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Around The Forest: USMNT can qualify for Russia on Tuesday

Look out for Diego Rubio, several teams interested in Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron, Andrea Pirlo set to retire and more!

Major League Soccer:

Diego Rubio emerging as dangerous scoring threat for Sporting Kansas City | MLSsoccer.com
After missing most of the first half of 2017 due to an ACL tear, Diego Rubio has taken advantage of newfound playing time with Sporting KC to become the club’s primary scoring threat over the last month. The 24-year-old has scored four of the team’s last six goals, including the lone strike in their 1-1 draw at Minnesota on Saturday night. He now has six goals in just 13 regular season appearances this year, a solid rate for a team that needed to fill a void at striker following the July trade of Dom Dwyer to Orlando.

Report: Inter Milan, Arsenal interested in Atlanta's Miguel Almiron | MLSsoccer.com
Inter Milan are apparently keeping close tabs on Atlanta United FC star Miguel Almiron. CalcioMercato.com reported on Saturday that Inter Milan are “closely monitoring” the Paraguayan international, who could be worth as much as €15-20 million to the Serie A giants.

Sporting KC vs. Minnesota, recap, box score, 10/7/17 | The Kansas City Star
After the conclusion of a club-record home unbeaten streak, Sporting Kansas City forward Diego Rubio stood in front of his locker last weekend and described it as the most frustrating game of his career. A bevy of chances had fallen to him but produced zero goals.

New York Red Bulls book playoff place with win over Vancouver | Goal.com
The New York Red Bulls are headed to the MLS playoffs after taking a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Goals from Daniel Royer, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Felipe made sure club would be in the playoffs for the 14th time in 15 years, with the Red Bulls running their tally to eight straight years in the MLS postseason.

Andrea Pirlo is among the last of a dying breed in Major League Soccer - ESPN FC
The New York City FC midfielder, in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, announced on Sunday that he will retire at the end of this season when his contract expires. And while there have been and will be other registas, such was the grace with which Pirlo passed the ball, struck sublime free kicks, and managed tempo, that it seems like it will be some time before the soccer viewing public sees the likes of Pirlo again. His understated, Most Interesting Soccer Player in the World™ persona is also unlikely to be replicated.

Crew SC | Successful year washing away 2016 disappointment
A little less than a year removed from its 2016 season ending mercifully with a loss at New York City FC, Crew SC has finally done enough to show it has moved on. A win last Saturday over D.C. United clinched the Crew a playoff spot, providing another rinse for the sour taste left by an 8-14-12 season in 2016. It was a change that coach Gregg Berhalter openly discussed after the 2-0 win over D.C.

Legend Andrea Pirlo is saying goodbye | New York Post
Arrivederci, Andrea. Italian legend and New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo told an Italian newspaper that he plans to retire from soccer at the end of the season.

United States:

How the USMNT can qualify for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday - Stars and Stripes FC
Well, that was fun. Why does it always seem like the United States men’s national team plays well when there’s adversity and/or doubt swirling about them? They can’t make things easy on themselves, can they? With the win over Panama, they have made their task for qualifying for next summer’s World Cup pretty straightforward.

USA 1 - 0 Ghana, 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup: Just enough for a win - Stars and Stripes FC
The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team took on Ghana on a sweltering day in New Delhi, India for their second match of the U-17 Men’s World Cup. While their 3-0 win against India was a good start to the tournament, the U-17s were looking for a result against a Ghana team that also won their opening match against Colombia. In the end, the U.S. would come away with a 1-0 victory though each team had their chances and could have come away with three points in the match.

World:

World Cup without Messi or Ronaldo would be disastrous for the game - ESPN FC
On the face of it, World Cup qualification should be a fairly straightforward equation for both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. For Ronaldo and European champions Portugal it's simple against Switzerland in Lisbon on Tuesday: Turn up, win, qualify. For Messi and Argentina, a win in Ecuador on the same day would seal a playoff against New Zealand, and perhaps automatic qualification if other results go their way.

Neymar demands Barcelona be kicked out of Champions League over €26m bonus refusal | Goal.com
Neymar has called on UEFA to expel Barcelona from the Champions League in a dispute over an outstanding loyalty payment. Goal understands the Brazil international's legal team made the request to European football's governing body as part of the ongoing row with his old club.

Ballon d'Or 2017: Neymar, Griezmann & Suarez among nominees | Goal.com
Antoine Griezmann and Gianluigi Buffon have joined the likes of Neymar and Luis Suarez as nominees for the 2017 Ballon d'Or award, with the first 20 candidates released.