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Around The Forest: Cyle Larin to Besiktas saga continues

Portland

Reports: Portland Timbers in on Paraguayan youth international Paredes | MLSsoccer.com
The Portland Timbers could be the latest MLS team to target a Paraguayan youth international. At least two reports have linked the Timbers to 19-year-old midfielder Cristhian Paredes, who is currently under contract with Mexican giants Club America.

Major League Soccer

Report: Orlando City SC to meet with Turkish club Besiktas about Cyle Larin | MLSsoccer.com
A potential move to Besiktas for Canadian striker Cyle Larin could be coming closer to completion. A report from goalbien.com says Orlando City SC are set to meet with the Turkish giants about Larin, who has expressed his desire to move to Europe this transfer window.

Orlando City land Jose Villarreal via trade, sign fullback Mohamed El-Munir | MLSsoccer.com
For the second week in a row, Orlando City has brought in a pair of reinforcements. For the second week in a row, those reinforcements consist of a player familiar to MLS circles and one that is more of an unknown commodity.

Chicago Fire's on-loan midfielder Juninho says he is in talks to stay in US | MLSsoccer.com
In an interview with Brazilian outlet Globo that was published on Tuesday, Juninho said that he is in talks to try and make a permanent move back to the US. The veteran central midfielder spent the past year with the Chicago Fire, but was there via a season-long loan from Liga MX outfit Club Tijuana.

MLS to Liga MX: How recent moves between leagues have fared | MLSsoccer.com
Manneh became the latest player to head south of the border to ply his trade in Mexico on Wednesday when he officially signed with Pachuca. While Manneh will be one of only a handful of former MLS players to compete in Liga MX in the upcoming Clausura campaign, there have been plenty of others who have embarked on similar journeys in recent years.

Sunday Q&A: Soccer just kept calling the Wilf family - StarTribune.com
After losing out to the local Minnesota United group led by Bill McGuire on a bid to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Minnesota, the Wilf family — which owns the Vikings and would have had an MLS team here play at U.S. Bank Stadium — turned its soccer attention to Nashville.

From Bob Ross to Mt. Olympus: The top tifo from MLS fans in 2017 | MLSsoccer.com
The 2017 MLS season brought another memorable batch of tifo offerings around the league, from Orlando City SC's divine thanks for their new stadium to the Timbers Army's playful nod to legendary painter Bob Ross in Portland to the exultant celebrations at BMO Field of Toronto FC's dominant treble campaign.

United States

Independent Soccer’s Future in America: Align out of NISAssity
At this time, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet ruled against awarding a mandatory injunction in favor of the North American Soccer League (NASL). But they will, it’s just a question now of when. Despite what some rampant partisans might have you believe (looking at you, Rocco), the court’s ruling against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and reversing the lower court’s previous denial of the injunction was always a fool’s errand. That I’m publishing this before the appeals court has ruled says all you need to know.

World

Warming to Eric: my belated affection for a football genius
Four days before Christmas in 1996, Eric Cantona collected the ball just inside Sunderland’s half, turned into space, and embarked upon a run that would culminate in one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goals.

De Bruyne, Messi and the top 15 assist makers in Europe this season so far | Goal.com
It's not just scorers who deserve praise for their effectiveness in front of goal. Here, we look at the top five assist makers in Europe's top leagues. Although the likes of Harry Kane, Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi have emerged as Europe's top goalscorers in the first-half of the 2017-18 season, they cannot take all the glory.

£75m Virgil van Dijk joins Naby Keita in Jurgen Klopp's masterplan to strengthen Liverpool's spine | Goal.com
Towards the end of 2016-17, as Liverpool pushed for a top-four finish to crystallise their advancement under Jurgen Klopp, the sketch of their recruitment strategy for the new campaign was becoming apparent.