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Around The Forest: Red Bulls explain Kljestan move

Also: 10 Timbers matches you need to mark down, In MLS expansion Sacramento could be left in the cold, does Jose Mourinho deserve a new contract?


10 Portland Timbers games to circle on your calendar in 2018 |
The Portland Timbers unveiled their full 2018 MLS regular season schedule Thursday. Portland opens its 2018 campaign with a road game against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Due to ongoing stadium expansion construction at Providence Park, the Timbers won't play a match at home until they host Minnesota United on Saturday, April 14. The 34-game schedule includes a handful of marquee matchups for the Timbers, including three games against rival Seattle Sounders. Here is a look at 10 key matches that fans won't want to miss in 2018.

Major League Soccer

What are the challenges in assembling the 2018 MLS schedule? |
Susannah Collins, Bobby Warsaw and Andrew Wiebe are joined by VP of Scheduling Brad Pursel to break down the challenges in assembling the master MLS schedule.

LAFC to face LA Galaxy for first time on March 31 |
Atop the list are LAFC’s three LA derby matchups with the LA Galaxy. The sides won’t have to wait long to meet in MLS play, with LAFC set to travel to StubHub Center to take on the Galaxy in the first-ever matchup between the clubs on March 31 in a match that will be televised on FOX. LAFC will host the Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium on July 26 before the teams meet for the third and final time in the regular season at StubHub Center on Aug. 24 as part of Heineken Rivalry Week. The latter two contests will both be broadcast on ESPN.

Stejskal: Top 10 moves so far this MLS offseason |
There’s still a couple of months before opening day and plenty of acquisitions still to be made this winter, but the first month of the MLS offseason has been an active time for quite a few clubs. Which winter moves have been the best? Let’s dive in:

Sports Illustrated makes Major League Soccer prediction - Sacramento Business Journal
Writer Grant Wahl said in his “What Will Happen Around Planet Fútbol in 2018? 10 Fearless Predictions” that he believes FC Cincinnati’s MLS bid will be selected over Sacramento as its ownership group has been struggling to garner full financial backing in the last few weeks.

Which MLS team is poised to make a hot start to 2018? |
Which team is poised to start the 2018 MLS regular season hottest? Could a team join the eight previous squads that started a season with at least nine games unbeaten? Seven of those eight teams (Kansas City, 2000; LA Galaxy, 1998, 2000, 2010; Real Salt Lake, 2014; New England Revolution, 2005; Chicago Fire, 2009) reached the playoffs in the season they started hot. Curiously, the only team not to join that group by reaching the postseason, FC Dallas, happened last season, when they started 5-0-4.

Columbus Crew SC reveal black secondary jersey ahead of 2018 season |
Columbus Crew SC are sticking with black for 2018. The team on Thursday revealed its new secondary jerseys, doing away with the yellow trim that adorned the team's alternate look in 2017:

New York Red Bulls explain Sacha Kljestan trade, hint at replacement |
New York Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett explained on Thursday his club’s decision to trade captain Sacha Kljestan to Orlando, calling the move “difficult” and hinting that the Red Bulls are in the process of bringing in a replacement for the experienced No. 10.

DC United to open Audi Field on July 14 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC |
Audi Field, located at Buzzard Point in Washington, D.C., will host its first competitive game for United on July 14, against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. It will be the team's home venue moving forward, after playing in RFK Stadium from the team's founding in 1996 until the end of the 2017 season.

United States

Americans Abroad Weekend Preview: Jonathan Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin and more | SBI Soccer
Following a slew of reports regarding his international future, Jonathan Gonzalez takes the field with Monterrey to open the season against Morelia. Gonzalez is fresh off a Copa MX crown as well as a Best XI selection as he looks to follow up a breakout campaign that saw Monterrey dominate most of the Apertura season. Elsewhere in Mexico, Joe Corona looks to earn his Club America debut while Jose Torres and reigning champions Tigres face Puebla.


FA hands Arsenal's Arsene Wenger three-match touchline ban
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will serve a three-match touchline ban after being charged by the Football Association over a confrontation with Mike Dean following Sunday's draw at West Brom. The FA also fined Wenger £40,000 for the incident, in which the Frenchman is alleged to have verbally abused Dean in his changing room and questioned his integrity.

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United future: Does boss deserve a deal?
Jose Mourinho's Manchester United future is uncertain amid conflicting reports over whether he will remain manager come the end of the season. Mourinho has cut an increasingly agitated figure in recent weeks after seeing bitter rival Pep Guardiola mastermind Manchester City's rise to the top of the Premier League by 15 points.

Batshuayi, Di Maria and 10 benchwarmers who need a loan or transfer to make World Cup squads |
With the finals just six months away and the January transfer window open, several big names are in need of regular football to earn a trip to Russia