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Friday Morning Union Freekicks: Portland And Vancouver Remain Talk of MLS

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Last night, MLS saw its latest soccer-specific facility open to much success in Portland. That was just one major news story coming from MLS's newest franchises yesterday, who, for whatever reason, dominated the news. Montreal looks like it will find great success next year as well, which speaks to MLS's newfound ability to bring new markets online in a very strong fashion. What do Toronto FC, Seattle, the Union, the Timbers and the Whitecaps (and the Impact) all have in common, by the way? A soccer-specific facility. And that's not a coincidence. Today's open discussion thread for all things Union and MLS.

Portland Timbers defeat Chicago 4-2, post first ever MLS win [Geoffrey C. Arnold, The Oregonian] - JELD-WEN Field was packed and looked simply marvelous in front of a national audience.

Animated Ruiz Feels at Home with Union [Andy Jasner, philadelphiaunion.com] - This quote says it all: "I love it here. I love the Union."

Vancouver Whitecaps to keep it natural for Manchester City friendly [Bruce Constantineau, Vancouver Sun] - Temporary grass will be installed at Empire Field for the Whitecaps' July 18 friendly against the Blues.

Okugo Drawing on Experience in Second Season [Andy Jasner, philadelphiaunion.com] - Okugo continues to progress and make us wonder whether he may be an essential piece to the US Men's National Team for years to come.

Whitecaps continue to show TFC how it's done [Paul Attfield, Globe and Mail] - Both on- and off-the-pitch, remarkably, Vancouver is starting to surpass one of MLS's stronger organizations.

Canzano: That was the sound of real victory in Portland Timbers opener [John Canzano, The Oregonian] - No doubt, Portland and the Timbers managed to surpass the lofty expectations for last night.

Sure, celebrate Portland Timbers' opening, but think of what we miss without baseball [Anna Griffin, The Oregonian] - No, it's not great that in order for the Timbers to make use of what was formerly known as PGE Park, the Beavers had to be kicked out of their venue and ultimately out of town. But all you have to do is look at the mess Sporting Kansas City was in when they were located out of CommunityAmerica Ballpark in previous years to realize that having the two sports in the same facility simply doesn't work.