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Around the Forest: NWSL backs Kathy Carter for next USSF President

The inaugural eMLS Cup is drawing near, Kljestan throws shade, Fire still looking to land a #10 and more!

Major League Soccer

Teams line up players for inaugural eMLS Cup
MLS announced last month that it will launch a competitive EA Sports “FIFA 18” league called eMLS, with the inaugural eMLS Cup taking place in April at Boston’s gaming convention, PAX East. Nineteen of MLS’s 23 clubs will participate in the first iteration of eMLS.

Stejskal: Analyzing Toronto FC and DC United's TAM-for-GAM trade |
The trade didn’t involve any players, but that doesn’t make it uninteresting. In fact, some MLS wonks out there might see the trade as particularly revealing. This is the first TAM-for-GAM deal we’ve seen in which the full amounts of each asset exchanged have been made public. It gives us a data point for how teams value each type of allocation money relative to the other, something we’ve only really been able to guess at prior to Tuesday.

Chicago Fire still hoping to land a new No. 10 this offseason |
Fire president and GM Nelson Rodriguez told that the club, who acquired Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Katai on loan from Spanish club Alaves on Tuesday, are still looking for a No. 10 to help fill out an attack left somewhat thin by the draft day trade of winger David Accam to Philadelphia and the torn ACL that Michael de Leeuw suffered last fall.

Rumor: Columbus Crew SC interested in Ghanaian striker Issah Abass |
Columbus Crew SC have found success in signing Ghanaian players over the years, and a new report suggests another may be on the way. Slovenian outlet Nogo Mania reported on Wednesday that Crew SC are prepared to make an offer for striker Issah Abass, currently playing for Olimpija Ljubljana.

Armchair Analyst: LAFC take their inaugural bows | #MLSIsBack in 23 Days |
I guess there's a pattern now. Namely, once every 10 years (or so) an expansion team will come in and upset the league order, upset conventional wisdom, and reset expectations of what was possible. The Chicago Fire did it in 1998. The Seattle Sounders did it in 2009. Atlanta United did it in 2017. That means we shouldn't expect a good expansion team til 2026 or so, right?

Colorado Rapids unveil new kits for 2018 season |
The Colorado Rapids unveiled their new kits for 2018 on Thursday, featuring the Mile High Club's classic look with a subtle twist on past versions.

Stejskal: Why the 2018 MLS free agent market is moving slowly |
All longtime MLS veterans, all contributors when healthy in 2017, all MLS free agents. All unsigned. They’re emblematic of a free agent crop that’s having a bit of a rough go this winter. The market is moving at the slowest pace since MLS introduced its version of free agency ahead of the 2016 season, with signings few and far between and plenty of players unsure if they’ll be on an opening day roster.

ExtraTime Radio: Greg Vanney & Anthony Hudson sit for exclusive interviews! |
ExtraTime Radio brings you exclusive interviews with Toronto FC's Greg Vanney and the Colorado Rapids' Anthony Hudson, who'll face off in just 12 days in the only MLS vs. MLS matchup in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16!

LA Galaxy players say they would welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic with open arms |
“I know that guy is an incredible presence, and it's one of the biggest players in the world,” Norwegian forward Ola Kamara told on Wednesday following LA's first StubHub Center training session since returning from a week in Arizona. “When you're playing for the Galaxy, that's what you expect.”

Colorado Rapids acquire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra from Sporting KC |
The Colorado Rapids acquired goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra from Sporting Kansas City in a trade announced Thursday, with SKC receiving Colorado's natural second-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft in return.

Rumor: Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC interested in Darwin Quintero |
AS USA reported on Thursday that two Canadian clubs, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, are interested in adding Quintero. According to the report, Toronto have offered $5 million for Quintero, while Vancouver are mulling an offer for the player.

Sacha Kljestan laments lack of "difference makers" at New York Red Bulls |
"I don't feel any pressure from the outside, I put pressure on myself internally about being successful, what kind of legacy I'm going to leave as far as my career went," Kljestan explained to Sirius XM FC's Jason Davis. "So far I've made the playoffs every year and I'm coming to a team that has not achieved well in their first three years and we're going to make the playoffs, is the goal this year. I hope to continue that trend."

United States

My Grandiose Quest To Play (And Love) FIFA's Most Underappreciated Teams
Soccer connects people on a global scale, but when you play FIFA, it’s easy to only use your favorite teams. As a Mexican from Chicago, my allegiances lie with Liga MX and MLS, respectively, with some UK Premier League thrown in. Lately, though, I’ve found myself largely playing with obscure teams, and it’s made my FIFA experience so much better.

NWSL endorses Kathy Carter in USSF election - Stars and Stripes FC
The National Women’s Soccer League will vote for Kathy Carter in the US Soccer presidential election, Grant Wahl reports for SI. NWSL makes up part of the Professional Council vote and controls three out of 16 total Pro Council votes. MLS has nine votes and will go for Carter, giving her 12 votes total from the Pro Council, and about 19.3% of the total vote. To win, a candidate must get a simple majority of votes, or 50% + 1 vote.


Club Leon vs. Puebla: Live stream, starting lineup, kickoff time, & match preview |
Coming off back-to-back heavy defeats, Leon looks to right the ship on Saturday at home against Puebla. Gustavo Díaz's side fell 4-0 to Necaxa two weekends ago before Monterrey destroyed Leon 5-1 last weekend.

Arsene Wenger says English 'may be masters of diving' ahead of Spurs clash
Arsene Wenger has said English players "might even be masters" of diving ahead of Saturday's North London derby against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

FA charges West Brom's Jay Rodriguez after racism claim
West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez said he is "in disbelief" after the Football Association charged him over his clash with Brighton's Gaetan Bong. The one-cap England international has been accused by Bong of using racist language towards him in the Jan. 13 Premier League match at the Hawthorns.