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Around The Forest: The MLS Scoring Rate Is On The Rise

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Also: The Primary Transfer window closure is near, Every game is a final according to Gio, Manchester City - Best EPL side ever? And more!

Portland

Every game is a final | How Giovanni Savarese takes a flexible approach for each match | Portland Timbers
If there’s an early theme emerging in the Portland Timbers’ 2018 campaign, it’s one of change, not only in the big-picture issues like coaching and roster but also in the way the team is approaching every contest. From opening kick in Los Angeles on March 4 against the LA Galaxy to Sunday’s win at home against New York City FC, head coach Giovanni Savarese has deployed three different shapes, a seemingly constant evolution of styles, and an arc of changing results.

Major League Soccer

2018 MLS Ambition Rankings: Which clubs raise the bar highest? | SI.com
We’ve see it recently on the field, where Toronto FC became the first MLS club to eliminate two Mexican foes during a single Concacaf Champions League campaign. And we see it off the field. Look to D.C. United and Los Angeles FC, which are building stadiums in the heart of two of the USA’s biggest markets. Or behold Atlanta United, which broke the domestic transfer record with its $15 million acquisition of an Argentine teenager.

MLS scoring rate continues to climb in 2018 season | MLSsoccer.com
If it feels like the goals keep coming in MLS in 2018, that's because they do. We talked about the rate of goals going in at a prodigious pace a few weeks ago, and the pace keeps climbing. It helps when 46 goals were scored in one weekend (watch them all above).

The missing piece? Toronto hoping to get Victor Vazquez back for CCL finale | MLSsoccer.com
“It's in the back, but the sensations are down the leg and into foot. He also has some feeling in the hips,” TFC head coach Greg Vanney said on Thursday. “It was hard initially to pinpoint what it was until we were able to do various MRIs, see some specialists, and find out exactly where the issue was. Once we did, we had a better sense of what the timeline was going to be.

Report: Leaky Montreal Impact eyeing Amiens captain Thomas Monconduit | MLSsoccer.com
The Montreal Impact have featured one of the most porous defenses in MLS over the opening months of the 2018 season, and according to a local media report, the club may buttress the back line and deep midfield with a reinforcement from overseas.

Houston Dynamo add MLS veteran Luis Gil on loan from Queretaro | MLSsoccer.com
“We are pleased to welcome Luis to the Houston Dynamo,” said Dynamo senior vice president and general manager Matt Jordan in a team statement. “His familiarity with our club and staff along with his quality as a player will make him a positive addition for our group.”

Whitecaps need to ‘man up’ to end three-game losing streak, player says | The Star
The Whitecaps were humiliated 6-0 by Sporting Kansas City on Friday at Children’s Mercy Park. It was Vancouver’s worst defeat in MLS play. Forwards Yordy Reyna and midfielder Efrain Juarez were also handed red cards during a melee in the 40th minute when Vancouver was already trailing 3-0.

Team of the Week presented by Audi: Yohan Croizet comes through in Week 8 | MLSsoccer.com
Two players who made the XI scored hat tricks, and 12 teams in total are represented in this week's 18. Sporting Kansas City have the most representatives this week, with two players on the XI and a third on the Team of the Week bench.

Lively first start "just the beginning" for Atlanta United's Ezequiel Barco | MLSsoccer.com
Making his first start after going 20 minutes off the bench in his MLS debut in last weekend's home draw with New York City FC, the 19-year-old Argentine attacker worked marvelously with Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez as the Five Stripes (5-1-1) applied heavy pressure on the Galaxy defense, continually creating opportunities in a triumph that was more comprehensive than the scoreline suggests.

Tenorio: Team executives anticipate quiet close to primary transfer window | MLSsoccer.com
Just eight days remain in Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window, but as the season’s first deadline day nears, many around the league are anticipating a quiet close to the window. Multiple team officials said they expect the majority of moves to come in the secondary transfer window, which runs from July 10 through Aug. 8, though a few teams may look to make depth moves before May 1.

Warshaw: Deals to do before the MLS trade deadline | MLSsoccer.com
We are eight days from the Primary Transfer Window closing, and with it the MLS trade deadline. From May 2nd until July 10, teams cannot sign players who are currently under contract with another team, only adding free agents who are out of contract.

United States

Film room: What makes USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams so special - Stars and Stripes FC
Even though the United States did not qualify for the World Cup this summer, there’s a certain player who leaves up with a lot of optimism about the future. I know what you’re thinking...I’m talking about Christian Pulisic or Weston McKinnie, right?

Americans comprised less than one-third of starting field players in MLS's Week 8 04/24/2018
The lack of Americans on the MLS scoring charts should not come as a surprise. Few Americans are starting in attacking roles. Of the 68 field players eligible for the U.S. national team who started in Week 8, a majority -- 38 -- were defenders or wingbacks. Just 10 were forwards, and 20 were midfielders.

World

Could this Man City squad be the best EPL team ever?
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side are a sight to behold. By dividing the field into 20 sections and insisting that every player has at least two close pass options, the Catalan manager has helped create the most beautiful soccer in Europe this season. Not only are the Citizens easy on the eye, but they’re racking up record-breaking numbers in their relentless Premier League campaign.

Manchester United's Jose Mourinho plays down talk of summer overhaul
Manchester United will rely on "evolution rather than spending" to bridge the gap with Manchester City this summer, according to Jose Mourinho. The United manager says he will improve his squad ahead of next season with sources telling ESPN FC a central midfielder to replace Michael Carrick is his top priority.