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MLS Hot Stove: Will Nagbe end up in Columbus? Is Vargas the man for Portland up front?

The MLS regular season isn't due to start for another two weeks, but for a quintet of MLS teams, the start of the season has arrived. Next week the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League begins with Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City, the Houston Dynamo, Supporters Shield holder New York Red Bulls and reigning MLS Cup champion Atlanta United all in action.

Yet that doesn't mean teams are settled in terms of personnel. Far from it. Here's the latest from around the league.

The Nagbe mystery...

MLS Hot Stove: Will Almiron leave Atlanta? Is Vela going to Barca? What's next for Gio in LA?

By next week, training camp will have opened for every one of the 24 teams in MLS. A few have already opened but while players are preparing to begin the real grind of preseason, the process of assembling rosters continues.

Here's the latest from the MLS Hot Stove.

Almiron talks are 'very slow'

There are two weeks left until the close of the winter transfer window in England, and the clock is ticking on the much-anticipated move of Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron to the Premier League....

Giovani dos Santos wants to stay at LA Galaxy, brother Jonathan says

Giovani dos Santos wants to stay at LA Galaxy and improve on his poor 2018 season, according to the Mexico international's brother and teammate Jonathan dos Santos.

Giovani is one of the highest-paid players in MLS, but he managed only three goals and two assists over an injury-plagued season, sparking rumors about the 29-year-old's future at the club, which missed out on the playoffs.

"Gio wants to stay here," Jonathan told journalists in Los Angeles on Tuesday. "He knows that this year was a complicated...

How Mexico's stars are deciding fans' allegiances in Los Angeles

A sense of anxiety is starting to creep into Javier Ochoa of Covina, California. The nights are becoming more sleepless. The worry and angst increase with each passing day.

These are feelings usually reserved for the very biggest of Mexico national team games or a Clasico Nacional between his beloved Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America, yet here is Ochoa fretting over a team that less than a year ago could not even fill out a starting XI.

It's all because it's Rivalry Week in Los Angeles,...

LA Galaxy could be without Dos Santos, Alessandrini against Colorado

The LA Galaxy's health issues have returned with both Romain Alessandrini and Giovani Dos Santos in doubt for Tuesday's match against the Colorado Rapids.

A full-strength Galaxy team began play on Saturday but wound up with a disappointing 2-2 home draw against Minnesota United and also saw two key players depart early.

Winger Alessandrini scored his eighth goal of the season only seven minutes into the contest, but he exited 17 minutes later after injuring his right leg. Then Dos Santos departed...

 By Matt Pentz

MLS could use a World Cup boost from its Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica stars

Of the 23 players named to Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio's roster for the upcoming World Cup in Russia, 12 are based in Europe, a record for El Tri. Rafael Marquez, somehow, at the age of 39, is on there too, leading a sizable Liga MX contingent.

Perhaps most controversially, three Major League Soccer players -- Carlos Vela and the dos Santos brothers, Jonathan and Giovani -- also made the cut. Controversially, because the league is still held in low esteem south of the border and because each...