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Around The Forest: Timbers award 45k in community fund grants

USOC final tonight, Atlanta United to sell out again, Jay Heaps firing sets MLS record and more!


Portland Timbers award $45,000 in Community Fund grants | Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers today announced the awarding of $45,000 in grants to eight educational, environmental and community-focused nonprofit organizations in the greater-Portland area through the Portland Timbers Community Fund (PTCF). The recipients were selected by the Portland Timbers Community Fund Advisory Board, consisting of partners adidas, Alaska Airlines and Providence Health & Services.

Major League Soccer:

With playoff spot nearly secure, 'now it’s about how good' Fire can be | CSN Chicago
Things have been on the upswing for the Fire for the past couple weeks, but the players recognize the sharpness of the team’s unbeaten run earlier in the season still eludes them. The 3-0 win against D.C. United on Saturday wasn’t all-out domination, but was the only comfortable win in the past seven games.

Matt Besler eyes fourth title with Sporting KC | The Kansas City Star
Matt Besler plays half his professional soccer games a short drive from his childhood home. He’s a rare breed among athletes in that sense. But the Johnson County native reached the pinnacle of his career some 4,500 miles away in South America. It was the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that turned Besler from hometown kid into nationally recognizable name.

Atlanta United expects 13th consecutive sellout
Atlanta United has yet to announce that Wednesday’s game against Los Angeles Galaxy in Mercedes-Benz Stadium is sold out, but a team spokesman said they expect to reach capacity of 42,500.

Open Cup regular Ryan Meara to start for Red Bulls in final vs. Sporting KC |
US Open Cup regular Ryan Meara will be the starter for the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night in the tournament final at Sporting Kansas City (9 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes), head coach Jesse Marsch revealed Monday.

Sporting KC, Red Bulls expect fast-paced, press-heavy US Open Cup final |
You know the stereotypes about cup finals: They’re cautious. They’re plodding. Teams focus too much on not conceding and not enough on imposing their wills. But when two teams that love to press as much as Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls meet, fans might be able to expect a more aggressive approach to Wednesday night’s US Open Cup title match at Children's Mercy Park (9 pm ET; ESPN2).

With Jay Heaps' departure, 2017 breaks MLS record for coaching turnover |
Seats are getting hotter across Major League Soccer. The New England Revolution’s dismissal of head coach Jay Heaps on Tuesday marked the fifth such change in 2017, setting a new league record for most coaches let go in a season.

United States:

USA enjoys themselves in 5-0 defeat of New Zealand - Stars and Stripes FC
Once again the United States got off to an energetic start as they took on New Zealand in the second of two friendlies. There was some rotation in the lineup, with Rose Lavelle returning and getting a pre-planned 30 or so minutes.

Josh Sargent to join Werder Bremen in 2018 - Stars and Stripes FC
After a standout 2017 U-20 World Cup earlier this year, U.S. youth forward Josh Sargent has announced he will sign with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen in 2018.


Dybala may not be Messi but Juventus superstar is the next best thing |
Shortly after joining Juventus in the summer of 2015, Paulo Dybala returned to Palermo because he missed his friends from Sicily. "One day, I experienced something strange," he explained. "We went to the beach and I went for a swim but when I was about to get out of the sea, I saw that all of the people were waiting for me on the shore."

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2017: Real Madrid dominate FIFPro World XI list as Pogba and Alexis lead Premier League nominees |
A record number of 13 Real Madrid players have been nominated for long list of the FIFPro World XI, while Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez lead the pool of Premier League nominees.