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Around the Forest: Signs point to FC Cincinnati joining MLS in 2019

Also: Armenteros picks up MLS honors, Torres saga continues, LAG picks up fines, the Fire must trust the process and more!


Thorns FC NWSL Preview | Portland welcomes new, already improved Utah Royals | Portland Timbers
It’s an impossibly low number, even if it’s only been eight games. But compared to the rest of the National Women’s Soccer League, the Utah Royals’ “5” stands out.

Portland Timbers' Samuel Armenteros wins Week 12 AT&T Goal of the Week |
Samuel Armenteros raced more than half the length of the Providence Park pitch to score his dramatic game-winning goal for the Portland Timbers vs. LAFC on Saturday, and his effort has cruised to victory in the Week 12 AT&T Goal of the Week race in similar fashion.

Major League Soccer

FC Cincinnati to make announcement next week amid MLS expansion race
A club release about an event next week did not go so far to confirm its purpose, but the announcement is widely expected to be the formal confirmation that FC Cincinnati has won the expansion slot to become MLS' 26th team. MLS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chicago Fire GM: Fernando Torres "has a lot of the qualities we admire" |
Chicago Fire president and GM Nelson Rodriguez didn’t come out and say that his club are looking to sign Fernando Torres on Wednesday, but he didn’t exactly shoot down the notion, either. Rodriguez commented on the 34-year-old Spanish striker at a media roundtable at Toyota Park on Wednesday. Paul Tenorio, now of The Athletic, reported for in April that the Fire own the MLS discovery rights for Torres and that the club are interested in signing the veteran striker.

LA Galaxy's Schmid, Bingham fined for public criticisms of referees |
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has issued fines of an undisclosed amount to LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper David Bingham for their public criticisms of the officiating crew following the Galaxy’s match against the New York Red Bulls on April 28, a 3-2 home loss at StubHub Center.

2018 US Open Cup: MLS clubs learn opening matchups after Fourth Round draw |
MLS clubs received their matchups for their first 2018 US Open Cup matches on Thursday, as U.S. Soccer held the draw for the fourth-round pairings in this year’s edition of the historic competition. The fourth round marks the first stage of involvement for MLS, with the first three rounds of the single-elimination tournament having featured amateur and lower-division professional teams.

Shorthanded Sounders turn to "artist" Handwalla Bwana for attacking boost |
The Sounders’ start to the 2018 season has been decimated by injuries, especially to their attack. Forward Jordan Morris won’t play at all this season after tearing his ACL in February. Seattle’s only other pure striker, Will Bruin, is currently on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time with a partially torn plantar fascia.

James Riley: From MLS to the CONIFA World Football Cup with Cascadia |
At age 35, James Riley—who played with seven different MLS clubs over an expansive, decade-long career—is readying for his first international tournament this summer, though not the one for which the soccer world’s been preparing.

Stejskal: Despite struggles, Fire GM Nelson Rodriguez still trusts process |
There’s a lot that goes into the role, but the job of every MLS GM can often be boiled down to a series of compromises between their club’s short-term needs and long-term vision. When things are going well, the gig looks easy. When things hit the fan, as they do for basically every team at some point in the eight-month MLS regular season, the job becomes significantly more stressful.

Romell Quioto takes on veteran role for youthful Houston Dynamo attack |
Honduras’ joy at pipping the US national team to fourth place in the final round of Concacaf 2018 World Cup qualifying lasted little more than a month, as they lost 3-1 to Australia on aggregate last November in the intercontinental playoff for the final spot in Russia.

Rumor: FC Dallas interested in Panamanian forward Jose Fajardo? |
FC Dallas are in the middle of the MLS pack this season in terms of goals scored, so will they be adding attacking reinforcements in the summer transfer window? That's the word out of Panama, with reports emerging on Thursday that forward Jose Fajardo is finalizing paperwork to move to FC Dallas in the summer transfer window

United States

Setting the Table: Week 12 — American Soccer Analysis
Welcome to Setting the Table, this week featuring a whole lot of Houston vs Chicago. Each week we take some time to focus on the best chance creators in MLS from the last weekend. If you want to see the best chances that were wasted check out Lowered Expectations. Here we focus on chances that ended with the ball in the back of the net.

U.S. Men’s National team to play Mexico in Nashville on 9/11 - Stars and Stripes FC
According to David Ammenheuser of USA Today Network - Tennessee, the United States Men’s National Team will host Mexico in a friendly on September 11th. The USMNT will have a busy couple of days as they take on Brazil in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just four days before the clash against Mexico.


Arsenal striker Aubameyang hails Emery says club 'stagnated' under Wenger
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hailed new head coach Unai Emery and said the club had "stagnated" under Arsene Wenger. Emery, 46, was appointed on Wednesday, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis promising that "all the resources of the club" will be made available to the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

Liverpool fast start, Madrid late pressure can decide UCL final
Saturday's Champions League final offers one of the most fascinating tactical clashes in recent memory: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, with their astute, intensive, counter-pressing approach, meet the more laissez-faire style of Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid, who concentrate upon possession play.

Mexico can beat Germany in 2018 World Cup opener - Carlos Vela
Mexico's Carlos Vela believes that on his national team's best day they can beat anyone in the world, even prohibitive Group F favorites Germany. Vela, 29, chose not to play for El Tri at the World Cup four years ago, but says he is determined to make Russia 2018 count if he makes the cut for Juan Carlos Osorio's final 23-man squad.