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Around the Forest: Wayne Rooney closer to signing with D.C. United

Also: 32 MLS players dot World Cup rosters, Reggie Cannon holding it down in Dallas, Barcelona wants to build a theme park and more!


Iraqi boy relishes chance to meet Timbers players, attend rivalry match while seeking medical help in Portland |
Mustafa Abed hasn't had an easy life. The 15-year-old Iraqi teenager lost his leg at the hip and suffered serious internal injuries during a U.S. missile strike in his hometown of Fallujah in 2004. Then in 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS, took control of his city. This year, Abed and his family were forced to flee their home as Iraqi forces fought to reclaim war-torn Fallujah from ISIS control.

Inside PTFC | Portland's attacking progression under Savarese on display against Seattle | Portland Timbers
Maybe it was the state of their attack, depleted by the absences of Will Bruin, Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris and Victor Rodríguez. Or perhaps it was the success they had mid-week against Toronto FC with their conservative, 5-4-1 approach. Better yet, maybe it was the heat, oppressive under the 1 p.m. sun, that motivated Seattle Sounders FC to play the way they did, trying to take the air out of the ball in their 1-0 loss Sunday at Providence Park.

Major League Soccer

Reggie Cannon’s game continues to improve after playing Zlatan & Villa - Big D Soccer
For any 19-year old, learning and growing is apart of the game. FC Dallas right back Reggie Cannon is getting a full dose of that right now as he just wrapped up his ninth career start in the 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy. Cannon spoke after the win about how he is elevating his game thanks to playing against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa.

At 6-2-2, LAFC off to best start in 20-year history of MLS expansion teams |
LAFC are 6-2-2 in their first 10 MLS games, good for second place in the Western Conference standings and fifth in the overall league table. It’s even better when you look at the Supporters’ Shield standings on the basis of average points per game, where the newcomers are level with the New York Red Bulls in third place with 2.00 PPG.

Wayne Rooney, D.C. United inching closer to a deal - The Washington Post
Wayne Rooney and D.C. United have resolved major issues in their negotiations and could soon finalize a deal that clears the way for the English soccer superstar to join the MLS club this summer, sources close to the talks said Monday. The sides continue to work though minor matters, and barring significant setbacks, the 32-year-old attacker seems likely to visit Washington in the next two weeks for closing meetings and a physical.

Johnny Russell called up by Scottish National Team - The Blue Testament
Johnny Russell has only been in Kansas City since the beginning of the 2018 season but he’s already made quite a mark. He has five goals, has two assists and has also earned three penalty kicks that he let teammate Ilie Sanchez take. People are taking notice.

LAFC's Steven Beitashour ready for his 2018 World Cup opportunity with Iran |
“I’ve talked to them before and it sounded like I will be on that list,” the Iranian-American player smiled and told reporters in the locker room following the club’s 2-2 draw with NYCFC Sunday night. “But obviously you have to wait until its officially announced [before you can say anything].”

MLS players named to 2018 FIFA World Cup squads |
The Mexican trio playing in LA have all been named to Juan Carlos Osorio's provisional 28-man squad, which was announced on Monday. LAFC's Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos all made the initial cut, but the former El Tri head coach noted that if the World Cup started tomorrow, both dos Santos brothers would not be able to play as both are dealing with injuries.

Arsene Wenger: I will only consider short-term project in my next job
Arsene Wenger is looking for more of a short-term project for his next job, he told RMC Sport. Wenger, whose 22-year tenure coaching Arsenal ended with a win at Huddersfield Town on Sunday, will start considering job offers in the coming weeks after having said he has no plans to retire.

United States

Report: USMNT to open 2019 Gold Cup in Minnesota - Stars and Stripes FC
Let’s go crazy, USMNT fans. According to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, the United States will open the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. Allianz Field, set to open next year, will be the new home for Minnesota United.

What Makes the Red Bulls' High Press Work? — American Soccer Analysis
Jesse Marsch’s New York Red Bulls play a style unlike any other team in Major League Soccer. They employ a frenzied, but organized high press that is a staple of Red Bull teams all over the soccer world. RBNY usually set up in a somewhat fluid 4-2-3-1. Bradley Wright-Phillips leads the line, often occupying the space between opposing center backs and shrinking the field.


Barcelona plan theme parks in United States and Asia to increase brand awareness
Barcelona have announced plans to open a number of club-themed leisure parks around the world, with the first expected to open in the United States and Asia in 2020. Exact locations have not yet been confirmed, with a Barca spokesman telling ESPN FC that they "are still looking for spots in a number of different cities."

Peru captain Paolo Guerrero to miss World Cup after doping ban extended
Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency to increase the length of his drugs ban. Guerrero was initially banned for 12 months after testing positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, following Peru's World Cup qualifier with Argentina in October last year.

Joe Hart dropped from England World Cup squad for Nick Pope - sources
Joe Hart has missed out on England's World Cup squad, with manager Gareth Southgate omitting the West Ham goalkeeper in favour of Burnley No. 1 Nick Pope, sources have told ESPN FC. Hart, 31, had been expected to travel to Russia as third-choice keeper behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland despite his disappointing season on loan from Manchester City.