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Around The Forest: Iker Casillas To The Chicago Fire?

Also: U.S. Women take on Mexico tonight, Liverpool fined, Sebastian Blanco offensive weapon, Youngest MLS signing makes pro debut and more!


Quick Strikes | Off to a hot start, Sebastián Blanco has a hand in all four of the Timbers goals | Portland Timbers
The Timbers will finish up their longest road trip in club history when they face Orlando City SC Sunday at Orlando City Stadium (1pm PT, ESPN). Here are five numbers to know for #ORLvPOR in the latest Quick Strikes.

Major League Soccer

Underwear controversy in Toronto: No bending of the rules for Club America |
In case you missed it on Tuesday night between the tunnel fracas and the hotly disputed penalty call, there was also an underwear controversy that erupted in the wake of the Concacaf Champions League semifinal first leg between Toronto FC and Mexico's Club America.

Rumor: Orlando City linked to free transfer for Werder Bremen midfielder |
Orlando City SC is one of two MLS clubs in the running to sign Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic on a free transfer this summer, according to a rumor coming out of Germany. Junuzovic, an Austrian international, has been with the Bundesliga club since 2012, but his contract is set to expire at the end of the season. With the two parties yet to agree to an extension, fan site Mein Werder is linking Junuzovic to an MLS move.

CONCACAF - Police appeared to do their job in Toronto FC-Club America halftime melee
CONCACAF says the Toronto Police Service was doing its job after Club America manager Miguel Herrera alleged officers hit three Club America personnel during a halftime scuffle on Tuesday night.

Second youngest MLS signing in history nabs assist in USL debut (video) – ProSoccerTalk
Sporting KC prospect Gianluca Busio made his USL debut tonight, and it went pretty, pretty, pretty well for the North Carolina teenager. Busio subbed off in the 77th minute of Swope Park Rangers-Colorado Springs Switchbacks match after picking up an assist on Tyler Blackwood’s goal just seven minutes into the game.

Despite high-profile acquisitions, Dominique Badji impressing Rapids staff |
Six months removed from Dominque Badji's most successful season in pro soccer, the Colorado Rapids striker finds himself in the same form again after a hat trick in last weekend's 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union.

After victory in first leg, Toronto FC look ahead to difficult Azteca trip |
Toronto FC's 3-1 win over Club America in the first leg of their semifinal in the Concacaf Champions League on Tuesday night at BMO Field earned the Reds an advantage. But with next week's second leg set for Mexico City's famed Estadio Azteca, a graveyard to many a visiting sides' hopes and dreams, it's far from a comfortable position.

Brad, Brazil and Bad Bunny: 10 things to know about Revs' Cristian Penilla |
Cristian Penilla was a relatively unknown quantity upon signing with the New England Revolution in January. It appears those days are gone. The Ecuadorian winger has one goal and three assists in his first four Major League Soccer matches, including a Man of the Match performance in last Saturday’s 2-0 win at the Houston Dynamo.

Robles believes Red Bulls in "great position" following first-leg CCL loss |
The Red Bulls lost 1-0 to Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico on Wednesday, with Isaac Brizuela's first-half counterattack goal the difference on the night. Even with Aurelien Collin being sent off in the 73rd minute after picking up his second yellow card of the night, the Red Bulls held firm to keep the game to just one goal.

Friedel's promise to reward efforts in training paying off for Revolution |
“I know that means there are going to be a few unhappy faces around the place on game day, but what I can tell you is the level of training and the level of commitment has never once dropped,” Friedel told after Wednesday’s training session. “As long as that continues, then we have a chance to succeed.”

MLS: Iker Casillas will sign for Chicago Fire next summer
(Google translated) Iker Casillas has already decided where his future lies. Madrid goalkeeper, who last weekend became the second Spanish to reach 1,000 games as a professional footballer , will play in Major League Soccer from next summer. After finishing his contract with Porto, Casillas will travel to the United States to sign with Chicago Fire.

Sounders are only team still scoreless in MLS play
Three games. No goals. Plenty of angst. That's the situation facing the Seattle Sounders, who are the only team in MLS without a point through the first month of the regular season. The latest setback came Saturday in a 1-0 home loss to Montreal , giving Seattle two home losses after they lost just once at home during the entire 2017 regular season.

CONCACAF Announces Hell In A Cell Rematch For Toronto FC And Club America — The Nutmeg News
"These two notorious brawlers aren't done yet," stated director of programming for CONCACAF, Shane McDowell. "Club America asked for a rematch and Toronto agreed. We will have a Hell In A Cell match in the luxurious Estadio Azteca. All rules are off as these two legends battle to determine once and for all who the preeminent side is in a competition that is moderately important for Club America but very important for Toronto FC."

The Art of a Free Kick and How To Giovinco — American Soccer Analysis
Sebastian Giovinco’s free kick prowess is well documented, but what if your team is not blessed with a formica atomica to bang in 13 direct free kick goals over the last three seasons? How do MLS teams score, or not, from free kicks?

United States

Insider Notes: USA Invited to 2019 Copa America; Arena's Klinsmann Story Checks Out
The 2019 men’s Copa América will take place in Brazil with an expanded field of 16 teams–the 10 South American nations, plus six guest participants. A U.S. Soccer source confirmed that the U.S. has been invited to take part in the tournament as one of those six, but the federation has yet to make a decision on whether to accept.

Alex Morgan will play herself in a family film - Stars and Stripes FC
In every great athlete’s career there comes a moment when they have to make a choice: do I branch out and try to make a movie/rap album, or do I just stay in my lane? The time has now come for Alex Morgan, who will play herself in a direct-to-DVD movie called Alex & Me starring a Nickelodeon kidlet named Siena Agudong.

USA vs Mexico friendly: preview and TV schedule - Stars and Stripes FC
The United States women’s national team will play two friendlies against Mexico this week. Most of the players called in for this game are a couple of weeks into the NWSL season, so everyone should be in fighting shape without being overly tired.


Ray Wilkins dead: Chelsea and Manchester United legend dies days after suffering heart attack, aged 61 - Mirror Online
Ray Wilkins died on Wednesday, one week on from a heart attack and fall at his home. The ex-England captain, 61, had been in a medically induced coma but son Ross, 36, told the Mirror: "Dad has unfortunately passed away.”

Kevin De Bruyne: I didn't mind Liverpool fans attacking coach, it was a 'nice feeling' - Champions League 2017-2018 - Football - Eurosport
Kevin De Bruyne said it was a “nice feeling” to be in the Manchester City coach which was attacked on Wednesday night, as he refused to condemn Liverpool fans for their behaviour. Liverpool issued a public apology to City after the unsavoury scenes prior to the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, which Jurgen Klopp’s side won 3-0.

Liverpool charged by UEFA after Manchester City team bus attack
UEFA have opened up disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool in regards to the events that surrounded Wednesday night's Champions League tie with Manchester City.