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Around the Forest: Timbers notch first road win of the season

Also: Lee Nguyen makes LAFC debut, Seattle Sounders - still bad, Brad Guzan holding down the ATL and more!


Portland Timbers' victory in San Jose exorcises ghosts, builds on team's spring momentum | Portland Timbers
The highlights will paint it as a night for the spectacular, with Diego Valeri’s late free kick into the right side of Andrew Tarbell’s goal following a number of clutch saves and reads from Jeff Attinella. Portland Timbers’ full 90 minutes in San Jose, though, played out like two novice acrobat walking the same tight rope; both wary of their next steps, reluctant to surge forward, lest they send themselves to the net below.

Major League Soccer

Red Bulls credit specific gameplan in frustrating New York City FC |
The gameplan really didn’t change much for the New York Red Bulls this week, who pressed relentlessly and high in a 4-0 win over New York City FC at Red Bull Arena. It was a win of style for the Red Bulls who were a matchup nightmare on the day against their crosstown rivals.

Lee Nguyen debuts for LAFC, but quick linking doesn't create a winner |
In the 84th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw between FC Dallas and LAFC, the expansion club’s new acquisition did what they brought him into do. Lee Nguyen – who only arrived Wednesday in a blockbuster trade – threaded the ball to Diego Rossi, who slid the ball across to Carlos Vela just in front of the Dallas penalty spot:

Latest scoreless outing leaves Seattle Sounders feeling "pretty frustrated" |
The Seattle Sounders may have procured a point from their 0-0 draw against Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, but in the postgame locker room after the match, the mood felt more like they had just lost 3-0.

Berhalter salutes 10-man Crew SC's "outstanding effort" in Seattle shutout |
After midfielder Pedro Santos was issued a 15th-minute red card following video review for a high kick to Sounders midfielder Alex Roldan, Crew SC were forced to play down a man 75 minutes – daunting circumstances in which to try and procure road points in one of the toughest venues for visiting teams in MLS.

Dynamo goal hero Memo Rodriguez makes no mistake with late opportunity |
When Memo Rodriguez entered the game in the 84th minute against the LA Galaxy, his instructions from Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera were simple: Match their intensity and help defend. The Galaxy brought the game level a minute after he stepped onto the field and were minutes from nabbing a much-needed road point, but Rodriguez more than matched LA’s intensity.

After first goal, Atlanta United believe Barco is just getting started |
Jeff Larentowicz expects “more to come” from goal hero Ezequiel Barco, who opened his MLS account to help guide Atlanta United to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire and into the outright lead in the Supporters’ Shield as the season enters its third month

Brad Guzan playing key role in Atlanta's defensive renaissance |
Brad Guzan’s first outing in his native Chicago since his return to MLS last year ended with victory and his all-conquering Atlanta United team atop the Supporters’ Shield standings. Guzan was in strong form, producing three saves and marshaling his backline superbly as United stretched their unbeaten run to eight games, their 7-1-1 record giving them a two-point lead in the Shield race.

Armchair Analyst: Seattle's slide, RBNY run riot & more from Week 10 |
Sometimes it's good to give a full run-through of all the weekend's games rather than the usual pull-outs of two big ones and then a briefer review of the others. Since we've just rounded the quarter pole on the 2018 MLS season, now's as good a time as any to give a look at everything that happened over the previous 48 hours.

United States

Setting the Table: Week 9 — American Soccer Analysis
Welcome to Setting the Table, where 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. This is were we focus on chances that ended with the ball in the back of the net.

How 106 American soccer players abroad fared this weekend - The Washington Post
Of note: Several players competing in lesser leagues or with reserve/youth squads are not listed. Americans with dual nationalities representing other national teams have also been omitted.


Lionel Messi put pressure on referee at half-time of Clasico - Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos believes Clasico referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez gave in to pressure put on him by Lionel Messi as Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a thrilling 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Stoke's Jack Butland calls out unreliable 'ill-disciplined' teammates after relegation
Jack Butland has described some Stoke City players as "ill-disciplined" who manager Paul Lambert couldn't "rely on," while calling the relegated club's transfer moves "farcical." Stoke's demotion to the Championship was confirmed on Saturday when they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace, with Lambert unable to save them after he replaced Mark Hughes in January.
Mario Balotelli launches tirade at French referees may have played last Nice game
Mario Balotelli may have played his last game for Nice after he was caught on camera launching a tirade at French referees. Balotelli is out of contract at the end of the season, and any ban he has to serve would carry over to a new club.