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Around The Forest: Julian Draxler best reserve in the world?

Also: Steve Clark to fill Bill Hamid’s shoes? Revs have interest in Eric Lichaj, Galaxy shopping Joao Pedro?

Portland

The moment Don Garber call’s Diego Valeri to let him know that he’s won the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award.

Major League Soccer

Armchair Analyst: Time for FC Dallas to move on from Mauro Diaz? Not yet | MLSsoccer.com
Mauro Diaz, when healthy and happy and in the right situation, is magic. In 2017, he was neither healthy nor in the right situation, and thus didn't look particularly happy with FC Dallas. Nobody did – and honestly, nobody should be. There's no way Los Toros Tejanos should've missed the playoffs.

Steve Clark confident he'll capably replace Bill Hamid in net for DC | MLSsoccer.com
Never be the guy who replaces the local hero. Unless, maybe, you’re goalkeeper Steve Clark. After a short cameo toward the end of the 2017 season, the 31-year-old Clark appears to be D.C. United’s most likely successor for Bill Hamid, who signed with Danish club FC Midtjylland following the end of the MLS season.

Report: Several teams interested in trading for LA Galaxy's Joao Pedro | MLSsoccer.com
Dyer reported on Monday that Pedro has drawn interest from “a couple of teams” in the trade market. The 24-year-old central midfielder was signed by the Galaxy from Portuguese club Vitoria in January using Targeted Allocation Money. He struggled through an up-and-down year with LA, recording one goal and two assists in 28 appearances as the Galaxy limped to the worst regular season in their history.

A year after "The Save," Sounders' Frei hopes for quieter MLS Cup this year | MLSsoccer.com
No matter what happens in the 2017 MLS Cup rematch between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday (4 pm ET | ESPN, UniMas in US; TSN, TVAS in Canada), Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei has already cemented his status in franchise lore.

Eric Lichaj still being linked with MLS clubs as negotiations with Nottingham Forest continue - Nottingham Post
Defender Eric Lichaj continues to be linked with clubs in his native America while negotiations over a new Nottingham Forest deal are ongoing. New England Revolution are said to be keen on the full-back, who is out of contract at the City Ground in the summer.

FC Dallas offseason: Five available players in MLS worth discussing now - Big D Soccer
Last Monday was the roster decision day around the league as the majority of the clubs made their offseason plans by extending or not extending contracts to their players for 2018. From that list of players, there will be those that are free agency bound, Re-Entry Draft bound or to the waiver wires.

Boehm: Best ever? What if that title belongs to Sounders, not Toronto FC? | MLSsoccer.com
By now you’ve heard the GOAT talk about Toronto FC. Best regular-season performance in MLS history. Best strike pair in MLS history. Most talented Designated Players in MLS history. Deepest, best roster in MLS history. And of course, the biggest and most conditional of them all, pending Saturday’s MLS Cup final: Best team in MLS history.

United States

Kathy Carter Joins a Crowded Race for U.S. Soccer President - The New York Times
The last three elections for the presidency of U.S. Soccer, a position that is alternately powerful and thankless but always unpaid, could not muster even the two candidates necessary to qualify it as an actual race.

World

Messi contract: No 'super deal' for Barcelona star as Cristiano Ronaldo eclipsing talk untrue | Goal.com
Lionel Messi is not earning a 'super contract' on the Barcelona deal that he signed last week, contrary to reports in the Spanish press on Tuesday. The 30-year-old ended months of speculation over his future by signing a new deal with the Catalan club on November 25, a contract that will run until 2021 and includes a €700 million buyout clause.

Cristiano Ronaldo disagreements no issue - Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos
Recent weeks have seen Ramos and Ronaldo on opposite sides of a debate around the Bernabeu over whether the squad has been weakened by the summer departures of squad players James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata and Pepe, with youngsters Dani Ceballos, Borja Mayoral and Jesus Vallejo having taken their place.

Champions League: Julian Draxler is the best reserve in the world right now - can PSG keep him happy? | Goal.com
When Paris Saint-Germain completed their spectacular summer double swoop to sign Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for an eventual combined fee of over €450 million, it seemed to spell the end for Julian Draxler at Parc des Princes.