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Around the Forest: Fernando Torres to Chicago Fire heats up

Also: Tito Villalba to make one time switch, Giovinco possibly on the move, Arsenal have their new boss, Wayne Rooney to visit D.C. and more!


Tactical switch, strong defense keys to Portland Timbers surge |
"We believe in ourselves," Savarese said following a 2-1 win over LAFC on Saturday. “It’s just a growth, game by game. We have to continue to work. There are more areas that we need to improve. There are more areas where we need to become better. One step at a time and the guys are doing a great job.”

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 4, FC St. Pauli: 2 | Portland Timbers
After playing to a 2-2 draw through regulation, T2 defeated FC St. Pauli 4-2 on penalty kicks in an international friendly at Providence Park on Tuesday night. Forward Augustine Williams registered a second-half brace to help T2 overcome a two-goal deficit.

Major League Soccer

Report: Tito Villalba switching to Paraguay national team - Dirty South Soccer
Wilson Gonzalez of ABC Cardinal, a Paraguayan news source, is reporting that the Argentina-born winger is in the process of switching national teams in order to play for Paraguay. Villalba’s father is Paraguayan and the 23-year-old has never been capped for the Argentina national team, making him eligible for the change.

Report: Sebastian Giovinco to Tigres UANL for Enner Valencia? |
He’s already broken hearts at Tigres UANL with a goal at Estadio Universitario that helped lead Toronto FC in the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, but is it possible Sebastian Giovinco joins the Liga MX powerhouse in exchange for Ecuadorian Enner Valencia?

Transfer Gossip: Bolton Wanderers interested in Nottingham Forest defender - Lion Of Vienna Suite
“A clutch of Championship clubs are interested in signing Eric Lichaj this summer – while the Nottingham Forest defender is also attracting attention from the MLS. Hull, Bolton, Bristol City and QPR are all understood to be keen on the American defender, who is entering into the final year of his contract at the City Ground.

Stejskal: Geoff Cameron considering MLS move, several teams interested |
Longtime US men's national team defender Geoff Cameron is considering a summer move from Stoke City to MLS, sources have told Several MLS teams have expressed interest in the 32-year-old, though talks have not yet progressed to a serious stage with any team. If he does sign with an MLS club, the sources said it’d likely be as a Designated Player.

Fernando Torres in advanced negotiations with Fire, reports FOX Sports MX |
After months of rumor, reports and speculation, Spanish great Fernando Torres could be set to sign with the Chicago Fire, according to a report from FOX Sports MX on Tuesday. “El Niño” dropped the curtain in style on his time at his boyhood club Atletico Madrid on Sunday, scoring twice in Los Colchoneros’ 2-2 draw with Eibar on the final day of the La Liga season as the club paid rich tribute to one of their greatest-ever products.

Wayne Rooney is planning to visit Washington this week - The Washington Post
Wayne Rooney, the English soccer superstar being courted by D.C. United, will visit Washington on Thursday for a physical and meetings with club officials, three people with knowledge of the situation said late Tuesday. The sides must still work out details on a multiyear pact and United will have to reach agreement with Premier League side Everton on a transfer. But his visit to the city is a strong indication that things are moving along and an accord is near.

Joey Saputo not happy: No one is untouchable, even Piatti |
They’re 3-9, have lost seven of their last eight games, sit in last place in the overall MLS table on a points-per-game basis and to top it all off, they lost 1-0 to a 10-man LA Galaxy side in their 25th anniversary celebration match on Monday.

Reports of OGC Nice deal "wrong information," says NYCFC's Patrick Vieira |
“It makes me smile, because of course there’s no contract being signed or anything like that,” Vieira said after NYCFC training Tuesday afternoon. “This is the wrong information. I’m here, like always. I’m really happy. I really enjoy my work, I really enjoy being part of this football club. I’m just focusing and concentrating about our next game.”

United States

Kenny Saief loan to Anderlecht made permanent - Stars and Stripes FC
US Men’s National Team midfielder Kenny Saief will have a permanent home in the Belgian First Division Jupiler Pro League. His club RSC Anderlecht announced that his loan from KAA Gent would be made permanent for the 2018-2019 season.

Young Americans who attend college struggling for playing time - Stars and Stripes FC
In a recent article over at Hudson River Blue, I wrote about if MLS teams still rely on older players. As part of that research, I looked into different age categories and playing time. One category that stood out was the 19-22 age range because of the variety of players who all had very interesting, unique backgrounds. Frequently in U.S. Soccer circles people discuss this age group because it is so critical for youth development.


Arsenal need Unai Emery pragmatism more than Wenger's idealism
There's an old cliche which says when managers change clubs they go for the opposite to what they had before. You swap your long ball merchant for the tiki-taka enthusiast; exchange your folksy, arm-around-shoulder guy for some dour, unsmiling drill sergeant.

World Cup 2026: Morocco write to Fifa as US territories permitted to vote - BBC Sport
Morocco are bidding to host the tournament, against a joint proposal from the USA, Mexico and Canada. Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are able to vote on 13 June, but Morocco claim that is a conflict of interests.

Pep Guardiola says Unai Emery's career 'speaks for itself' | Football News | Sky Sports
Former Paris-Saint Germain boss Emery - who led the French side to a domestic treble last season - was appointed as Arsene Wenger's successor on Wednesday. Emery inadvertently seemed to confirm the news on Tuesday night when a subsequently-deleted image appeared on his official website alongside the quote 'proud to be part of the Arsenal family'.