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Around The Forest: Crew demolish NYCFC in first leg

Kenny Cooper on trial at Orlando City, Bobby Wood in a negative spiral, Cristian Roldan loses bet and more!


Timbers rely on depth in draw, confident in heading home to Providence Park: "I just can’t wait until Sunday" | Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers held strong to get a 0-0 draw against the Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals Monday night. In a tense, hard-fought match, the result was important in part due to the Timbers being forced to make three substitutions due to injuries to Larrys Mabiala, Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe.

MLS Playoffs

Despite crooked scoreline, Gregg Berhalter says Crew SC's "work isn't done" |
Columbus Crew SC is earning “team of destiny” tags in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, and a 4-1 victory over New York City FC won’t stop anyone from jumping on the bandwagon. The club stunned the visitors at MAPFRE Stadium Tuesday night, capping a wild match with a stoppage-time goal from Harrison Afful that all but puts the series out of reach for NYCFC.

Stejskal: Columbus Crew SC players deliver when fans need them most |
When a soccer game is good, it can compress the entire range of human emotion into an exhilarating 90-minute window. We can suffer, fail and grieve, then pick ourselves up and rise to heights previously unimagined. Heroes can turn into goats; grief can turn into elation; excitement into despair.

New York City FC blame faulty finishing after Columbus Crew SC rout |
For the second straight season, New York City FC finished second in the Eastern Conference, and for the second straight season, the club was annihilated in their Audi MLS Cup Playoff opener. The visitors sputtered into MAPFRE Stadium with a 1-4-2 record to close out the regular season, while Columbus Crew SC was unbeaten in 11 and coming off an emotional win in penalty kicks over Atlanta United.

SIDELINE | Cristian Roldan pays up, paints his ride in Stanford colors |
Maybe it wasn't a Halloween costume per se -- but for one day, at least, Cristian Roldan's ride was painted up like it belonged to a Stanford fan, after the Seattle Sounders midfielder lost a bet to teammate and Cardinal alum Jordan Morris.

Report: Kenny Cooper on trial with Orlando City SC |
Longtime MLS forward Kenny Cooper is on trial with Orlando City. Orlando Sentinel reporter Alicia Del Gallo tweeted on Tuesday that Cooper is training with the Lions ahead of their “Fuerza Puerto Rico” friendly on Saturday against the Puerto Rican national team.

Atlanta United FC embraced city’s culture and became an MLS smash -
It’s a clear, calm Thursday night downtown. Nearly 70,000 Atlantans are descending upon Mercedes-Benz Stadium to support Atlanta United FC in its first playoff game ever, against Columbus Crew SC. If you had written those words even just a year ago, you would have been laughed at.

Official: Roland Alberg signs with CSKA Sofia - Brotherly Game
After a tumultuous two seasons, Roland Alberg’s Philadelphia Union career has come to a close. The midfielder has officially joined CSKA Sofia on a two-year deal, the Bulgarian club announced today.

United States

Bobby Wood is in ‘negative spiral’ - Stars and Stripes FC
October can’t end quickly enough for the United States. After one of the most disappointing months in team history, even more poor news broke on Tuesday when Hamburger SV coach Markus Gisdol said USMNT striker Bobby Wood is in a "negative spiral" and suggested we may not see much more playing time from the 24-year-old this season.


Diego Torres named interim coach for Club Tijuana - FMF State Of Mind
One day after mutually parting ways with manager Eduardo Coudet, Club Tijuana announced that U20s coach Diego Torres would be the club’s interim manager through the end of the 2017 Liga MX Apertura. Coudet and his entire coaching staff left the club on October 30 amid rumors of players not being paid for almost two months and a divided locker room.

Restaurant owner suffers broken nose defending Man City fans attacked in Naples |
Four Manchester City supporters were attacked ahead of their club’s Champions League match against Napoli in Italy, ANSA reports. The group of fans visiting the city had dined at a restaurant in Via Cesario Console when the exit was blocked and they were approached by a crowd of people throwing objects at them.

'Whoever sold Nemanja Matic to Man Utd should be sacked by Chelsea' - Phil Neville slams transfer policy |
Phil Neville believes whoever decided to sell midfielder Nemanja Matic to Manchester United should be sacked after Chelsea crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Roma. Chelsea were picked apart by Roma in the Champions League Group C fixture on Tuesday as head coach Antonio Conte cut a frustrated figure post-match.