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Around The Forest: FIFA whistleblower Chuck Blazer dead at 72

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Minnesota United signs New Zealand international, Sebastián Blanco goes on record about his favorite things and more!

Portland:

Plugged In | Sebastián Blanco's love for Argentine rock and Facebook | Portland Timbers
It’s a busy world with apps, phones, music, books, video games and more. We talk with Portland Timbers midfielder, Sebastián Blanco about what he uses when he's plugged in.

Timbers Roots | Zarek Valentin on growing up in Amish country and sports hero | Portland Timbers
Portland Timbers players come from a variety of countries and various parts of the United States. Different languages, different cultures. Timbers Roots takes a look at some of the origins of Portland players to learn more about where they came from before they were part of The Rose City.

Meet the Portland Poodle Who Dresses Better Than You - Willamette Week
Auggie is, without question, the most stylish dog in Portland. The 6-year-old poodle has a distinct but eclectic sartorial edge, a wild-style eccentric spirit harking back to the Elton John of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. He's the Gigi Hadid of Portland dog fashion, appearing in a music video for the Australian band Pond, sashaying on the streets of Buckman and often making an appearance at the Revolution Hall dog park.

Major League Soccer:

Strength of Schedule Rankings: How hard is your team's remaining schedule? | MLSsoccer.com
We already discussed the possibility of your team making the playoffs this week, but we did not include one important factor in that equation: the difficulty of their remaining schedules.

Sporting KC's Ike Opara released from hospital after sustaining concussion | MLSsoccer.com
Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara has been released from the hospital after he was diagnosed with a concussion sustained during a 3-0, extra-time U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over FC Dallas on Tuesday night.

Did Maxi Urruti deserve a yellow card? - Big D Soccer
Tuesday night wasn’t a fun night. It was a stagnant USOC match where FC Dallas couldn't manage to break down a 10 man SKC match. There wasn’t any urgency in the attack, a lack of any semblance of a first touch and absolutely no composure in front of goal. Even with FCD dropping a major turd last night, Maxi Urruti’s yellow card seems to be the lightning rod from the evening.

D.C. United releases Costa Rican forward Jose Guillermo Ortiz - The Washington Post
D.C. United has released Jose Guillermo Ortiz, an on-loan Costa Rican forward who scored one goal in 16 regular season appearances.

Columbus Crew SC is not looking to trade Kektua Manneh - Massive Report
Kekuta Manneh arrived in a surprise trade in late March, but took a while to make his mark with Columbus Crew SC. It took a month to see the field as a substitute and another two games to make his first start. His first Crew SC goal and assist came two and a half months after his arrival.

Minnesota United signs New Zealand international defender Michael Boxall - ESPN FC
In an attempt to bolster its league-worst defense, Minnesota United FC has signed New Zealand international defender Michael Boxall. Boxall will be added to Minnesota's roster pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 visa.

Kaka expecting tight game when MLS All-Star side meet Real Madrid - ESPN FC
Orlando City playmaker Kaka says his MLS All-Star side can face Champions League holders Real Madrid as "equals" when they meet in Chicago on Aug. 2.

New York City FC's David Villa wins ESPYS' Best MLS Player award - ESPN FC
Villa, 35, picked up the accolade after netting 23 goals last season as NYCFC reached the Major League Soccer playoffs for the first time, and following his 12-goal contribution so far this term, which has helped his team to up third in the Eastern Conference.

United States:

USA 3-2 Martinique, 2017 Gold Cup: An uncomfortable victory - Stars and Stripes FC
The U.S. entered Wednesday’s game needing a victory after an opening draw against Panama and Los Canaleros taking their second game against Nicaragua to go top of the group. Arena seemed confident against tiny Martinique, fielding a starting XI that featured 8 changes from the side that drew with Panama, and handing several players their first competitive start for the U.S.

Top 10 USMNT kits of all time - Stars and Stripes FC
With the release of the 2017 Gold Cup jersey on July 1st, the United States has once again changed their look (and it’s a dazzling one at that). It also kickstarted the debate about which jerseys have been the most iconic in our 104 year history.

After 10 years, is U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy working? | FourFourTwo
Here's a question: How do you get the best youth players, coaches and clubs together, at minimal cost, in a country that spans thousands of miles and features hundreds of approaches to the game?

Jordan Morris takes aim at World Cup spot with selfless outing for US | MLSsoccer.com
Jordan Morris knows he can’t control whether he’s on the plane to Russia for the World Cup next summer. But he’ll do everything in his power to put himself in position. Wednesday night on a wet track in Tampa, that meant making the often-unheralded near-post run.

French Guiana, coach Jair Karam decide playing Malouda is worth the risk | MLSsoccer.com
French Guiana coach Jair Karam said he and his team knew the risks of Florent Malouda playing in Tuesday night’s Gold Cup Group A match against Honduras, and decided they were worth taking.

World:

Former FIFA ExCo member turned informant Chuck Blazer dies at 72 - ESPN FC
Chuck Blazer, the disgraced American soccer executive whose admissions of corruption set off a global scandal that ultimately toppled FIFA president Sepp Blatter, has died. He was 72.

West Ham confident of adding Joe Hart on loan from Man City - sources - ESPN FC
West Ham United are confident of securing the loan signing of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, sources close to the Hammers have told ESPN FC.

Vitolo to join Atletico in 2018 after stint with Las Palmas | ProSoccerTalk
Atletico Madrid says Spain forward Victor “Vitolo” Machin has agreed to join the club when its ban on new players ends in January.

Romelu Lukaku doesn’t owe Everton a damn thing - Royal Blue Mersey
The Romelu Lukaku saga, inevitable as it was, has finally come to an end. The Belgian striker has all but officially left Everton for Manchester United, bringing the Toffees a record transfer fee of £75 million (not to mention potential add-ons and its help in bringing Wayne Rooney back to Goodison Park). We may have tried to deny it for a long time, but in reality, we all knew this day was coming.

Douglas Costa moves to Juventus on loan with an option to buy for €40 million - SBNation.com
Douglas Costa is the newest signing for Juventus, though only on loan for now. The Bianconeri will pay €6 million to take Costa on loan this season, and they have an option to buy him for €40 million. The Brazilian’s arrival in Italy is a major splash in this transfer market, giving Juventus a major new weapon as they embark on their chase to finally claim another Champions League title for themselves.