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Around the Forest: Major League Soccer is shuttering MLS Live

Also: Bayern Munich and FCD enter into a partnership, Ashley Cole gets a promotion, Asad in D.C. on loan and more!


Thorns FC sign defender Ellie Carpenter | Portland Timbers
“Ellie is regarded as one of the top young players in the world and we are delighted by the opportunity to further her development,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for Thorns FC. “She fits a positional need and we look forward to her joining the club after she turns 18.”

Major League Soccer

ESPN's Web Service Gains Exclusive Pro Soccer Rights - Bloomberg
Major League Soccer is shutting down its MLS Live streaming product and shifting those games to ESPN+, the new streaming service Walt Disney Co. plans to launch in the next few months, according to people familiar with the plan.

MLS apologizes to Atlanta United player for releasing Valentine's Day photo - Howler Magazine
To help fans create their own custom Valentine’s Day images, MLS released a series of photos featuring players striking cheesy poses with a single red rose. Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez was not pleased with his photo’s inclusion in this promotion, though.

FC Dallas enter historic player development partnership with Bayern Munich |
The two clubs announced on Tuesday the first-of-its-kind, multi-year partnership, which will offer players within both professional academies a pathway to soccer in the United States and Germany. Dallas and Bayern will also come together to exchange talent, allowing young players to experience different coaching styles and settings to enhance their development.

Armchair Analyst: DC wager on the midfield | #MLSIsBack in 18 Days |
D.C. United, in 2017, had the worst attack in the league, and so it's easy to understand why offseason moves would be coming and – to an extent – where those changes would be.

Ashley Cole is your 2018 LA Galaxy captain - LAG Confidential
Ashley Cole has just revealed some big news this morning on Instagram. The LA Galaxy left back will be captaining the LA Galaxy in 2018, a well-deserved honor for the 37-year old. In fact, its the first time Cole has captained a club in his career.

Minnesota United sign Cameroon international defender Bertrand Owundi Eko’o |
The 24-year-old Owundi — who will occupy an international roster spot and will join the Loons pending receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC — is a left-sided defender who the Loons hope to develop into an imposing MLS presence at 6-foot-2.

Toronto FC acquire Brazilian defender Auro on loan from São Paulo |
With CONCACAF Champions League play looming, Toronto FC added some much-needed roster depth. On Tuesday, TFC announced the acquisition of 22-year-old defender Auro on loan with an option to buy from Brazilian club São Paulo FC.

For Jesus Medina, move to MLS owed partly to compatriot Miguel Almiron |
Like many notable young South American talents this winter, Jesus Medina jumped in when given the opportunity to head north to Major League Soccer. And like at least a few others, what really sealed the deal was the success of a fellow countryman.

Warshaw: Four things young players can do to earn coaches' trust |
A few weeks back, Real Salt Lake reposted an image of three of their players riding in a van at the US national team's January camp. Danny Acosta, Justen Glad and Brooks Lennon each play a different position – left back, center back and winger, respectively – but share two notable attributes: their age (20 years old) and MLS experience.

Warshaw: Ways in which DC United could use Yamil Asad |
On Wednesday, D.C. United acquired the rights to winger Yamil Asad from Atlanta United for a total of at least $500,000 in Allocation Money spread over two years. Asad spent the 2017 season with the Five Stripes on loan from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield, earning acclaim from Atlanta fans both for his industrious style and his production. He finished the season second on the team in assists (13), fourth in goals (7) and third in minutes played.

Stejskal: Explaining co-ownership in the transfer market |
The move was a permanent transfer, but, according to a source, it comes with a caveat: FCD paid Colombian club Millonarios $2 million for 50 percent of Mosquera’s player pass. That type of partial transaction has come up a few times in MLS this winter, with several teams sending a transfer fee to a foreign club in exchange for only a portion of a player’s rights.

Other than right back competition, Real Salt Lake easing in its newcomers |
With two weeks left before the start of the regular season, Real Salt Lake is still happy to stick with what was working at the end of last season. Their nine new additions aren’t being rushed onto the field, save for one exception: the battle at right back.

Seattle Sounders sign Alex Roldan and Jordan McCrary to first-team roster |
The Seattle Sounders have signed first-round 2018 MLS SuperDraft pick Alex Roldan as well as trialist Jordan McCrary to the first-team roster, the team announced on Tuesday. "We were excited to draft Alex last month and, like his brother, we anticipate him being a positive addition to our club," Seattle GM Garth Lagerwey said in a statement.

United States

Black History Month: Freddy Adu becomes a kid in an adult world - Stars and Stripes FC
When the 2004 MLS Superdraft began on January 16th, D.C. United had the first pick. With it, they did something that no team in the history of American sports had ever done: they drafted a 14-year-old. Freddy Adu, born in Ghana but who immigrated to the United States to settle in Maryland when he was 8 years old, was heralded as the next Pelé, and a once-in-a-generation American soccer player. He was destroying kids several years older than him in youth play, and he caught the eye of several professional coaches.

First candidate for USMNT GM emerges - Stars and Stripes FC
Along with a new president, the USSF will introduce a new “General Manager” role to its rank of positions soon. The role of this person will be to oversee each of the men’s and women’s programs and decide on the technical aspects of day-to-day operations.


The story of Barcelona and Real Madrid's Neymar tug of war - Tifo Football
On Wednesday evening Neymar will play at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu for just the fourth time in his entire career. That’s right, the player whose first autocomplete search term on Google España is “Neymar Real Madrid” has only taken to the stadium’s hallowed turf three times before. Some believe he will play there many more times in the future, wearing the white of Los Blancos instead of the colours of Barcelona or PSG. Some thought he might already be doing so, including current Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

Man City outclass Basel with Kevin De Bruyne again showing he's among the best
Three thoughts on Manchester City's 4-0 win over Basel on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

Watch out Madrid and PSG! Man City send out a message to Europe with Basel battering |
Pep Guardiola insisted on Monday he had no idea whether Europe's grandest clubs would be worried about Manchester City in the Champions League this season. If they were not before, surely they will be now.