Your Friday Kick Off

Week 18 Preview, Wayne Rooney, Marquinhos Pedroso …
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Kick Off: Cali Clasico tops trio of derbies | Week 18 Preview

Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:

The Rooney era opens in D.C.

After weeks upon weeks of speculation and news reports, D.C. United completed the capture of Everton superstar Wayne Rooney. Capital City denizen Charles Boehm analyzed the tall tasks and great expectations Wazza will face in D.C. READ MORE | TOP 5 EPL-TO-MLS TRANSFERS

Our Bobby Warshaw broke down the challenge Ben Olsen faces in integrating a superstar midseason. READ MORE

Loons welcome FC Dallas on Friday

The weekend MLS card will kick off when FC Dallas heads north to square off against Minnesota United FC on Friday night (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Brazilian reports claim FCD are moving quickly to replace departed left back Anton Nedyalkov, with an offer already on the table for recent Ferencvaros loan standout Marquinhos Pedroso. READ MORE | PREVIEW

And with MNUFC hosting Pride Night at TCF Bank Stadium, midfielder Collin Martin shared a special message ahead of the match. READ MORE

Cali Clasico returns to Stanford, Portland heads to Seattle

d6f75f7d-e17d-4719-ab58-b8dd9d4ae907.jpg The perfect medicine for West cellar dwellers San Jose may have arrived with the seventh annual summer California Clasico against the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium (10 pm ET | UniMás – Full TV & streaming info). To celebrate the big game, we complied a list of the three wildest moments from past grudge matches held in Palo Alto. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Not to be outdone, the always entertaining Portland-Seattle rivalry will kick up again at CenturyLink Field on Saturday (4:30 pm ET | FOX – Full TV & streaming info). On Thursday, the Sounders learned that back line cop Roman Torres will likely be out 7-10 days after suffering an ankle knock in Panama’s World Cup farewell loss to Tunisia. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Take Five for the southern derby

Roller coaster side Orlando City will hope to snap a seven-game plummet by posting their first win against Atlanta United in Saturday’s scrape at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (7 pm ET | ESPN – full TV & streaming info). In an interview with Pro Soccer USA, Lions attacker Justin Meram discussed how’s he dealing with the frustration of his production struggles since arriving in Orlando and the often angry reactions from the the home fans that have followed. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Crucial road trip for TFC, who visit RBA

Sunday’s marquee matchup will see MLS Cup holders Toronto FC take their form search south to face the New York Red Bulls (4:30 pm ET | FOX, TSN – Full TV & streaming info). While the Reds have traditionally struggled at Red Bull Arena, they are 2-1-1 on their last four visits. PREVIEW

Sporting KC visit warming Montreal, NYC head to Chicago

West front-runners Sporting KC will gamble their seven-game unbeaten streak in Saturday’s visit to a surging Montreal side (7 pm ET | TSN, TVAS – full TV & streaming info). The Impact, who’ve won three of four to charge into playoff contention, are to date a regrettable 1-3-2 at home vs. Sporting. PREVIEW

Out east, New York City FC will try to prolong their mastery over Chicago when they invade Toyota Park on Saturday night (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Fire are busy exploring all options as they attempt to hang on to red-hot winger Aleksandar Katai, whose loan spell from Alaves is set to end after this match. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Union, LAFC set for first meeting; Crew SC off to RSL

New kids on the MLS block LAFC will put their unbeaten home record on the line when Philadelphia drops by for Saturday’s contest (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The match-up will feature two of the league’s hottest attackers in LAFC striker Adama Diomande (four goals in the last three games) and Union playmaker Borek Dockal (the reigning Alcatel Player of the Week has four goals and five assists from his last seven outings). PREVIEW

Another intriguing inter-conference showdown will take place in Columbus, where Gregg Berhalter’s scuffling side will tackle Real Salt Lake on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). It’s been a good fixture for Columbus, who are 7-1-1 in the last nine league meetings between these two sides MAPFRE Stadium. PREVIEW

Revs, ‘Caps aim to extend home runs

On Saturday, New England will host Eastern rivals D.C. United, a team they’ve only lost to once in the last 13 overall meetings at Gillette (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). In addition to landing Rooney, the Black-and-Red are also being linked with a move for Swansea City’s Ecuador left winger Jefferson Montero. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Can Colorado build off last week’s slump-busting victory? We’ll find out when they visit Vancouver for a Sunday tussle (7 pm ET | TSN – TV & streaming info). The Rapids will need to beat the trends to do it; they’ve suffered four straight shutout defeats away from home and have won just once in their last nine trips to BC Place, where the Whitecaps are unbeaten in five. PREVIEW

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

a65e041d-0f0d-4cc5-b710-e89332ed1881.jpg What does the signing of Wayne Rooney mean for D.C. United?

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