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Around the Forest: Niezgoda, Gio’s thoughts on what makes a good meal, and more

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Here’s some good reads/listens from around the league

MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Around the Forest! Each Friday, we’ll try to collect some of the best stories from about the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns from this week, as well as a few stories about the rest of the MLS and NWSL in general. Here’s a look at some top-choice reading.

Timbers and Thorns

Jaroslaw Niezgoda joined the Timbers this year under ... strange circumstances to say the least. This profile in The Athletic delves into several different things, including adjusting to the Timbers’ culture, his heart procedure, and his role in light of Sebastian Blanco’s ACL tear (Subscription required.)

You may not have known it until now, but a thing you definitely need in your life is a good meal and good wine, according to Giovanni Savarese. He talked about that and more on The Call Up with Susannah Collins and Jillian Sakovits.

The start of the Portland Thorns’ regular season may have been delayed due to wildfires, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the news. Recently, first round pick Sophia Smith talked with CBS Sports about her wild first year with the club, the impact of the wildfires, and the importance of the NWSL Black Players Coalition.

And finally, new Thorns player Becky Sauerbrunn talked with Ann Schatz about everything from embarrassing high school band stories to her letter from Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Other MLS and NWSL News

Inter Miami CF sign star striker Gonzalo Higuain — mlssoccer.com

Minnesota United acquires striker Kei Kamara in trade with Colorado — twincities.com

MLS Unites to Vote — mlssoccer.com

Real Salt Lake Signs Damir Kreilach to Contract Extension — rsl.com

Frank De Boer Helps MLS Nudge a Bit Closer to the Global Soccer Mainstream — ussoccerplayers.com

FIFA 21 ratings: LAFC’s Carlos Vela, Inter Miami’s Blaise Matuidi rated highest MLS players — mlssoccer.com

MLS expansion team St. Louis City SC set new league record for season ticket deposits on first day — mlssoccer.com

USWNT star Alex Morgan joins Tottenham Hotspur on short-term deal — cbssports.com

Orlando Pride hopes Alex Morgan will return from Tottenham for NWSL start — espn.com

There’s plenty news out there that we possibly missed too, so feel free to drop links below!