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Around The Forest: It’s Zlatan’s World And We Just Live In It

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Also: Timbers draw Chicago, bitter cold in Minnesota, GA cup results, the magic of Zlatan and more!

Portland

"Disappointment" can't mask progress for Portland Timbers in Chicago | Portland Timbers
It would be easy to look at the Portland Timbers’ record through four games (0-2-2) or the late, equalizing goal conceded Saturday to Chicago and find reasons for frustration, but that would be a narrow view, ignoring the progress the Timbers have made in their last two games.

Thorns FC forwards blaze path for Sinclair, Horan to shine against Chicago | Portland Timbers
In the wake of last week’s season-opening defeat to the North Carolina Courage, Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons insisted that most of his team’s components were there. Despite a 1-0 loss, the play, itself, was present for the NWSL’s defending champions. Portland just needed to have more belief closer to goal.

Major League Soccer

Atlanta United outlast Minnesota United as both teams endure bitter cold | MLSsoccer.com
There is cold, and then there is weather that can only be described as bone-chilling. At TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday for the Minnesota United FC match against Atlanta United FC, it was decidedly the latter. A game that started at 22 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff dipped to 16 by the time the final whistle blew. With a cold wind whipping around the field at 10 to 20 miles per hour, it felt even colder.

April Fools! Jake Nerwinski and Corey Basso of TSN Radio prank 'Steven' Marinovic | Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Watch as Whitecaps FC defender Jake Nerwinski and Corey Basso of TSN Radio Vancouver play a prank on 'Caps goalkeeper 'Steven' Marinovic.

GA Cup: Recapping the 2018 Generation adidas Cup | MLSsoccer.com
It wasn't easy, but the Seattle Sounders were able to lift their first Generation adidas Cup trophy on Saturday, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-1 to win the Premier Division. The Red Bulls came into the final after a tough week, not landing in Frisco until Saturday. They beat Tigres UANL that night in a penalty-kick shootout and managed to beat the Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes despite a hectic schedule.

With CCL showdown on the horizon, TFC's win on Friday was "critical" | MLSsoccer.com
Friday night's 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake was just what the doctor ordered for Toronto FC as they brace for the opening match of their Concacaf Champions League semifinal against Club America on Tuesday (8 pm ET; UDN, go90.com).

New York City FC remain undaunted by obstacles, stay unbeaten this season | MLSsoccer.com
With their superstar captain sidelined by an unspecified problem that cropped up during pre-match warmups, NYCFC nevertheless rebounded from a one-goal deficit at halftime to turn in a second consecutive road comeback – this time a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday.

Armchair Analyst: Zlatan, Zlatan, Zlatan Zlatan & more from Week Zlatan | MLSsoccer.com
So this is the start of the Major League Zlatan era. I have to say that my expectations were lower than they should’ve been, given that he is, indeed, Zlatan. 36? Coming off of devastating knee injuries? Not even close to fully fit?

Warshaw: The magic of Zlatan | MLSsoccer.com
Sometimes in life you get moments that are worth it. A lot of the time, sports leave us angry or frustrated. But every once and a while you get a day that reminds you why you ever bothered in the first place. Saturday afternoon at the StubHub Center, offered that reminder.

United States

USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Lynden Gooch returns to the lineup - Stars and Stripes FC
Welcome back from the International break. Many players that have featured on these updates took part in the USMNT’s 1-0 win, and hopefully even more guys will get opportunities in the near future. Here’s what happened over the last couple weeks:

World

Pogba: “Ask the coach if you want to know why I play less”
If you thought the “Jose Mourinho versus Paul Pogba” feud was going to go away anytime soon — that one of the two Manchester United titans would “be the bigger man” and put to bed any lingering tensions — well, think again.

Alan Pardew leaves West Brom – ProSoccerTalk
West Brom are bottom of the Premier League table, 10 points from safety with just six games to go and heading for relegation after a eight-year stay in the top-flight. Per the club website, former West Brom skipper and center back Darren Moore will take charge of the team “until further notice.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: Easter to blame for empty Emirates Stadium
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Easter and the team's poor league campaign was to blame for the many empty seats at the Emirates on Sunday, but insists the stay-away fans will be back for Thursday's Europa League quarterfinal against CSKA Moscow.