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Around The Forest: USMNT Midfielder Kellyn Acosta Returns To Training

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Also: Can a regular Joe score from the spot? Houston eyeing a Swedish left-back, the Loons’ Ethan Finlay out, Greg Vanney maybe gunning for the U.S. job and more!

Portland

Larrys Mabiala reacts to collecting his first log slab in Portland: "Very fun" | Portland Timbers
Larrys Mabiala had only scored eight goals in his decade of first-division soccer before arriving in Portland. Such is life for a central defender. You’re judged by contributions that transcend goals. But when you do find net, it’s a standout moment.

Major League Soccer

Can regular people get a PK past LAFC 'keeper Tyler Miller? | MLSsoccer.com
Perhaps aiming to prove taking penalty kicks isn't as easy as it looks, the folks at BuzzFeed recruited five people at random to try to beat LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller from the spot.

Report: Houston Dynamo close to signing Swedish left back Adam Lundqvist | MLSsoccer.com
The Houston Dynamo are poised to sign Swedish left back Adam Lundqvist, according to a report from Montreal-based soccer journalist Nick Sabetti that was confirmed by his colleague Jeremy Filosa.

Union sporting director Earnie Stewart backs manager Jim Curtin after bad loss at FC Dallas - Philly
Union sporting director Earnie Stewart gave manager Jim Curtin another vote of confidence on Tuesday, and while he acknowledged that Saturday’s 2-0 loss at FC Dallas looked pretty bad, Stewart’s endorsement seemed to be sincere.

Stejskal: Kellyn Acosta, Jesse Gonzalez return to training for FC Dallas | MLSsoccer.com
Two of FC Dallas’ biggest names are nearing returns to full health, as manager Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday that midfielder Kellyn Acosta and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez have both returned to training

Minnesota United's Ethan Finlay likely out for rest of year after ACL tear | MLSsoccer.com
On Tuesday, the club announced that Ethan Finlay tore his right ACL during the match and will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair it. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2018 season — a crushing blow for a team that already lost Kevin Molino for the year with the same injury and has yet to play a game this season with Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction).

MLS Power Rankings: Atlanta United take top spot for first time | MLSsoccer.com
Here are this week's Power Rankings from the MLS. The Timbers hit #12 on the list, that's up from 15th place the previous week. Of course Atlanta United takes the top spot.

With contract up in 2019, Sebastian Giovinco states desire to stay with TFC | MLSsoccer.com
If Toronto FC are to pull off a comeback in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final, it's a safe bet Sebastian Giovinco will be involved. But just how long will the "Atomic Ant" be pulling TFC's strings?

Chivas' style a new wrinkle, but Toronto now familiar with CCL Mexico trips | MLSsoccer.com
“They play such a unique style that the game never looks like what you think [it's] going to,” said coach Greg Vanney on Thursday. “There are times when the middle of the field is wide open, that never happens. Everybody wants to protect the middle, [Chivas] don't.”

Chivas players protesting club ownership ahead of CCL final - Waking The Red
In a story first reported by ESPN, it looks like the Chivas Guadalajara players have been protesting their own club’s directors this week during their preparations for tonight’s CONCACAF Champions League finale against Toronto FC.

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney eyes MLS history ... and possibly the USA job | Football | The Guardian
Fifteen minutes. Try as he might, that’s as long as Greg Vanney’s obsessive nature allows him to separate from planning for Toronto FC’s next match. “I shut off to go focus on the team,” says the 43-year-old Virginian, scratching his greying beard. “That’s as far as I can get.”

United States

Could Lennard Maloney become the next USMNT Germerican? - Stars and Stripes FC
Lennard Maloney, not exactly a name on everyone’s lips, but should be a prospect to keep an eye on. Maloney is a 19-year-old German-American center-back that just broke into the first team at 1. FC Union Berlin in the 2. Bundesliga after captaining Union Berlin’s U-19 squad. If Union Berlin sounds familiar, it’s because Bobby Wood played there before landing at Hamburger SV. Like the story of many German-Americans, he was born to a American father and German mother.

Boise Nationals, FC Nova soccer merge under Timbers, Thorns | Idaho Statesman
Idaho’s most decorated boys youth soccer club and the state’s most dominating girls club are joining forces this summer. The Boise Nationals and FC Nova will merge to form a single club in June, and the combined club figures to reshape the landscape of youth soccer in Idaho.

World

Soccer player pays $80k to play against his old coach and scores - Business Insider
Dzyuba had a falling out with manager Roberto Mancini at Zenit St. Petersburg earlier in the Russian Premier League season, prompting a loan to Arsenal Tula. As a part of the deal, Dzyuba was not allowed to play against Zenit unless his new team paid a hefty fee. While most players might decide to sit the game out, Dzyuba instead offered to cover half of the cost, putting down the equivalent of over US$80,000 for the right to face his old coach.

Leeds United branded 'disgraceful' after announcing Myanmar tour | Football | The Guardian
Leeds United have announced they will play two matches in Myanmar in a tour sponsored by a bank with close links to the regime accused of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses against its Muslim Rohingya minority.

Arsène Wenger: I'd tell God that winning is not as easy as it looks | Football | The Guardian
It is the nature of the beast that Arsène Wenger would sooner have a football match on any day other than his birthday. “What a nightmare,” he said, smiling wryly, when reminded of the occasion coinciding with Arsenal’s game against Middlesbrough. “I forgot about that.”