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Around The Forest: Portland Timbers win the wild wild west

Timbers win the Cascadia Cup, Toronto nails the point’s record, special announcement coming from MLS in Atlanta this week and more!


Caleb Porter warns No. 1 seed no guarantee: "We got 5 games to win the Cup" |
With first place in the Western Conference on the line, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps served up a dramatic 90 minutes of soccer at Providence Park on Sunday afternoon. But in the end it was the Timbers who claimed the crown in the West and a first-round playoff bye, fighting back from going down to a Kendall Waston header, to come away with a 2-1 victory in a fiercely contested Cascadia Cup derby.

Cascadia Cup: 2017 schedule, standings and all-time winners list |
The Cascadia Cup is back in Portland. The Portland Timbers won the 2017 Cascadia Cup on Sunday following a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Providence Park. The victory means they beat out the other Cascadia rival, Seattle Sounders, with a two-point cushion in the competition standings.

Major League Soccer:

Toronto take pride in setting points record and silencing Atlanta boo birds |
Toronto FC played to a 2-2 draw against Atlanta United on Sunday, and the result at Mercedes-Benz Stadium saw the Canadian side set the all-time MLS record for points in a regular season with 69. The previous mark of 68 was set by the 1998 LA Galaxy.

FC Dallas reflect on failure to reach playoffs: "The cycle here is done" |
For FC Dallas, the goal was simple: do your job, and don’t worry about the rest. After all, they could only control part of the Decision Day presented by AT&T equation: Get a result, and hope the other two teams in a three-team race for that coveted sixth spot in the Western Conference, the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake, flounder.

New York City FC captain David Villa makes late push for MLS MVP |
After scoring just once in his last six games, David Villa exploded for a brace in a 2-2 draw with Columbus Crew SC at Citi Field, on Decision Day presented by AT&T. The Spanish legend may be finding his form again at the perfect time, as New York City FC embark on their second consecutive appearance in the MLS Cup playoffs.

Bill Hamid, a spectator in final RFK match, reflects on his European move |
Back from his travels to sort out an imminent European move, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made sure he got back to Washington for one final matchday at RFK Stadium, even if only as a spectator. Hamid posed for selfies with fans, considered jumping into the Barra Brava, and even popped his head into the press box to call out a jovial but brief farewell during Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls.

Focused, determined Columbus Crew SC ready for Atlanta United challenge |
Off the field, it was a tumultuous week for Columbus Crew SC. It was also a tumultuous first half on Sunday at Citi Field. There, on Decision Day presented by AT&T, Crew SC faced NYCFC, and went into halftime on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

New York Red Bulls' Sacha Kljestan wins the 2017 MLS assist title |
For the second consecutive year, Sacha Kljestan is the MLS assist king. The New York Red Bulls midfielder finished with the most assists in the league in 2017, ending the year with 17 helpers in 32 regular season games. Kljestan led MLS with 20 assists in 2016. He has 51 assists in 97 regular season appearances since returning to MLS to join the Red Bulls ahead of the 2015 season.

Armchair Analyst: Club-by-club, what 2017 meant in MLS |
Coaches are coaching for jobs, and players are playing for jobs. MNUFC were basically eliminated from playoff contention 13 seconds after the first kick of the season, but they just finished 4-2-2-over-eight-games stretch and dropped what I'm sure felt like a delightful bit of revenge on Atlanta United. The Rapids are out here playing .500 ball for the past month, breaking hearts in Montreal and Dallas and Utah. Even the Galaxy are getting a little bit feisty.

MLS to make special announcement in Atlanta on Monday |
MLS Commissioner Don Garber will hold a press conference on Monday with Atlanta United Owner Arthur Blank at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to make a special announcement. The press conference will begin at 4 pm ET and will be streamed live on

United States:

This U-17 USMNT was exciting for the best and worst reasons - Stars and Stripes FC
United States soccer fandom simultaneously takes youth tournaments far too seriously and not seriously enough. The results-oriented nature of the country is mostly to blame for this. The main goal of any youth World Cup is to get noticed and sign a contract, or stay in your current club’s good graces, ensuring them they have made a good investment.

Rampant USWNT defeats South Korea 6-0 - Stars and Stripes FC
The US Women’s National Team once again started out in a 4-3-3, albeit with quite a few player swaps. Coming into the forward line were Christen Press and Lynn Williams, replacing Megan Rapinoe and Mallory Pugh (out with the injury suffered in the previous match).


Ronald Koeman: Everton sack manager after woeful start to season |
Everton have sacked Ronald Koeman after Sunday's 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal left them with just two wins from their first nine Premier League games. Koeman was backed heavily during the transfer window, as Everton spent a reported £142 million on new players, but he has failed to deliver results this season and leaves the club 18th in the table.

Paris Saint-Germain news: Mbappe wins Golden Boy award |
Kylian Mbappe has won the prestigious Golden Boy award for the best player in Europe under the age of 21. The PSG striker, who has scored four goals and provided four assists in 11 games for the club this season, burst onto the world stage with Monaco last season and is now flourishing in the French capital, having formed a terrifying partnership with Brazilian Neymar.

Transfers like Neymar to PSG are inhuman, says Hoffenheim's Rupp |
Hoffenheim midfielder Lukas Rupp is worried about the rising transfer fees being paid in modern football. Just one year after Paul Pogba's €109 million move to Manchester United, the then-world record has been beaten three times.