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Around the Forest: Larrys Mabiala to face childhood friend in Colorado

Also: Sounders are the walking wounded, RSL’s Rusnak could be on the move, Iniesta signs in Japan, Earnie Stewart front runner for USSF GM spot and more!

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Colorado Rapids striker Yannick Boli eager to face longtime friend Mabiala in Timbers clash | Pro Soccer USA
Major League Soccer has been known to divide lines among families, but it can also create rivals among even the best of friends. Such is the case between Colorado Rapids forward Yannick Boli and Portland Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala. Having grown up together on the training grounds at Paris Saint-Germain, the pair is eager to reunite this weekend when their respective clubs face off at 9 p.m. ET Saturday.

Tactical switch, strong defense keys to Portland Timbers run of form | Portland Timbers
"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.”

Major League Soccer

RBNY boss Jesse Marsch: Kemar Lawrence could play this weekend |
After Kemar Lawrence announced he was "ready to go again" for the New York Red Bulls, comes more good news from his head coach. Jesse Marsch told reporters at Red Bulls training on Wednesday that Lawrence "is doing really well" and "he'll be training in full tomorrow, and he should be ready at the weekend."

Stejskal: RSL, Albert Rusnak discussing new contract |
Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak made waves Tuesday when he told reporters that he’s “happy” to be going on international duty with Slovakia next week so he could get a bit of a break from his struggling club. “I’m actually happy I’m going to get out of here for a minute because there’s a lot that’s going on off the field,” he said. “And the people to speak to about that are probably the higher up people in the club, and they know what’s going on.”

After early slump, Alberth Elis quietly racking up production for Dynamo |
After Alberth Elis made a splash last season on loan from Monterrey, Houston permanently acquired the Honduran international and Designated Player in December. Ensuring he remains in Texas looks like one of the club’s shrewdest decisions as they seek another playoff berth in 2018.

RBNY's Bradley Wright-Phillips voted Alcatel Player of the Week for Week 12 |
He led the New York Red Bulls to an impressive 3-1 road victory over the league leaders, scoring two goals and earning the penalty kick that led to another, and for that heroic outing Bradley Wright-Phillips was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 12.

LAFC coach Bob Bradley uses 'Sudoku' method to manage minutes in friendly
Mexico international Carlos Vela started for LAFC in its 1-1 tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, but only played the first 25 minutes as coach Bob Bradley experimented with a "Sudoko" technique for managing his players' minutes.

Sounders’ injury problems are worse than you imagined - Sounder At Heart
If it seems like the Seattle Sounders has bad luck and is injured more than everyone else, it is because they are. The Sounders are underperforming expectations for plenty of reasons this year, and while the team they are able to field should be playing better, it does not change the fact that injuries are a big reason why.

United States

Mexico vs. US Soccer in Nashville: Titans stadium to host game
The United States men's soccer team will play Mexico at Nissan Stadium on Sept. 11 a source told The Tennessean on Wednesday night. An official announcement is expected by Thursday afternoon.

Report: Union sporting director Earnie Stewart favorite for USMNT GM job |
Kristian Dyer reported in Metro on Wednesday that Stewart is "the favorite" for the role, created by current US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro. That report was subsequently followed up on Wednesday by Yahoo Sports' Doug McIntyre, who said Stewart is in negotiations to take the job.

Brandi Chastain on HOF Plaque: 'It's Not the Most Flattering, but It's Nice' | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
United States Women's National Team legend Brandi Chastain was recently inducted into the Bay Area Hall of Fame. And while the induction alone is an incredible honor, receiving a plaque should only add to the accomplishment.


Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta joins Japanese side Vissel Kobe
Andres Iniesta has completed a move to Vissel Kobe just days after leaving Barcelona, the Japanese side announced.The Spain playmaker left the Spanish champions at the end of last week after more than 20 years at the club.

Tottenham sign Mauricio Pochettino and staff to new five-year contracts
Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff have signed new five-year contracts with Tottenham until 2023, the Premier League club announced on Thursday. The deal comes less than 10 days after Pochettino came close to issuing an ultimatum to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy by calling for the club to dramatically change strategies.

John Terry can skip Chelsea games if Aston Villa win promotion Steve Bruce
Aston Villa will allow John Terry to decide whether he plays against Chelsea if the club gain promotion to the Premier League, says manager Steve Bruce, who also wants to trigger the 12-month option in the defender's contract.