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Around The Forest: MLS gets 14% of USSF Presidential vote

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Also: Rubio Rubin getting interest from MLS clubs, Providence Park update, more from the MLS combine, Why U.S. Soccer failed Jonathan Gonzalez and more!

Portland

Providence Park Update | A new bridge? In the middle of the stadium? | Portland Timbers
As 2018 begins, the expansion at Providence Park continues. Turner Construction has fully completed the construction of the Tanner Creek Bridge in the center of the field as seen in the picture below. The bridge allows for equipment to travel over Tanner Creek–which runs under the stadium through a tunnel before continuing underneath northwest Portland–without imposing loads on the old brick pipe.

Major League Soccer

Orlando City’s Soccer Pyramid is Out of Whack - The Mane Land
This past week, Orlando City has made two major decisions within the soccer pyramid that — regardless of anyone’s opinion — is going to shape the short- and long-term future of the organization. The first was the decision to move its academy operations to Montverde Academy beginning this spring. Second, the club announced Orlando City B, its USL franchise, will not play in 2018.

The Combine Interview with top SuperDraft prospect Tomas Hilliard-Arce | MLSsoccer.com
MLSSoccer.com's Bobby Warshaw sits down with Stanford center back and top SuperDraft prospect Tomas Hilliard-Arce to go through how a real-life MLS interview goes ahead of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Warshaw: Landon Donovan playing the game on his terms in Leon comeback | MLSsoccer.com
There’s one general goal when it comes to retiring from professional sports: make it out with your soul intact. It’s a strange comment regarding the ridiculously privileged life a professional athlete lives. I feel silly even saying it. But it’s true nonetheless.

Report: Rubio Rubin drawing interest from MLS teams, including TFC, LAFC | MLSsoccer.com
Toronto FC and LAFC are among the MLS clubs interested, according to Galarcep's report, though Rubio would have to go through the league's Allocation Process. That mechanism determines who has priority to sign senior internationals, youth internationals, and players sold by MLS clubs for more than a $500,000 transfer fee. As of Dec. 10, LAFC – original holders of the No. 1 spot – sat 11th on that list after a trade with FC Dallas, while TFC sat last.

Quintana se va a la MLS | Peñarol
It was confirmed on Monday that defender Yeferson Quintana is going to loan to San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS) of the United States. The loan contemplates a purchase option valued at US $ 1 million within one year.

MLS Combine Day 2: Whose SuperDraft stock rose and fell? | MLSsoccer.com
Day two of the 2018 MLS Adidas Player Combine is in the books, and coaches are starting to really put together profiles on these players. A long list of players produced solid performances on Monday, and overall the quality of the Combine games has been better than expected.

Three reasons why free agent market has been slow this offseason | MLSsoccer.com
MLSsoccer.com's insider, Sam Stejskal, reports from the 2018 adidas MLS Combine on why the free agent market has been a little slow this offseason. With a just a few days remaining before preseason, Stejskal gives you three reasons why teams haven't been diving into the free agent market.

Ex-Whitecaps loanee Fredy Montero signs with Portugal's Sporting CP | MLSsoccer.com
Fredy Montero won’t be returning to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2018. Portuguese powers Sporting CP announced their signing of the Colombian striker on Wednesday, to a year-and-a-half contract with options to extend it two more seasons, capped by a whopping €60 million (US$73.3 million) release clause.

NWSL

Spirit trade Dunn’s rights to Courage in exchange for Hatch and Smith
Crystal Dunn is headed back to the NWSL — as part of a major trade between the Washington Spirit and the North Carolina Courage. 2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year forward Ashley Hatch and defender Taylor Smith are headed to the Spirit in exchange for the rights to the 2015 NWSL MVP in Dunn, who spent last season playing for Chelsea L.F.C. in England. North Carolina will also receive an international roster spot in the deal.

United States

How U.S. Soccer ignores talented Hispanic players like Jonathan Gonzalez - SBNation.com
“I don’t think we have enough people in the federation who understand Hispanic or African-American communities to have conversations with them and make them feel like they’re part of the American soccer community,” says Hugo Perez. He would know — he’s a Salvadoran-American former United States men’s national team player and former youth national team coach. “When I tried to do that it was difficult because I didn’t feel I had full backing.”

MLS approved for 14 percent of U.S. Soccer presidential vote - sources
Major League Soccer's delegates will account for 14 percent of the overall vote in the upcoming election for the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, sources have told ESPN FC.

ASN article: 7 players with the most to gain from January Camp
THE UNITED STATES MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM'S January Camp is underway in California and this version is unlike previous camps. With no coach to impress and no World Cup to prepare for, the responsibility will be on the players to make the most out of it.

World

Zinedine Zidane: I cannot imagine Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he cannot imagine Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club next summer but will stay out of any contract negotiations between the player and club president Florentino Perez.

Christian Pulisic set to return for Borussia Dortmund against Hertha Berlin
Christian Pulisic is set to return to Borussia Dortmund's squad for their away trip to Hertha Berlin after missing the goalless draw against Wolfsburg on Sunday with muscular problems.

Chelsea transfer news: Move for Roma's Emerson Palmieri being considered as alternative to Juventus's Alex Sandro | Goal.com
Chelsea are weighing up a move for Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri as an alternative option to Juventus’s Alex Sandro, Goal understands. The Blues are in the hunt for a new left-sided defender in the January transfer window and have long held an interest in Alex Sandro.