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Around the Forest: Timbers advance to MLS Cup Final

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Also: Mario Balotelli to MLS?; Johnny Russell revives his love of football; Adi ready to be in MLS again and more!

MLS: Portland Timbers at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Timbers

Boehm: Blanco, Chara, Valeri – three cheers for Timbers' Iron Triangle | MLSsoccer.com

Portland Timbers beat Kansas City to win Western Conference Championship, book spot in MLS Cup | OregonLive.com
Sebastian Blanco scored a golazo and Diego Valeri recorded a brace as the Portland Timbers ousted Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference Championship series Thursday to book their spot in the 2018 MLS Cup.

Sebastian Blanco's stunner transforms series for Timbers vs. Sporting KC | MLSsoccer.com

Timbers, Atlanta United to play for MLS Cup - The Boston Globe
Portland squeaked out a victory over Sporting KC in the West and Atlanta United topped the New York Red Bulls in the East to advance to the league championship final.

Portland Timbers back in MLS Cup; Blanco, Valeri stun Sporting KC | SI.com
Portland will play for a second MLS Cup in four seasons after getting clutch performances from Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri and withstanding an onslaught from Sporting KC in the second leg of the Western Conference finals.

Major League Soccer

Winger Johnny Russell rediscovers his love for the game at Sporting KC | MLSsoccer.com

Source: Union and Mario Balotelli in contract talks - Brotherly Game
A source has indicated that the two sides are at least talking, but is he a realistic target?

Report: Montreal Impact, Evan Bush finalizing three-year contract extension | MLSsoccer.com

Wiebe: David Villa, a player even a journalist would pay money to go see | MLSsoccer.com

MLS: Five superstars we could see in 2019
With the offseason here, teams are looking to sign talent to boost their rosters. So, here are a five superstars who could be making a move to MLS soon.

MLS: Bastian Schweinsteiger returning to the Chicago Fire for 2019 season | Goal.com
The German star will spend a third season playing in Major League Soccer after agreeing on a new contract with the Fire

The evolution of the MLS coaching carousel | US Soccer Players
There were more coaching changes in 2018 than in any other season, showing a different approach to recruitment than in earlier eras of MLS.

Atlanta reaches MLS final in 2nd year, knocks out Red Bulls | Regional | caledonianrecord.com
Atlanta United advanced to Major League Soccer's championship match in just its second season, losing to the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Thursday night on

D.C. United roster news: Darren Mattocks will not return next season - The Washington Post
The Jamaican forward, who lost his starting job to Wayne Rooney, is one of several payers who won't return. The club will try to negotiate new deals for Yamil Asad and Nick DeLeon.

Evaluating Orlando City’s Cap Situation After the End-of-Season Moves - The Mane Land
The Lions have limited flexibility after options were declined.

Settled with FC Cincinnati, Fanendo Adi readying for his MLS return | MLSsoccer.com

World Football

Could Mats Hummels cause Bayern Munich to make a winter transfer move? - Bavarian Football Works
The center-back is reportedly one of three players unhappy with coach Niko Kovac, and his status at Bayern has fallen since his performance in Dortmund.

Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or – Blaise Matuidi | Goal.com
Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi believes team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d'Or.

Isco to Barcelona? The clubs that could sign the Real Madrid outcast with the €700m buyout clause | Goal.com
The Spaniard has yet to start a game under new coach Santiago Solari and is being linked with a transfer after being left out completely against Roma

Can Tottenham beat Barcelona to make the Champions League knockout stages? | The Debate - YouTube