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Around the Forest: Mexico’s Rafa Marquez retires from International Soccer

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Also: Rooney here to score goals, Fernando Torres to decide between Japan and MLS, John Obi Mikel’s father was kidnapped and more!

Mexico v Scotland - International Friendly Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Timbers

Quotes & Notes | Seattle Sounders FC 2, Portland Timbers 3 | June 30, 2018 | Portland Timbers
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew it was going to be a big game, very physical and high intensity. From the first half to the second half – two different halves. There were moments that they were good going forward and other moments when we looked dangerous.

Major League Soccer

No question about Wayne Rooney's role with D.C. United: He's there to score | MLSsoccer.com
Between the questions about England’s World Cup hopes, the wild welcome at Dulles Airport and the difficulties of training in the East Coast summers, it was hard to suss out the exact vision for how Wayne Rooney fits tactically with D.C. United.

Stejskal: Aleksandar Katai to remain with Chicago through at least July 31 | MLSsoccer.com
The Serbian midfielder is currently on loan to Chicago from La Liga club Deportivo Alaves. The Fire had an option to permanently acquire the 27-year-old for a previously-negotiated transfer fee, but that option expired on Sunday. It was previously reported that Katai’s loan expired on Sunday, which Alaves had also indicated in their initial announcement of the loan. However, a source clarified to MLSsoccer.com on Monday that his loan has always run through July 31. It was only Chicago’s purchase option that expired on Sunday.

LaLiga - Atletico: Torres set to decide between MLS and Japan | MARCA in English
With Sunday came the moment that Fernando Torres was no longer an Atletico Madrid player and the striker is hoping to decide on his next destination within the coming hours.Plenty of offers have arrived from around the world but it is the United States or Japan where he is likely to end up.

Vermes: Sporting KC did not make offer for striker Negredo - The Blue Testament
There have been a number of reports from Turkey that Sporting Kansas City had made an offer on Spanish striker Álvaro Negredo. It was even reported that Beşiktaş had accepted the offer but according to Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes that is not true.

PRO announces assignments for Week 19 of the 2018 MLS season | MLSsoccer.com
The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) has released referee assignments for Week 19 of the MLS season.

O'Connor embraces challenge of turning around slumping Orlando City SC | MLSsoccer.com
A busy offseason pinned Orlando City SC as playoff contenders entering the 2018 MLS season. But a slow start, followed by a six-game winning streak and then a six game losing streak resulted in the firing of head coach Jason Kreis. For new coach James O’Connor, the obstacle of turning things around and making the playoffs this season is a challenge he’s willing to take on.

"Throwback" Rooney looking to "create more history" with DC United | MLSsoccer.com
There’s a famous song all Everton fans know, one Wayne Rooney no doubt memorized growing up in the blue half of Liverpool, long before making his pro debut for the Toffees at age 16. While Liverpool FC are the more decorated Merseyside club, “Grand old” Everton are the originals. “And if you know your history,” the song exclaims, they’re the only club.

World Cup

Japanese team leaves dressing room spotless even after devastating loss to Belgium
Japan bowed out of the World Cup in the Round of 16 in heartbreaking fashion on Monday, but that didn’t stop the Japanese fans and players from showing profound respect for the event’s host country, Russia.

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel reveals father was kidnapped before match vs. Argentina
John Obi Mikel, a midfielder and captain for Nigeria, has revealed that he played his country’s final group stage game, against Argentina, despite knowing that his father had been kidnapped.

Mexico's Rafa Marquez retires from international soccer
Rafael Marquez has announced his retirement from international soccer following Mexico’s elimination from the 2018 World Cup. The legendary defender and team captain made his debut for the senior team in 1997 and went on to make 146 appearances for El Tri, scoring 19 goals.

Anti-doping chief: 'We're fools to believe' Russia's World Cup team is clean
There is no hard evidence that Russia has cheated its way to the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals. There is no concrete proof of doping. But skepticism mounts by the day – and with good reason.

Messi 'super fan' commits suicide following Argentina's World Cup exit
A 20-year-old Indian man who’s been described as a Lionel Messi “super fan” apparently took his own life after Argentina was eliminated from the World Cup by France on Saturday. Monotosh Halder was a resident of Habibpur in the Malda district of West Bengal.

Belgium reminded by Japan just how tough winning its first World Cup will be
That’s the immediate and obvious takeaway after the Belgians – with a squad so talented that the Red Devils were universally considered a dark horse title threat despite little history of success at the international level – were pushed to the limit by Japan, which took a two-goal lead early in the second half of their Round of 16 clash before Belgium roared back to win 3-2 on Nacer Chadli’s goal seconds before the final whistle.