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Around The Forest: Chicago Fire nearing new deal with Bastian Schweinsteiger

Also: Update on the Coutinho saga, Dom Dwyer inks new deal with Orlando, Fixing the soccer problem in the U.S. and more!

Major League Soccer

Boehm: Making sense of Sacha Kljestan's move from Red Bulls to Orlando |
The New York Red Bulls’ latest transaction is not just a big trade, it’s a head-turner. But put into historical context, the deal that sent Kljestan and a stack of Targeted Allocation Money to Orlando City SC in exchange for Carlos Rivas and Tommy Redding is actually par for the course in RBNY’s modern era.

Stejskal: Chicago Fire nearing contract deal with Bastian Schweinsteiger |
The Chicago Fire are edging closer to re-signing Bastian Schweinsteiger, a source familiar with the negotiations told on Wednesday. The source said that the Fire are expecting to come to terms on a new deal with the German legend, who left Manchester United to sign a season-long deal with Chicago last March.

New York Red Bulls sign defender Kevin Politz to Homegrown contract |
The New York Red Bulls added another academy product to their first-team roster on Wednesday, when they announced that they signed defender Kevin Politz to a Homegrown deal. Politz, 21, joins the Red Bulls after four years at Wake Forest University. The center back was named an All-American and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, anchoring a backline that led the ACC with 10 shutouts and a 0.56 goals-against average and helping the Demon Deacons to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Yamil Asad wanted to stay in Atlanta at end of loan |
Asad was acquired by Atlanta on loan from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield last offseason. The 23-year-old attacker didn’t generate the same buzz as teammates Miguel Almiron or Josef Martinez, but was still hugely successful for the Five Stripes, tallying seven goals and 13 assists in 32 regular season matches.

Watch the 2018 MLS Schedule Reveal Show Thursday at 1:30 pm ET |
You've already seen your team's 2018 home opener – now it's time for the full 2018 schedule. Major League Soccer will announce the complete lineup of games for the upcoming regular season on Thursday afternoon, and will kick off the reveal with a special live show.

Orlando City sign forward Dom Dwyer to new, three-year contract |
Adding Sacha Kljestan isn’t the only major move Orlando made on Wednesday. The Lions announced this afternoon that they signed forward Dom Dwyer to a new, three-year contract. Orlando acquired Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City on July 25 in exchange for up to $1.6 million in allocation money, an MLS record at the time. Further terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

Real Salt Lake sign Spanish striker Alfredo Ortuño |
Ortuño has spent most of his career in the Spanish second division. He last played for La Liga 2 side Cadiz, scoring 17 goals and adding three assists in 42 league appearances for the club last season. He left Cadiz after his loan from La Liga club Las Palmas expired following the season, then left Las Palmas last fall following a transfer controversy between him and La Liga 2 club Real Valladolid.

Six MLS clubs make top 30 of SoccerEx's Football Finance 100 rankings |
The LA Galaxy (14), New York Red Bulls (23), Seattle Sounders (24), New York City FC (25) and New England Revolution (28) were the six MLS teams that made the top 30 of the rankings, the most clubs in the top 30 of any league apart from the English Premier League. Orlando City (37), Toronto FC (42), Houston Dynamo (44), Portland Timbers (45), Sporting Kansas City (54), San Jose Earthquakes (57), Colorado Rapids (58) and the Chicago Fire (59) were the other seven MLS clubs in the top 100.

LAFC acquire Benny Feilhaber from Sporting KC for $400K in Allocation Money |
LAFC have made another big splash in the trade market, announcing Wednesday the acquisition of midfielder Benny Feilhaber from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $200,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

United States

Fixing the soccer problem in the United States
In the summer of 2018, 32 teams will compete for the World Cup of soccer in Russia. One notable absence in the tournament will be the United States Men’s National Team. The Americans failed to qualify for the world cup after falling to Trinidad and Tobago. For reference, there are 1.32 million people in the Caribbean Nation compared to 323.1 million in the United States.


The (New) Philippe Coutinho Transfer Situation, Explained - The Liverpool Offside
Philippe Coutinho’s Barcelona transfer saga has been running since last summer and most Liverpool fans felt they had a good idea where things stood, but the situation changed quickly over the past 24 hours and a January sale now appears all but certain. Multiple reliable sources from the Liverpool end suggest the club expect to receive an offer in excess of €150M (£135M) from Barcelona shortly and that, depending on how it is structured, it may be accepted. It will, at the very least, be considered.

Mexico set to test waters with U.S. youth Jonathan Gonzalez
U.S. youth international Jonathan Gonzalez continues to be followed very closely by Mexico with an eye to calling him up for the Jan. 31 friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina, according to a report by ESPN Mexico's Ivan Canada.

Liga MX: Photo shows injury to Tigres star Damm's face following firework incident |
Damm will miss the opening two weeks of Liga MX's 2018 Clausura after suffering first-degree burns to his face during the New Year's incident. He sent the message through journalist Pello Maldonado that was posted on Twitter along with a photo of his injuries.