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Around The Forest: Zlatan Arrives In L.A., Could Play Saturday

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Also: T2 gets ready for Real Monarchs, Chelsea FC gets in on Save The Crew, Are MLS teams worth more than NHL teams, 5 PRO ref’s headed to the World Cup and more!

Portland

USL MATCH PREVIEW | T2 at Real Monarchs SLC | March 29, 2018 - 12 noon PT | Portland Timbers
Playing their third-straight match on the road, T2 travel to face Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday, March 31, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah; kickoff is set for 12 noon (Pacific). Friday's match will be available via a live web stream www.timbers2.com. The match on Saturday marks the first of two regular-season matches between the two clubs in 2018, as both teams will meet Saturday, May 26, at Providence Park.

Quick Strikes | 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 = Five key numbers to know for the Timbers battle with the Chicago Fire | Portland Timbers
After securing their first point of the season, the Portland Timbers look to continue their momentum when they match up with the Chicago Fire Saturday at Toyota Park (3pm PT, FOX 12 Oregon). Here are five numbers to know for #CHIvPOR in the latest Quick Strikes.

Major League Soccer

A long way from home | News | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club
It’s not an everyday occurrence, and sports fans on this side of the Atlantic don’t go to bed on Fridays wondering if their team will still be around when they turn up at the stadium the following day, but professional ‘franchises’ can move cities. They have done so before and will do it again. It’s in the news Stateside now because of the proposed move of Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer.

Are MLS teams worth more than NHL teams after Orlando City's $490 million valuation? | Pro Soccer USA
Wednesday’s news that Orlando City SC principal owner Flávio Augusto da Silva sold an 8.63 percent ownership stake in the club to Toronto investor Albert Friedberg for $42.3 million raised a lot of eyebrows around the league and the sports business community. That transaction would value Orlando City at $490.53 million — significantly higher than any previous valuation for a MLS franchise.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets hero's welcome after late night airport arrival | MLSsoccer.com
Blockbuster LA Galaxy signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic officially touched down in Los Angeles on Thursday evening, and was greeted with a welcome worthy of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Stejskal: Toronto, New York outline plans for balancing MLS, CCL | MLSsoccer.com
Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls are facing tricky juggling acts over the next few days, with both clubs balancing MLS matchups this weekend with the start of their respective Concacaf Champions League semifinal series early next week.

GA Cup, Matchday 4: Seattle, Red Bulls to meet in Premier Division final | MLSsoccer.com
There will be back-to-back MLS champions in the Premier Division at the Generation adidas Cup, but we will have to wait until Saturday to find out which team will lift the trophy. After New York City FC won in 2017, the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls will meet in the Premier Division final on Saturday at 6:30 pm ET. The match will be streamed live on MLS's YouTube channel.

Report: Minnesota United FC looking to add Peruvian Alexi Gomez | MLSsoccer.com
While Minnesota United FC look set to make a splash before the MLS primary transfer window closes, they may not yet be done. Amid sightings of Colombian forward Darwin Quintero in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, a report emerged this week that the Loons may also be looking to add Peruvian international Alexi Gomez.

Discuss: Who will take the first edition of El Trafico? | MLSsoccer.com
LAFC have started hot, with two wins in two games, but have been out of action for two matchweeks. The Galaxy are coming off a gritty road draw, posting their first shutout of the season, but they are looking to return to the win column following a 1-1-1 start to the season.

Hunting goals, bulldogs and asado: 10 Things About LAFC's Diego Rossi | MLSsoccer.com
LOS ANGELES – Although Carlos Vela was the name grabbing the most headlines entering LAFC’s inaugural season, it was their other Designated Player who put the finishing touches on the team’s dream debut, a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in Week 1.

Mark Geiger, Jair Marrufo among five PRO officials selected for World Cup | MLSsoccer.com
Referees Mark Geiger (pictured above) and Jair Marrufo and assistant referees Frank Anderson, Joe Fletcher and Corey Rockwell, all PRO officials with significant MLS and international experience, are among the 36 referees and 63 assistant referees who represent 46 different countries at this summer's tournament. The United States is the only country with two referees selected for the World Cup.

United States

Americans Abroad Weekend Preview: Christian Pulisic, DeAndre Yedlin, and more | SBI Soccer
Bayern Munich has had the last laugh against Borussia Dortmund in their last two meetings, downing them in both league and cup action. Christian Pulisic and his side will look to pull a major upset on Saturday, traveling to the league leaders in Bundesliga play.

World

Mourinho sad to see Zlatan leave confirms no Pogba talks with Deschamps
The striker is set to be unveiled as a LA Galaxy player on Friday after agreeing the termination of his contract at Old Trafford last week. He scored 28 goals last season but struggled to make an impression this term after being restricted to just seven appearances because of a knee injury.

The inside track on why Firmino and flourished and Benteke flopped at Liverpool | Goal.com
Nothing hurts a centre forward more than the idea of a missed opportunity. So when Christian Benteke stands in the tunnel at Selhurst Park this weekend, he could be forgiven for casting an envious look in the direction of Liverpool's No.9 and wondering what might have been.

Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane not concerned by Isco's form frustration
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he will not be swayed by Isco's dazzling performance against Argentina when deciding how much to play him in upcoming games. Isco expressed frustration over his lack of playing time at Real Madrid after his hat trick in Spain's 6-1 win over Argentina on Tuesday.