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Around The Forest: Portland Timbers Zarek Valentin no longer odd man out

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Also on the docket M’Bappe €100m bid, Clint Dempsey is close to breaking Landon Donovan’s scoring record and more!

Portland:

Oregon Local News - Timbers' Valetin does what it takes
Early in the season, with Alvas Powell seemingly locked in as the Portland Timbers' right back, and with Vytas and Marco Farfan manning the left-back slot, Zarek Valentin could have felt like an odd-man out. But that did not keep the 25-year-old from sticking with the process — a favorite phrase of coach Caleb Porter.

MLS:

The 2016 MLS WORKS Community MVP is connecting kids with soccer globally | MLSsoccer.com
Plenty of college students travel the world after graduation. Not so many, however, are so inspired by their experiences that they decide to set up nonprofits when they return. But that’s what 2016 MLS WORKS Community MVP winner Stephen Schirra did. After graduating from the University of Connecticut in December of 2014, he immediately set out to visit countries and cities he’d simply always wanted to see — Spain, Italy, the Bahamas. But soon, he realized he wanted more.

San Diego mayor pushes for public vote on SoccerCity project in November | MLSsoccer.com
The San Diego City Council on Monday voted 8-1 against including the $5 million in the city budget which would have allowed for a November 2017 special election that was contemplated to include a public referendum on a proposed soccer stadium plan.

Soccer, NBA audiences trending younger, while NASCAR, golf, pro wrestling audiences are growing older
Changes in TV audience vary across sports, but the average age of those watching NASCAR and golf viewers in particular has risen sharply.

Orlando City Makes Statement Regarding Social Media Post Outing Ted Unkel’s Contact Information - The Mane Land
Obviously emotions were running hot on Sunday night after referee Ted Unkel ruined what promised to be an entertaining match between two of the Eastern Conference’s contending teams. One Orlando City supporter allowed emotion to cloud their judgment and posted Unkel’s business contact information on Twitter.

Learn the Childish Gambino-inspired Atlanta United chant that’s sweeping the nation - Dirty South Soccer
Before Atlanta United’s inaugural season began there was a little bit of worry among the general fan base that the team’s supporters wouldn’t have many original songs to sing. Thankfully, those worries were alleviated as several songs and chants were adopted quickly and turned into quick traditions that fill Bobby Dodd Stadium (and soon to Mercedes-Benz Stadium) on a weekly basis.

FC Dallas Imposes ‘Privilege Restrictions’ on Houston Dynamo Supporters Groups - Dynamo Theory
FC Dallas has informed Dynamo supporters that they will be imposing “privilege restrictions” against Dynamo supporter groups for “unacceptable behavior” at the May 28, 2017 game between the rivals.

Wiebe: MLS' biggest unanswered questions
We’re three months into the 2017 Major League Soccer season, and there’s plenty that we know.

Orlando City SC appeal red card shown to Rafael Ramos during Chicago match | MLSsoccer.com
Orlando City SC have filed an appeal for review of the red card shown to defender Rafael Ramos in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire. Making his first start of the season, the Portuguese fullback earned a straight red from referee Ted Unkel for a collision with his Fire counterpart Brandon Vincent as he tracked a high ball in the 26th minute.

United States:

US balance in midfield and attack crucial vs Trinidad and Tobago and vs Mexico - ESPN FC
Assuming that Bruce Arena's defense is set, he faces a real dilemma of how to arrange his midfield and attack for two crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Everton MLS Transfer Targets: Jordan Morris - Royal Blue Mersey
In the third part of our series investigating MLS players who could be potential fits at Everton, we’re taking a look at Seattle-native Jordan Morris. The 22-year-old already has 16 goals and 4 assists in MLS play, with barely a full season’s worth of experience under his belt.

Clint Dempsey on verge of catching Landon Donovan on U.S. men’s scoring chart - The Washington Post
Clint Dempsey’s aim Thursday is clear: help the U.S. national team gain three points and continue bolstering a once-sluggish World Cup qualifying effort midway through the CONCACAF schedule. Nothing else matters, he says. Not whether he starts or comes off the bench, pockets another goal or earns credit for an assist.

Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach unite over girl kicked out tournament for “looking like a boy” - Stars and Stripes FC
You’re a youth soccer director in somewhere, America, just trying to coordinate hundreds of kids and their probably overly-involved parents. You make a bad decision (a REALLY bad decision) about a player - and suddenly you have Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, and Julie Foudy mad at you.

World:

Two clubs' bid of over 100m euros for Kylian Mbappe rejected source - ESPN FC
Two clubs have made bids in excess of €100 million for Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, but both have been rejected, a source told ESPN FC. Mbappe, 18, is one of the world's most sought-after players after a breakthrough season in which he won Ligue 1, helped his team to the Champions League semifinals and scored 26 goals in 44 appearances.

Canada National Team Roster | Gold Cup | MLSsoccer.com
Here is the preliminary CanMNT roster for this years gold cup.

Marcus Rashford would welcome Alvaro Morata arrival at Manchester United - ESPN FC
Marcus Rashford has backed Manchester United's reported attempts to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. United have been linked with Morata after cooling their interest in Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

Manchester City's Nolito denies reports of potential Sevilla switch - ESPN FC
Manchester City winger Nolito has dismissed reports that he is in talks with Sevilla over a potential move. A photograph of Nolito with Sevilla sporting director Oscar Arias, published in the Spanish media, fuelled speculation of a switch to the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi: I can't spend next season on the bench - ESPN FC
Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has said he cannot afford to spend another season on the bench but the club "are the boss" when it comes to deciding his future beyond this summer.

James Rodriguez: Why Real Madrid hasn't worked for Colombia star | SI.com
James Rodriguez hasn't been able to feature as a regular star at Real Madrid, and his talents are best suited being utilized elsewhere.