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Around the Forest: Adrianna Franch nominated for an ESPY

Also: The latest from the Round of 16 of the USOC, all the World Cup news you can handle and more!

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Adrianna Franch nominated for "Best NWSL Player" at ESPY Awards | Portland Timbers
Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is a finalist for the first-ever “Best NWSL Player” honors at the 2018 ESPYS. Franch is among four nominees, which also include Chicago Red Stars’ Sam Kerr, Seattle Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe and North Carolina Courage’s Sam Mewis.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Recap: Atlanta United FC vs. Chicago Fire 06/20/2018 | Matchcenter
A 54th-minute goal by Nemanja Nikolic sent the Chicago Fire on to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, giving the visitors a 1-0 win over Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday night, before a record Cup crowd of 41,012.

Recap: Louisville City vs. Nashville SC 06/20/2018 | Matchcenter
Louisville City FC won the battle of the USL sides in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on Saturday, as they defeated Nashville SC 2-1 at Lynn Stadium in Louisville, Ken. The two USL teams competed in the lone game of the round that did not include an MLS team. Louisville City's quarterfinal berth is their deepest run in the Open Cup in their four-year history.

Recap: D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC 06/20/2018 | Matchcenter
Josue Colman’s penalty kick sent Orlando City SC through to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on an emotional night for the road team. The Lions prevailed over D.C. United, 4-2, in a shootout after both teams played to a 1-1 stalemate after 120 minutes Wednesday night at a rain-soaked Maryland SoccerPlex.

Recap: Los Angeles Football Club vs. Sacramento Republic 06/21/2018 | Matchcenter
LAFC narrowly avoided an upset in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday, as a late goal by Latif Blessing handed them a 3-2 win over USL side Sacramento Republic FC at Banc of California Stadium.

Major League Soccer

Toronto FC re-sign goalkeeper Alex Bono to contract extension |
Toronto FC announced on Wednesday that the club has re-signed goalkeeper Alex Bono to a contract extension, a reflection of his role in the Reds’ 2017 treble campaign and sustained run of success over the past three years.

Sporting KC targets striker in summer transfer window | The Kansas City Star
After the attacking numbers have been the primary culprits of Sporting Kansas City’s failure to secure a home playoff match since 2013, the club is just one goal shy of leading the Western Conference in the category.

Orlando Homegrown goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar completes cancer treatment |
Orlando City SC fans, players and staff got some welcome news on Wednesday, as Homegrown goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar announced that the previous day he’d finished his final round of chemotherapy treatment for his Localized Ewing Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

PSV spokesman: McKalla site resolution threatens MLS move to Austin
While four Austin City Council members put out a release Wednesday detailing plans for an “open and fair process on McKalla Place,” a spokesman for Precourt Sports Ventures said that process could kill plans for a Major League Soccer team in Austin.

Report: Honduran left back Emilio Izaguirre could be set for move to MLS |
Honduran fullback Emilio Izaguirre tells Honduran outlet Diez that he is returning to his club in Saudi Arabia to seek a release in pursuit of a move to Major League Soccer. The 32-year-old Izaguirre moved to Saudi side Al Feiha following an eight-year run at Scottish giants Celtic, in part because of a legal dispute with an agent

Toronto FC aim to spark summer rally in matches vs. New York sides |
With league play set to resume after the World Cup break, the defending MLS Cup champions are eager to re-assert their 2017 dominance on the rest of the Eastern Conference. As the annual summer grind begins, Toronto FC find themselves in an unfamiliar position, sitting in 10th place in the conference standings after 14 matches, four points out of the sixth and final playoff berth on their side of the bracket.

World Cup

If Mexico fans finally stop anti-gay goal kick chant, it won't be a moment too soon
If you witnessed any Mexico game in the last decade or so, the problem will have felt intractable. The chant was so deeply ingrained in El Tri’s supporter culture that there was surely no getting rid of it. Every time the opposing goalkeeper took a kick, it rung through the stadium, loudly and in unison, each time with more gusto than the last.

World Cup 2018 Day 7 winners and losers: Portugal, Spain content with unconvincing wins
We have not yet reached the “survive and advance” stage. Not quite. But when Portugal and Spain marched out onto fields in Moscow and Kazan on Wednesday, six hours apart, Chapter 1 of the 2018 World Cup concluded. Chapter 2 commenced.

Iran coach hospitalized after disallowed goal in 1-0 loss to Spain
A member of Iran’s coaching staff had to be hospitalized after a disallowed goal in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Spain. With Spain leading 1-0 in the second half, Saeid Ezatolahi scored what appeared to be an equalizing goal. But officials on the field called Ezatolahi offside in the sequence leading up to the goal.

World Cup Mystery Solved: What language do refs and players speak on the field?
In Wednesday’s World Cup Group Stage clash between Iran and Spain, we saw an Iranian goal controversially waved off by the referee for being offsides. Both sets of players immediately surrounded the ref, an Uruguayan named Andres Cunha, and began yelling at him.

FIFA fines Mexico for fans using anti-gay chant
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico,” FIFA said.

Australia keep World Cup hopes alive against Denmark after VAR awards controversial penalty
Australia kept their World Cup hopes alive as a contentious penalty awarded using VAR technology earned them a 1-1 draw with Group C rivals Denmark.

Pragmatism and set plays could be decisive factor in World Cup success | Liam Rosenior | Football | The Guardian
Have you noticed that England are all the rage in Russia and I’m not talking about their clothes, their social media trending or the positive vibes which continue to come out of Gareth Southgate’s camp? No, England’s victory over Tunisia in their opening match was significant of the tactical fashion statement which has taken over this World Cup in the group stages.