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Around the Forest: Red Bulls Jesse Marsch Urges Coaches To Play Your Kids

Also: Barco’s injury could be a blessing in disguise, the most underrated signings of 2018, Sounders announce new partnership and more!


Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell: "It doesn't matter in preseason games. It's all about the league" | Portland Timbers
“We’re ready to go and feeling fresh, and the big thing is we’re looking forward to it. [Preseason is] long, hard, grueling. You’re away from home, away from family. It’s nice to be back home and training back here and looking forward to the start of the season, and we can make it a good one.”

Major League Soccer

Warshaw: Why Barco's injury could prove a blessing in disguise for Atlanta |
Atlanta United stole many of the headlines over the MLS offseason. They started with the acquisition of Darlington Nagbe from Portland – which included picking up their new midfielder in a private jet – and slammed home the point by splashing $15 million on 18-year-old Argentinian attacker Ezequiel Barco. It was the biggest transfer fee an MLS team has ever spent. Everything about the Five Stripes’ offseason felt upbeat and fun.

After smashing debut season, Atlanta United aim to continue success in 2018 |
There was an agreed sense around the soccer community that this thing would not be an abject failure. Backed by an owner in Arthur Blank with a proven successful history on the city’s sports landscape, Atlanta United’s roster was built by a front office that oozed with experience and know-how in several different sectors.

Jesse Marsch urges fellow MLS coaches to commit to playing young players |
This year the New York Red Bulls will feature a young squad, which is something that head coach Jesse Marsch wants to see more MLS teams emulate, particularly when it comes to young domestic players.

Pareja on FC Dallas' CONCACAF Champions League exit: "I am responsible" |
After FC Dallas’ away goals defeat in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday following a 3-2 win at Toyota Stadium, head coach Oscar Pareja didn't look to point fingers in the face of a disappointing exit at the hands of Panamanian side Tauro FC.

Seltzer: Most underrated signings ahead of 2018 MLS season |
Every Major League Soccer season sees player acquisitions that initially fly under the radar before playing important roles in their club's success. There was no great fanfare when Chris Mavinga joined Toronto FC last winter, but he ended up enjoying a terrific campaign that ended with him going the distance in their MLS Cup final shutout win.

Seattle Sounders announce live streaming partnership with YouTube TV |
“Seattle is a city of innovation and Sounders FC has always strived to contribute to the creative culture of our hometown, bringing the best and most forward-thinking elements to our fans,” said Sounders COO Bart Wiley in a team statement. “With the addition of YouTube TV into our viewing arsenal, Sounders fans now have an exciting and creative option for following their team, complementing our traditional broadcast channels.”

Chicago Fire Soccer Club Acquires Midfielder Tony Tchani from Vancouver Whitecaps FC | Chicago Fire
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that it has acquired midfielder Tony Tchani from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Tchani is under contract for the 2018 season.

NYCFC striker Jo Inge Berget to miss up to 3 weeks with quad injury | Pro Soccer USA
Adam Nemec could not manage a goal. Patrick Mullins showed promise but was traded away to D.C. United. Sean “Ugo” Okoli was the United Soccer League MVP after leading the second-tier league in goals with FC Cincinnati, but was not up to the task in MLS.

Ezequiel Barco to miss 4-6 weeks with right quad strain | Atlanta United FC
Atlanta United today announced that midfielder Ezequiel Barco will miss four-to-six weeks with a right quad strain. Barco suffered the injury during training on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Union sign DP, Czech native Borek Dockal to fill No. 10 role |
The Philadelphia Union today announced that their search for a playmaking midfielder has concluded with the loan signing of 29-year-old Czech international Borek Dockal to a Designated Player contract.

Armchair Analyst: Frontrunners, the Pack & all 23 MLS teams by tier |
With a tip of the cap to the great Zach Lowe, here's my own version of his "Annual Tiers of the NBA" column, MLS-style. What follows are not hard-and-fast Power Rankings, per se, but rather something a little more loose in terms of talent level, cohesion, chemistry and all the et ceteras that make teams tick (or make them awful).

United States

U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn further defines new general manager roles
USSF CEO Dan Flynn stated on a conference call with reporters that the two positions would "vary a bit to some degree," but that the GM's duties would include the hiring and firing of the senior national team head coaches, overall responsibility for the technical side of the senior team, build a strong, integrated national team staff, management of the day-to-day environment, and monitor the player pool and integration of new players.


Russian Stadiums to Allow Cocaine, Cannabis and Heroin at 2018 FIFA World Cup
A bureaucratic loophole will allow soccer fans attending the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer to bring cannabis, cocaine and even heroin into events as long as attendees have the proper medical paperwork.

Neymar may be out for three months after foot surgery - Brazil team doctor
Neymar could be out of action for as long as three months, the Brazil national team's doctor has warned as the Paris Saint-Germain forward arrived home for an operation on his right foot.

Tottenham Danny Rose VAR 'complete nonsense' ruined FA Cup replay
Danny Rose condemned the video assistant referee (VAR) as ridiculous and a shambles and said it ruined what should have been a positive night for both Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale on Wednesday.