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Around the Forest: NYCFC name Domènec Torrent as Manager

Also: A tactical look at Savarese’s Christmas Tree, Kelyn Rowe drawing interest from Israel, And Real Madrid name Zidane’s replacement.

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Portland

Savarese’s Christmas Tree and the Pair That Make It Work — American Soccer Analysis
Across the Major League Soccer landscape, there are some exciting attacking duos. From Atlanta’s prized combo of Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, to LAFC’s Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, to RBNY’s Bradley Wright-Phillips and Kaku, attacking players grab headlines.

Timbers balance feelings of progress, misgiving after draw with Sporting | Portland Timbers
Two points lost, or one point won? Every draw in soccer can be assessed by the question’s the answer. When your team has won seven of eight in all competitions, that answer becomes even more important, defining how close a team’s strong came to being stopped.

Major League Soccer

Football & the Furious: Domènec Torrent is New York City’s new manager - Hudson River Blue
It’s been a whirlwind few days for New York City FC. On Saturday, Patrick Vieira managed his last game in Gotham, coming away with a draw against Atlanta United. The rumors swirling around him taking over French club OGC Nice were prematurely confirmed by Manchester City, not New York City, Sunday evening -- which led to a fair bit of fury among NYC fans.

Orlando City wading through longest road swing since joining MLS
The club is in the middle of a five-match road trip, its longest since joining MLS in 2015. The trip consists of three MLS matches and two in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The entire team traveled for the middle section of the road trip – matches against Miami United, Vancouver and Montreal.

Toronto FC's Alex Bono finds home away from home playing in Philadelphia | MLSsoccer.com
As Alex Bono emerged from the Talen Energy Stadium tunnel before Friday night’s game, it wasn’t lost on him that he was in the same place where he earned his first US national team cap less than two weeks ago.

Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe draws interest from Israel
An Israeli Premier League team expressed interest in the Revs midfielder late last week through an intermediary after monitoring his play in both Major League Soccer and with the United States national team.

Rounding into form, Aleksandar Katai makes case to stay with Chicago Fire | MLSsoccer.com
Aleksandar Katai is hoping his recent run of good form will be enough to secure an extended stay with the Chicago Fire and bring to an end his Spanish nightmare. The Serbian attacker has played a part in seven of the Fire’s 21 regular-season goals, scoring four and assisting on three, including two goals and three assists in his past five games.

Team of the Week presented by Audi: Alphonso Davies shines in Week 15 | MLSsoccer.com
Week 15 of the 2018 MLS regular season featured high-scoring games, a scoreless draw, and everything in between, and that was represented in the Team of the Week presented by Audi. Eleven teams were represented in the starting XI, and an additional three were included in the 18. Teams with more than one representative include Sporting KC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, New York City FC and the LA Galaxy.

Report: Atlanta's Almiron in doubt for Wednesday due to shoulder injury | MLSsoccer.com
Wednesday night’s match between Columbus Crew SC and Atlanta United (7:30 pm ET | TV and streaming info) is shaping up as a tasty clash between two of the top teams in MLS. But the Five Stripes may have to travel to Ohio without key playmaker Miguel Almiron.

United States

FIFA to change the system for ranking men’s teams - Stars and Stripes FC
FIFA has announced it is changing the way it will rank men’s international teams. The new method is based on the Elo rating system which FIFA currently has in place for the women’s national teams, and is the way the International Chess Federation rates their players. It is almost certainly superior to the odd method they’ve used for the men for a long time.

Americans at home: Young players had a big week outside of France too - Stars and Stripes FC
In 2014 one of my friends in Mexico said “jugó con ganas” after the US was eliminated by Belgium in the World Cup. It’s something that I think rings true about the US Men’s National Team when they have success, or even failure as is often the case - they played with desire.

World

Sweden better without Zlatan? LA Galaxy forward still not sure that's true | MLSsoccer.com
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has departed for Russia and his duties as a pitchman during the tournament, but he still sounds irked that he won't be playing as Sweden returns to sport's biggest stage after 12 years.

OFFICIAL: Julen Lopetegui to coach Real Madrid - Managing Madrid
Julen Lopetegui will be Real Madrid’s coach after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Real Madrid confirm that Lopegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons. He will join the club after Spain’s participation in the World Cup after two years coaching the National Team.

Mesut Ozil Ilkay Gundogan row could affect Germany team selection - Bierhoff
Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan's involvement in the ongoing row about a photo they had taken with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan could influence Germany head coach Joachim Low's team selection, according to Oliver Bierhoff.