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Around the Forest: High profile deals changing minds about MLS

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Also: More Providence Park expansion; What players want in the next CBO and more!

MLS: MLS Cup-Portland Timbers vs Atlanta United FC Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Timbers

Providence Park expansion adds more than just seats for Timbers, Thorns – The Athletic ($)
The unprecedented views and amenities offered by Portland's stadium expansion could mean big things for the MLS and NWSL teams that call it home.

Timbers young defenders Bill Tuiloma, Julio Cascante embracing tough competition at center back position | oregonlive.com
The Portland Timbers will have competition for playing time at every position on the field this year, but no positional battle will be as fierce as the center back battle.

Portland Timbers close to finalizing deal to sign right back, actively pursuing designated player | oregonlive.com
The Portland Timbers are close to finalizing a deal to sign a right back and are continuing their pursuit of a Designated Player, a source confirmed to the Oregonian/OregonLive Monday.

Major League Soccer

High-profile deals show world’s shifting opinion of Major League Soccer | Pro Soccer USA

Nashville backs out of Andrew Gutman loan from Celtic at MLS' request
Nashville is backing out of a deal to take American defender Andrew Gutman on a season-long loan from Scotland's Celtic.

If Almiron thrives in Premier League with Newcastle, MLS will benefit most
If Almiron excels at Newcastle, it will do a lot to change how people feel about Major League Soccer. It will impact MLS incoming signings, too.

Sources - MLS Liga MX mulling 8-team tournament in second half of 2019
A long-promised cup competition between Liga MX and MLS sides is on its way to becoming a reality in 2019, sources have told ESPN.

David Beckham news: One year from arrival, former Man Utd star's MLS team Inter Miami preparing to launch | Goal.com
The countdown to Major League Soccer's return to Miami is down to a year, and the pieces are being put in place for Inter Miami to succeed immediately

Request for county funding for MLS stadium allows for 'alternative locations in greater downtown' Raleigh :: WRALSportsFan.com
In a document submitted as a first step toward securing county tax support the committee looking to bring a Major League Soccer team to Raleigh also says several locations in 'greater downtown' could be considered for an open-air stadium.

What MLS players want in the next collective bargaining agreement – The Athletic ($)
Current and former MLS players dish on what their priorities should be as the next labor deal is negotiated.

More franchises not the only answer for growth-minded MLS - StarTribune.com
At 24 teams and seeking more, the league is becoming unwieldy.

Crew under Porter ‘further along than I’ve ever been’ in preseason - Massive Report
It’s been a good start, so far, to 2019 for the Black & Gold.

Daniel Sturridge: The Right Man for NYCFC? - Hudson River Blue
The Liverpool mainstay has been linked to MLS. Should the Bronx be the Englishman’s destination?

Sporting KC to enter 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Fourth Round | Sporting Kansas City

Will Sacramento Or St. Louis Become Major League Soccer's Next Franchise?
Now that Sacramento Republic FC has found their whale, will they leap ahead of St. Louis for Major League Soccer's next expansion franchise, or will the league simply award franchises to both cities...knowing that they will ultimately arrive at 30 teams anyway?

Donovan Pines left school to sign with D.C. United but continues seeking knowledge - The Washington Post
Though he is now a pro soccer player, the former Maryland Terrapin wants to get his degree.

World Football

An Argentinian soccer writer goes in depth on Pity Martinez - Dirty South Soccer
Peter Coates was kind enough to chat with us about Atlanta’s new No. 10.

Body found in wreckage of plane carrying soccer star Emiliano Sala
One body is visible in the seabed wreckage of a plane that went missing carrying Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson two weeks ago, air accident investigators said Monday.

Manchester United's New Boss Cut His Teeth On Football Management Games
Caretaker Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has had an incredible run since taking over from Jose Mourinho, which has been a bit of a surprise considering how dreadful United had been until the switch, and how Solskjær’s last Premier League experience had been relegation with Cardiff City.

The journey of Chris Richards, Part 1: The evolution Bayern Munich’s newest prospect - Bavarian Football Works
Chris Richards did not grow up in a soccer hotbed, but with perseverance and opportunity, the American center-back embarked on an adventure that has led him to Bayern Munich.

Sarri's Chelsea revolution at a crossroads with decisive February ahead
Saturday's 5-0 rout of Huddersfield Town showed Chelsea can follow Maurizio Sarri's instructions. Now they need to keep doing it.