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Around The Forest: Bastian Schweinsteiger signs new deal with the Chicago Fire

Also: We take a look at Thorns abroad, Whitecaps FC roster updates, a look back at last years Superdraft and more!

Portland

Thorns FC Abroad | Ashleigh Sykes earns an assist as Canberra United defeat Western Sydney Wanderers | Portland Timbers
Ashleigh Sykes and Canberra United captured another three points in their Saturday 2-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers, moving into fifth place in the standings. Sykes was named to the starting lineup and put in 82 minutes before being subbed out for Madelyn Whittall. The 26-year-old striker created a chance and earned an assist in the match on a 77th minute goal by Elise Thorsnes.

2018 NWSL season to begin weekend of March 24-25; schedule format announced | Portland Timbers
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the league will play a 24-game schedule for the 2018 NWSL season. For the second-consecutive season, and third time overall, NWSL teams will play 12-home and 12-away regular-season games.

Major League Soccer

Chicago Fire re-sign midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger for 2018 season | MLSsoccer.com
The Chicago Fire announced on Wednesday night that they have re-signed the German midfielder to a Designated Player contract for the 2018 season. The 33-year-old made 24 MLS regular season appearances, scoring three goals and six assists, and one MLS Cup Playoffs appearance in 2017 for the Fire, the club he joined on March 21 from Manchester United.

Revolution's Friedel on Lee Nguyen speculation: "[He's] not being traded" | MLSsoccer.com
MLSsoccer.com reported last week that Nguyen asked New England for a trade shortly after the end of the regular season. The 31-year-old midfielder is one of the most productive attackers in MLS; he had 11 goals and 15 assists in 31 regular season appearances in 2017 and has 42 goals and 40 assists in 128 games since the start of the 2014 season. He's been with New England since 2012, with sources telling MLSsoccer.com last week that he's eager for a change of scenery after missing the playoffs the last two years in New England.

Comparing 2018 MLS SuperDraft prospects to their tactical doppelgangers | MLSsoccer.com
The 2018 MLS SuperDraft is fast approaching and soon every fan will have to look a new host of players that could be a part of their squad come Friday (11 am ET, watch on MLSsoccer.com). Need a handy cheat sheet for some of the top prospects and their tactical matches (doppelgängers, if you will) with current pros? Look no further

2017 SuperDraft Retrospective: How last year's class fared in rookie season | MLSsoccer.com
Every prospect picked in Friday's MLS SuperDraft hopes to make a roster as an impact player in his first season. Unfortunately for most of these players, that will not be the case. To know this, all you have to do is look at last year's draft class. Below is every draft pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and how their rookie seasons played out.

Whitecaps FC provide roster updates with preseason set to begin next week | Vancouver Whitecaps FC
It’s been a busy few days in ’Caps land with preseason training set to kick off. New strikers Kei Kamara and Anthony Blondell arrived safe and sound at YVR yesterday. Kamara, who will wear number 23, spoke to the Vancouver media at the Official Whitecaps FC Store in Gastown earlier today. Blondell, who will wear number 9, will be introduced to the media in the coming days.

MLS Exports: New year, new adventures abroad for Manneh, Donovan and more | MLSsoccer.com
With another month of the calendar gone by, it's time again to check in on all the Major League Soccer and club academy products scattered around the planet. Though we've reached a new year, the injury bug is still taking a noticeable bite out of this group. On the other hand, the globe-trotting likes of Landon Donovan, Bil Hamid and Kekuta Manneh have newly expanded our watch list.

A BOLA - Rosell en route to the United States (Sporting)
Midfielder Oriol Rosell, currently on loan to Portimonense, is on his way to the United States. Sporting have received a proposal from the MLS (the main American league) and the 25-year-old Spanish midfielder, who has been in Barcelona for three seasons (2012 to 2014) in the United States

Vancouver Whitecaps sign Mexican midfielder Efrain Juarez | MLSsoccer.com
The Vancouver Whitecaps added a Liga MX veteran and former Mexico international to their ranks on Thursday, announcing the signing of midfielder Efrain Juarez from Liga MX side Monterrey using Targeted Allocation Money.

United States

Kathy Carter reveals plan for Independent Commission to reform U.S. Soccer | SBI Soccer
U.S. Soccer presidential hopeful Kathy Carter laid out her platform at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday. The main focus of her plan was the formation of an Independent Commission in charge of reforming the federation at every level.

World

Real Madrid Transfer News: Neymar's PSG contract has no release clause - lawyer | Goal.com
Neymar's contract at Paris Saint-Germain does not have a release clause, according to the player's lawyer. PSG triggered the world-record €222million release clause in Neymar's Barcelona contract to prise him away from Camp Nou.

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang talk branded 'disrespectful' by Borussia Dortmund | Goal.com
Arsene Wenger’s willingness to discuss Arsenal’s links to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is “disrespectful”, says Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc. The Gunners boss was quizzed once again on Thursday about his reported interest in the prolific Gabon international.

Jose Mourinho's career will be defined by success or failure at Man United
It was at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, back in the summer of 2006, that Sir Alex Ferguson allowed his mask to slip on the thorny issue of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.