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Around the Forest: It’s time for the World Cup

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Previews - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Portland

Watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup at area Pub Partners | Portland Timbers
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia begins Thursday and numerous Portland Timbers and Thorns FC Pub Partners are busy throughout with viewing gatherings and more. Have a look through and get out there!

USL MATCH RECAP | Portland Timbers 2: 1, OKC Energy FC: 2 | Portland Timbers
Playing the first of a two-game homestand, T2 fell 2-1 to OKC Energy FC at Providence Park on Wednesday night, as part of Cancer Survivor Night. Forward Foster Langsdorf tallied his team-leading sixth goal of 2018, as T2 lost for the first time this season at Providence Park.

Major League Soccer

Report: Raul Ruidiaz to Seattle Sounders from Monarcas Morelia | MLSsoccer.com
A recently rumored pursuit could be coming to a close, as Monarcas Morelia bid farewell to striker Raul Ruidiaz on social media, indicating he would be headed to the Seattle Sounders:

He loves LA and looks to deliver for El Tri: 10 things about Carlos Vela | MLSsoccer.com
Carlos Vela has been a big hit in Major League Soccer, spearheading newcomer LAFC's sizzling attack with seven goals and five assists in just a dozen games. Now he's off to Russia, returning to the game's biggest stage eight years after injury derailed his first trip to the World Cup.

Davies: Atlanta United continue taking steps toward MLS Cup success | MLSsoccer.com
Just four days after taking the first opposition point against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, Atlanta United defeated Columbus Crew SC, 2-0, on the road Wednesday, tagging Crew SC with their second home loss in 10 matches. Atlanta have cemented themselves as true MLS Cup contenders.

Atlanta United hail Josef Martinez: "He'll do anything to score a goal" | MLSsoccer.com
In Atlanta United’s 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC Wednesday night, star striker Josef Martinez had a short night, but an eventful one. In a deadlocked match 30 minutes in, Martinez took his first chance of the match.

MLS Commissioner Garber: 2026 World Cup will be "rocket fuel" for momentum | MLSsoccer.com
After the United Bid of the Canada, Mexico and the United States was chosen to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke with ESPN commentator Sebastian Salazar to discuss the impact on MLS and soccer in the United States.

Seattle Sounders coach surprised by Raul Ruidiaz move announcement
Monarcas Morelia have announced the departure of Raul Ruidiaz to Seattle Sounders -- but the MLS side's coach was surprised by their Twitter announcement.

World Cup 2018

The World Cup Team Preview You Didn't Know You Needed: The Referees — American Soccer Analysis
The spectacle of the World Cup is upon us once again. Story lines are already emerging, from Mo Salah’s shoulder and how it may drive the fate of his Pharoes, to the evergreen “will Messi finally win on the international stage?”, and of course whether or not the worst ranked host nation will manage to progress from what is statistically the easiest group in the modern era… But there’s myriad journalists and bloggers covering that already.

Will the World Cup in Russia be overshadowed by racism, hooligans and politics?
Russia was awarded the hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup in December 2010, and in the seven-plus years since, there has been -- deep breath -- controversy over corruption; hand-wringing over slow, yet wildly expensive, construction; outrage over alleged workers' rights violations; concern over persistent incidents of racism at matches; shock over cyberattacks and interventions in foreign elections and wars; disbelief over international spy intrigue; trepidation over possible terrorism; and worries over the potential for ugly hooligan violence.

Mohamed Salah almost 100 percent likely to face Uruguay - Egypt coach
Salah, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, injured shoulder ligaments in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid on May 26 and has not played since, keeping fans in suspense before Egypt's first World Cup finals in 28 years.

Russian women should avoid sex with foreign men during 2018 World Cup - lawmaker
Russian women should avoid sex with non-white foreign men during the football World Cup because they could become single mothers to mixed race children, a senior lawmaker in Moscow said on Wednesday.

United States

Introducing the Stars and Stripes FC Podcast! - Stars and Stripes FC
We have a new addition to the Stars and Stripes FC family! Earlier this morning, Stephanie and I woke up hours earlier than anyone ever should to not only watch the 2026 World Cup vote but to also record our debut episode of the Stars and Stripes FC Podcast!

World

Premier League fixtures: Arsenal face Man City and Chelsea in first two games
The Gunners will take on the champions at the Emirates on the opening weekend of the season, which takes place on Aug. 11, before then travelling to Stamford Bridge for a London derby in their second game. Arsenal and Chelsea only announced a preseason friendly in Dublin for Aug. 1 on Wednesday, and they will meet again in the league just 17 days later.

Liverpool to play away in Premier League before every Champions League group game
Liverpool will play away from home in the Premier League before every Champions League group game this season. The fixture list, released on Thursday morning, provisionally shows that Liverpool will face rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal before European matches.

Antoine Griezmann's Atletico Madrid-Barcelona 'Decision' to be revealed in TV special
Griezmann said he will let everyone know ahead of France's World Cup opener on Saturday against Australia whether he will accept a new contract offer from Atletico or push through a €100 million move to the Camp Nou ahead of next season.