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Around The Forest: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury was worse than he let on

Let the rumor mill commence on the Timbers vacant job, Cristian Roldan’s evolution, Liga MX playoffs are set, Top 10 teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup and more!


Media roundup: Five candidates generating buzz for the Portland job |
Who will replace Caleb Porter in Portland? Plenty of names have been bandied about since news dropped on Thursday night that Porter was leaving his post as Timbers head coach, with potential candidates including current MLS head coaches, lower league champions and a college coach or two.

Major League Soccer

IN MY WORDS: The life of Florian Jungwirth | San Jose Earthquakes
I was five or six when I started playing football. I didn’t have a lot of choices in the village where I lived - there were just three kinds of sports. One was handball and the other was gymnastics, so the chance was very high that I start to play football.

Roldan's constant evolution in Seattle has made him among Sounders' best - ESPN FC
Like many soccer-crazed youngsters of his generation, Roldan idolized Barca midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi. They shaped how he saw the game. They were the guys he lined up alongside in his daydreams.

Check out the latest renderings of DC United's Audi Field |
After spending 22 seasons at RFK Stadium, D.C. will move into soccer-specific Audi Field next season. The club will begin the year with a lengthy road trip before opening their new home in early summer. The 20,000-seat facility is currently under construction in D.C.’s Buzzard Point neighborhood.

TFC fans fear for pitch at BMO Field amid CFL playoffs | Toronto Sun
It sounds insane, but BMO Field groundskeeper Robert Heggie has had more interview requests since 2015 than most GMs in this league. “I don’t know if there’s a city in the world that cares about their grass as much as Toronto,” Heggie joked with the Toronto Sun this weekend

Michael Bradley set to face the past in Berhalter and the future in Trapp |
Michael Bradley will be TFC's only Designated Player in uniform, as Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco serve suspensions. On the other side will be Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter and captain Wil Trapp, two familiar faces from Bradley's own progression through international soccer with the US.

Technical director Graham Smith steps down at expansion hopeful Sacramento |
Sacramento Republic FC technical director Graham Smith has stepped down for the USL side, a club that is one of 12 groups in the running to secure one of four MLS expansion franchises. Smith has overseen the roster construction of Sacramento's first-team since the club launched in 2014 and won the USL PRO title during their inaugural season.

Seattle's Nicolas Lodeiro found tougher sledding in first full MLS campaign |
It might seem a silly question to pose about a guy who had seven goals and 12 assists this season. But following a transcendently dominant 2016 entry into MLS that saw him score four goals and bag eight assists in just 1,170 minutes following his midseason transfer from Boca Juniors, 2017 has proven tougher sledding for Seattle’s shifty Uruguayan playmaker.


FC Kansas City to cease operations, will be replaced by club owned by Real Salt Lake |
National Women's Soccer League club FC Kansas City will cease operations and be replaced by a new club owned by Real Salt Lake in 2018, the league announced Monday.

United States

Yedlin, Carter-Vickers notch assists in England - Stars and Stripes FC
The future of the United States’ back line appears to be in pretty good hands. Two American defenders notched assists this weekend in England. DeAndre Yedlin picked up his first helper of the season in a 4-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon. His surging run up the right flank resulted in a very nice pull back for Dwight Gayle to finish.


Liguilla: Liga MX playoff matchups set with Club America vs. Cruz Azul in first round |
A late goal by Club America midfielder Guido Rodriguez gave Las Aguilas a 1-0 victory over Santos Laguna on Sunday to set up a meeting with crosstown rival Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals of the Liga MX playoffs.

Top 10 teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup |
Sometimes, the very best in the world aren't always represented at the World Cup. Some of the greatest talents and teams of their generation were unable to qualify for the World Cup, while other failures involved high-profile sides whose absence from the tournament generated plenty of headlines. Here, Goal breaks down the 10 most high-profle teams who were unable to make it to the sport's biggest showpiece.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: My injury was worse than people know |
Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed his knee injury was worse than previously known, saying people would be shocked by his return to the field if they knew the full extent of the problem.

Bayern Munich closing in on Sandro Wagner signing from Hoffenheim - ESPN FC
Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim have confirmed talks over a January transfer of Germany international Sandro Wagner. Wagner's career could come full circle this winter should he join Bayern, his first team in professional football, in the upcoming transfer window.