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Around the Forest: Josef Martinez signs long-term deal with Atlanta United

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Also: Is it the beginning of the end for the MLS Superdraft; LAFC hoping for continuity and defense and more!

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2018 MLS Cup - Portland Timbers v Atlanta United Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Timbers

Timbers select two players in final two rounds of 2019 MLS SuperDraft | Portland Timbers

Claude Dielna trade continues Timbers' commitment to depth, competition | Portland Timbers

Major League Soccer

MLS Hot Stove: Will Almiron leave Atlanta? Is Vela going to Barca? What's next for Gio in LA?
Atlanta might have a Designated Player problem if one of their stars doesn't complete a move to England, while two Mexico stars are in limbo in LA.

Josef Martinez signs long-term contract extension with Atlanta United - Dirty South Soccer
The King of Atlanta is here to stay.

MLS: Conservative SuperDraft beginning of end or odd year out?
The MLS SuperDraft was much more conservative this year. Does that hint at the beginning of the end for the event or is it just an anomaly?

Stejskal: San Jose GM Jesse Fioranelli out to make up for forgettable 2018 | MLSsoccer.com

Real Salt Lake name Rob Zarkos executive VP of soccer operations | MLSsoccer.com

LAFC hoping continuity, competition changes defense’s fortunes in 2019 – The Athletic ($)
In the club's second season, LAFC's biggest weakness has been bolstered by re-signings rather than a big-name acquisition.

DC United faces expectations in 2019 | US Soccer Players
DC United has a full season at Audi Field and roster moves to make as they try to show that they can remain a contender in the Eastern Conference.

Wilmer Cabrera sets Dynamo goals as U.S. Open title defense, MLS playoff spot - HoustonChronicle.com
On a cold, gray winter day, Wilmer Cabrera began to jog around one of the practice fields of the Houston Sports Park complex. His players were already enjoying a hot shower and jacuzzi in the locker room.

Bayern confirm friendly with Major League Soccer's FC Dallas

Red Bulls looking at possible overseas transfer to boost midfield depth – The Athletic ($)
The New York Red Bulls are still looking for the right way to replace Tyler Adams' role in the middle of the park.

Porter, Bezbatchenko focused on putting Columbus Crew’s staff together - Massive Report
There are plenty of staffing holes to fill for the new Crew leaders.

Report: Schelotto eyes River Plate midfielder as LA Galaxy reinforcement | MLSsoccer.com

MLS: Expansion, expansion, expansion not always beneficial
Major League Soccer commissioner has heavily hinted at expansion beyond 28 clubs. MLS needs to be careful. Expansion is not always beneficial.

Michael Bradley named to CONCACAF Best XI - Stars and Stripes FC
How Sway?!

D.C. United’s Yamil Asad negotiations held up by shifting club demands – The Athletic ($)
The player wants to be back, and the club wants him back. But Yamil Asad may well have played his last game for D.C. United.

World Soccer

Alphonso Davies reveals how his family and Kingsley Coman have powered his journey with Bayern Munich - Bavarian Football Works
The Canadian starlet could make his Bundesliga debut tomorrow and revealed how a talk with Kingsley Coman helped him mold his approach to a career with Bayern.

Borussia Dortmund has reportedly decided to stop “handing over” players to Bayern Munich - Bavarian Football Works
Bayern Munich has been accused of poaching players from its Bundesliga rivals too many times in the past. It looks like that is set to change.

Woman Who Coaches Men's Soccer Team Responds To Sexist Question: "I Pick My Team On Dick Length"
In late December, German soccer club BV Cloppenburg handed the reins of their fifth-division men’s team to Imke Wübbenhorst, making her the first woman to coach a German men’s team at that high of a level.

Juventus, Chelsea clarify terms of Higuaín deal - We Ain't Got No History
Only a few final details and an OK from AC Milan missing now.