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Around The Forest: Welcome to free agency

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ALSO: Providence Park update, full free-agent list as free agency gets underway, Ciman sent to LAFC and more!

Portland

Providence Park Update | Expansion construction continues apace in December | Portland Timbers
Turner Construction has begun to construct a pathway of steel and plastic load plates in preparation for the mobile crane to drive onto the field as shown in the photo above. A Liebherr 600-ton mobile crane is going to be used to build the full sized tower crane that is coming next month.

Major League Soccer

List of MLS Free Agents for 2018 season | MLSsoccer.com
On Sunday, MLS announced a list of players eligible for free agency. Out-of-contract players and those who had their contract option declined - and who were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service - are eligible for Free Agency.

Reports: South American strikers Fidel Martinez, Gabriel Leyes on MLS radar | MLSsoccer.com
Ecuador international Fidel Martinez is one of several players “transfer-listed” by Mexican side Atlas, signaling the club’s readiness to part ways, while Uruguayan frontrunner Gabriel Leyes also appears to be on the outs at Peruvian outfit Alianza Lima. Both could well find themselves a subject of interest for MLS teams hunting for international upgrades to their attacks.

Guerreros: Magic moments and reactions from Toronto FC's MLS Cup triumph | MLSsoccer.com
NYC stand-up comedian and The Cooligans co-host Alexis Guerreros brings you the things on the North American soccer scene that most entertained him over the last week: The 2017 MLS season has officially wrapped up with the crowning of Toronto FC as champion. The game was exciting and fun to watch for everyone except Seattle, Montreal, and Vancouver fans. And while the season ends, the banter continues!

List of players eligible for 2017 MLS Waiver Draft | MLSsoccer.com
On Tuesday, Major League Soccer announced the list of eligible players for the 2017 MLS Waiver Draft, which will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 3:30 pm ET. The Waiver Draft consists of players who are not eligible for Re-Entry or Free Agency and either a) are out of contract and have not been issued a genuine offer or b) have not had their 2018 options exercised.

Lagerwey not surprised to lose Miller, keep Alonso in Expansion Draft | MLSsoccer.com
“The result was consistent with conversations we’d had with LAFC,” Lagerwey told reporters on Tuesday. “You go into this thing and you talk through all kinds of scenarios and you try to be prepared for everything and there’s always some risk that things won’t come off as discussed or as agreed. But this one did, this one came off and the player we thought was going to get taken got taken.”

LAFC wastes little time in trading two Expansion picks for Laurent Ciman | MLSsoccer.com
After selecting two defenders among their five picks in the expansion draft, LAFC have quickly turned them into one, trading Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to Montreal Impact for Belgian international defender Laurent Ciman.

Report: New York Red Bulls in talks to trade Sacha Kljestan to LAFC | MLSsoccer.com
The New York Red Bulls could be trading their captain for the second straight offseason. According to MSG and Metro's Kristian Dyer, the Red Bulls are set to trade midfielder Sacha Kljestan to LAFC. A source noted that the Red Bulls would likely receive allocation money in return for Kljestan.

Beckham's MLS expansion group restructured at 11th hour - sources
David Beckham's investor group, one still hoping to land a Major League Soccer expansion franchise, has undergone a significant restructuring just days before a critical meeting of the MLS board of governors, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

United States

US Soccer is headed in the wrong direction | Sports stopped making sense in 2017
American soccer suffered a devastating blow in October when the United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. A stunning loss to Trinidad and Tobago meant the Americans will miss out on the biggest sporting event in the world for the first time since 1986.

World

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Striker brands Guardiola ‘most immature’ coach he’s ever had | Goal.com
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has called Pep Guardiola the most immature manager he has worked under for benching him during his one-year stint at Barcelona. The big Swedish striker joined Barcelona from Inter Milan in the 2009-10 season after a successful three-year stint with the Serie A giants.

Zidane and Real Madrid aim for history at FIFA Club World Cup | Goal.com
With their team languishing eight points behind Barcelona in La Liga with a Clasico to come before Christmas - and facing the threat of billionaires Paris St-Germain in the Champions League knockouts in the New Year - it would easy to forgive Real Madrid fans for not quite being in the festive mood.

Pep Guardiola If Man United were offended by celebrations I apologise
Pep Guardiola has apologised to Manchester United if the club were offended by his team's celebrations following Man City's 2-1 derby win on Sunday, but insisted his side did nothing out of the ordinary.