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Around the Forest: Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez linked with Everton

Also: Sinc play’s her 100th match, Zlatan in ESPN’s body issue, World Cup news and more!

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports


Sinclair 100: Portland legend has forged an unmatched legacy in Rose City sports | Portland Timbers
Thorns FC's Christine Sinclair isn’t one to think about herself, possibly explaining why news of her 100th NWSL regular-season appearance caught her by surprise. “Oh, really?” she asked, when the impending milestone was brought up in April. “Cool.”

Major League Soccer

Warshaw: How Tata Martino should fill out the 2018 MLS All-Star roster |
Now that the 2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target is out, Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino needs to fill out the rest of his roster for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Aug. 1 (7:30 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás, TSN, TVAS) as he will be coaching the team against Juventus.

Atlanta United wait on Nagbe injury news, ponder how to address "big loss" |
Atlanta United may be without Darlington Nagbe in the lineup for the first time all season after the midfielder went down with what appears to be a muscle injury on Sunday. Nagbe hit the turf in the 56th minute of Sunday’s match vs. his former team the Portland Timbers, right as Atlanta were scoring the equalizer in the 1-1 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Everton linked with Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez
Premier League side Everton have been linked with a surprise move for Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez, who is currently the top scorer in the MLS, according to a report by El Diario, as cited on Sport Witness.

Team of the Week presented by Audi: Borek Dockal dominates Week 17 |
Most of MLS was back in action over the weekend, as Week 17 of the 2018 MLS regular season featured 20 teams across 10 games. And there were many teams with representation in the Team of the Week presented by Audi.

LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic in ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue |
The 2018 edition will include the debut of one Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The LA Galaxy star claims in an interview on around the buildup for the Body Issue that he thrives off the "haters" and that even at 36, his body is stronger than ever: "There is no weakness."

Stejskal: Minnesota look for attacking help; Benedetti still on the table |
Though their start was far smoother this year than it was during their expansion season in 2017, Minnesota are still lagging in the standings. The Loons sit ninth in the West after they coughed up a 2-1 second-half lead and conceded a 97th-minute goal to fall 3-2 at the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

United States

ASN article: USMNT formally adds Brazil, Mexico, England, and Italy friendlies this fall
U.S. SOCCER TODAY formally announced four or the six friendlies for the U.S. men’s national team which will close out 2018 and kickoff the new cycle with a goal of participating in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

World Cup

Egyptian commentator dies of heart attack after team's World Cup loss
An Egyptian TV commentator set to analyze Egypt’s third and final game at the 2018 World Cup died of a heart attack shortly after the team’s 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports.

Morocco player after controversial late Spain goal: 'VAR, it's bull----'
VAR is soccer’s excellent but oft-maligned video review system. It awarded Iran a stoppage-time penalty against Portugal, and overturned an offside call on Spain that allowed a Spanish goal to stand. The former was arguable, and probably harsh on Portugal. The latter indisputably correct.

Argentina's Lionel Messi looks 'stressed and unhappy' - Pablo Zabaleta
Former Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta is concerned by how "stressed and unhappy" Lionel Messi has appeared at the 2018 World Cup. Messi missed a penalty against Iceland as Argentina drew 1-1 in their opening game in Russia and then was then ineffective against Croatia as they were beaten 3-0 last Thursday.

Messi facing almost unwinnable battle compared to Ronaldo at World Cup
Winning the 2018 World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo is a luxury and a dream. For Lionel Messi, it is a necessity. Anything short of making it a reality would be devastating to the Argentine’s psyche and forever tarnish his legacy in his homeland.

Why Spain's, Iran's late goals were so important for World Cup knockout rounds
With 90 minutes played in two simultaneous World Cup group deciders on Monday, Portugal was on track for a massive 1-0 victory over Iran – and, with Spain losing to Morocco, on course for the top of Group B.

Swiss players avoid suspensions for provocative World Cup celebrations, Serbia fined
Switzerland stars Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri will not be suspended for World Cup games for their provocative “Albanian eagle” celebrations in their team’s 2-1 win over Serbia.

Russia reverts to form, Uruguay storms to top of World Cup Group A
Russia’s roaring start to its World Cup had prompted a wide range of reactions. It induced wonder. It fed doping conspiracies. More so than anything, though, it sparked surprise. And it begged the question: Was the dominance sustainable?