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Around The Forest: Cubo Torres to Veracruz falls through

Also: Rapids switching to a three man backline, Thorns put out call for tryouts, Dom Dwyer out of USMNT camp, mock MLS draft and more!


Notebook: Thorns Academy's Coll called into U.S. U-17s camp | Portland Timbers
A new year has presented a new opportunity for Portland Thorns FC Academy’s Hailey Coll. The goalkeeper has been called into camp with the U.S. U-17 National Team for training and a pair of friendlies against Venezuela in Bradenton, Fla.

Thorns FC announce 2018 tryout details | Portland Timbers
The tryouts are open to players 18 years of age and older. Interested players with previous college or professional experience are invited to register for the tryout online; the registration form is available online here. The registration fee is $115; space is limited.

Major League Soccer

Report: LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact pursuing young Uruguayan striker |
In the latest sign that Uruguay has become a market of interest for Major League Soccer scouts, one of the South American nation’s news outlets reported on Wednesday that striker Rodrigo Aguirre is being pursued by the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact.

Report: Colorado Rapids emerge as front-runners for Ola Kamara |
The Colorado Rapids have emerged as front-runners to land Ola Kamara from Columbus Crew SC, according to Minnesota-based reporter Jeff Rueter. Rueter added that the LA Galaxy, who were reported to be interested in the striker earlier this offseason, remain in talks for the 28-year-old Norwegian.

The #MLSSoshies are back! Vote for the "Most Social Player" now |
Even though we've practically just rung in the New Year, the countdown continues apace to preseason, tournaments, and then the regular MLS season for 2018. But while you have a couple days to take a breath, let's all take a minute to look back on social media memory lane over the past year -- well, the good moments from it.

Montreal head coach Remi Garde confirms Blerim Dzemaili will leave Impact |
Montreal Impact coach Remi Garde will not have midfielder Blerim Dzemaili when he begins his first season managing in MLS. Garde confirmed reports on Wednesday that the Swiss international wants to leave Montreal to return to play Europe, telling media that he won’t be back at Stade Saputo in 2018.

Gass: Five players to watch at the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine |
With the 2018 adidas MLS Player Combine set to kick off with the first doubleheader of matches on Saturday, Jan. 13 (streamed live on, there are over 60 players descending upon Orlando with a lot to prove.

Armchair Analyst: 2018 Mock SuperDraft v1.0 |
Bear in mind that, thanks to the infusion of TAM, MLS teams are more aggressively targeting young international players from other leagues. That means it's going to be more difficult for internationals to get drafted out of college, so a few of the guys listed below will no doubt ply their trade at the USL level for a while before getting a serious MLS look.

New Homegrown signing Grant Lillard a potential 2018 starter for Chicago |
Not only did the Fire bring in one of college soccer’s best players over the last four years, they potentially landed a starting center back for the 2018 season. Of the 11 Homegrown signings announced at this point of the offseason, Lillard's addition is one of the most significant, as he’s as close to MLS-ready as college players come.

Report: Deal sending Cubo Torres from Houston to Veracruz falls through |
After reports surfaced over the weekend that Liga MX side Veracruz was interested in Houston Dynamo striker Erick “Cubo” Torres, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reported on Tuesday that no deal was stuck between the two teams after "days of negotiations." Club sources confirmed to that a deal was unlikely to be reached.

Colorado Rapids prepare for switch to 3-5-2 under Anthony Hudson |
The signings of Jack Price and Edgar Castillo are the beginnings of that shift under Hudson and interim GM Padraig Smith, Meyer writes. And the addition of one or two more strikers and one or two more center backs would complete the personnel revamp needed to make the change to Hudson's preferred shape.

United States

Dom Dwyer out of January camp with injury - Stars and Stripes FC
Dom Dwyer was forced to withdraw from January US men’s national team camp due to a right hamstring strain. US Soccer did not give a timeline for his recovery. Dwyer will not be replaced, taking the roster down to 29 players total.

Klimkova names roster for U-20 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying - Stars and Stripes FC
USWNT U-20 head coach Jitka Klimkova has named the 20-player roster for the CONCACAF U-20 championships/U-20 World Cup qualifying. Players on the roster who did not play in December’s Nike International Friendlies are Tierna Davidson (Stanford), Kiara Pickett (Stanford) and Ashley Sanchez (UCLA). Understandable, considering Stanford and UCLA battled out a tough NCAA championship game just four days before the first friendly against England.


Christian Pulisic LeBron James has always been a big inspiration
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic has told ESPN that NBA superstar LeBron James is one of his biggest sporting inspirations, while also discussing his own dunking skills.

Mexico national team: Will Jonathan Gonzalez go to the 2018 World Cup with El Tri? |
The decision has been made and the paperwork sent. All that remains now between Jonathan Gonzalez and representing the Mexican national team is FIFA approval and actually getting a call-up.

Alexis signing shows Man City have joined Barcelona & Real Madrid at the top of football's food chain |
You could argue that Barcelona lost something of their status last summer when Neymar decided to join Paris Saint-Germain. With very few exceptions, modern Barca simply don’t lose big players against their will. On the contrary, players with the Blaugrana on their minds rise up and up and up until they’re good enough, and then they move to Camp Nou.

West Ham open to offers for Mexico striker Javier Hernandez - sources
West Ham United are open to offers for striker Javier Hernandez during this month's transfer window, sources close to the club have confirmed to ESPN FC.Hernandez only joined West Ham last summer in a £16 million deal from German side Bayer Leverkusen but has struggled to make the desired impact, scoring just four goals in 21 appearances.