Welcome back to Around the Forest! Each week, we like to put together some of the coolest stories about the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC. We even like to throw some other MLS and NWSL stories in there too. This week, we have some insight into the Timbers’ latest signing, a check-in with Mimi’s Fresh Tee’s, and a goodbye to Tobin Heath.
Timbers and Thorns
Earlier this week, the Timbers announced the signing of 18-year-old goalkeeper Hunter Sulte to a Homegrown Player contract. For those of you who want a little more insight into Sulte’s journey to the Timbers Academy from Anchorage, Alaska, I recommend this excellent short profile from Richard Farley. You can read it here.
Next, Jamie Goldberg has technically moved to a more news-focused beat with The Oregonian, but she occasionally writes an excellent story about the Timbers and Thorns. This story on Mimi’s Fresh Tees and the grant they received from the Thorns’ Fall Series success is a great example of that. You can read it here.
And finally, Portland had to say goodbye to a legend yesterday. Tobin Heath — who the Thorns still hold the playing rights to even though she played for Manchester United in 2020 — was selected by Racing Louisville FC in last night’s expansion draft. Richard Farley tried to put into words what she meant for Portland, which you can read here.
MLS and NWSL
Did Sporting Kansas City benefit from a kinder schedule compared to Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers? — Extratime
Armchair Analyst: One worry for each of the 18 MLS playoff teams — MLS
MLS’s 25 top-selling jerseys of 2020: LAFC’s Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez top list — MLS
US Player Ratings: The kids are alright in draw vs. Wales — MLS
MLS playoffs to kick off without some big stars thanks to international call-ups — The Athletic (Subscription required)
Assessing the changes Atlanta United will look to make for 2021 — The Athletic
Christen Press selected by Louisville in NWSL expansion draft — Salt Lake Tribune
NWSL’s Utah Royals fire coach Craig Harrington; Amy LePeilbet remains in interim role — CBS Sports
Any big stories that we missed? Let us know below!