figure, reserve striker: Meet the legend who keeps the LA Galaxy running | FourFourTwo
Raul Vargas was friendly with Jorge Campos, and the charismatic Mexican goalkeeper had some say when the Los Angeles Galaxy debuted back in 1996. So begins the tale of the longest-serving on-field figure in Major League Soccer annals and, truth be told, the most enduring and anonymous icon in Galaxy lore.

After 15 seasons, Union legend Brian Carroll calls it a career
Brian Carroll’s career has become synonymous with MLS longevity, a steady if unassuming presence to whom team success naturally flowed. Thursday, the Union legend called time on that career.

After being benched, Dynamo’s Tyler Deric is standing tall - Houston Chronicle
Tyler Deric had seen better days. Following the Dynamo's loss at New England in early April in which he made several costly mistakes, Deric was benched as the team's goalkeeper. For the next seven games, Deric watched as Joe Willis took his turn between the posts. Deric was working hard in training and supported Willis, but deep down he was seething.

Sounders want to avoid dangerous knockout round of playoffs | The Seattle Times
For Will Bruin and his Sounders, the 2017 playoffs have already begun. Technically, there’s a regular-season finale to play on Sunday at CenturyLink Field against the Colorado Rapids. But in reality, with the Sounders having the potential to finish as high as second or as low as fifth in the Western Conference, they know this is where their fortunes could be decided.

D.C. United want to leave RFK Stadium on high note - Washington Times
Ben Olsen fondly recalls strolling up to RFK Stadium in 1998 as a shaggy-haired rookie out of the University of Virginia. Having opened in 1961, the aging venue on East Capitol Street was already something of a relic. But in those early years of MLS, it represented a crown jewel.

United States:

Chris Durkin is the glue that holds the U-17 USYNT together - Stars and Stripes FC
The USYNT has advanced to the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup against England on Saturday. They have provided a breath of fresh air for the American soccer fan at a moment in time when we all really need it.

USA plays contrasting halves in 3-1 win over South Korea - Stars and Stripes FC
It was an exciting first half as the United States took on South Korea in New Orleans. South Korea looked to pressure the United States early on and perhaps turn their own tactics against them, but the US was quick to take back control, especially as Julie Ertz got physical in shutting down Korea’s attempts to play their technical game in the middle. She consistently pushed players off the ball, which allowed the US to push higher into Korea’s territory.

World:

Man United's Rashford fit Ibrahimovic may be back by end of year - Mourinho - ESPN FC
Jose Mourinho thinks Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready to make his Manchester United return before the end of the year, while his fellow striker Marcus Rashford has escaped injury and is fit to face Huddersfield Town on Saturday

Sepp Blatter accepts Vladimir Putin invitation to 2018 World Cup | Goal.com
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced he has accepted an invitation from Russian president Vladimir Putin to attend the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Blatter spent 17 years leading FIFA until a corruption scandal brought down him and many officials in the world’s governing body, including former UEFA chief Michel Pla

Cesc Fabregas left as Chelsea's last man standing in midfield ahead of Watford clash | Goal.com
Cesc Fabregas could be Chelsea's only fit senior midfielder for Saturday's Premier League game against Watford, head coach Antonio Conte has confirmed. The champions lost Tiemoue Bakayoko to a groin problem sustained in the 3-3 Champions League draw with Roma on Wednesday, while N'Golo Kante is still sidelined with a hamstring injury and Danny Drinkwater is yet to make his debut due to a calf issue.