Your Friday Kick Off

Weekend preview, derbies at HOU, RSL, and SEA…
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Kick Off: Derbies on tap at HOU, RSL, SEA | Crew SC reject Steffen offer?

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

Rooney, D.C. ride into Atlanta

aeef1081-233c-4af6-9da7-c742d86fb3a7.jpg New D.C. United star Wayne Rooney will make his first visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Atlanta United’s least favorite opponents come to town on Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET | Univision, Twitter – full TV & streaming info). At the same time, English tabloid Express claims that the Five Stripes have hung a “NOT FOR SALE” sign around star man Miguel Almiron to drive away serious interest from Premier League sides Newcastle and West Ham United. READ MORE | PREVIEW

New England will pay a call to an old Eastern Confrence rival when they make a tricky trip to tackle the Red Bulls on Saturday evening (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Revs have dropped three in a row in Harrison, and have won but one of their last 15 there. PREVIEW

Derby triple-decker on the weekend menu

Seattle and Vancouver will each be aiming to make ground in the Cascadia Cup standings when they renew hostilities at CenturyLink Field on Saturday (4 pm ET | TSN1 in Canada – full TV & streaming info). Early Friday morning, local blog Sounder At Heart reported that the club were set to waive Norway attacker Magnus Wolff Eikrem. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Down in Texas, Houston will host FC Dallas for their first intra-state showdown of 2018 (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). FCD have made themselves quite at home in BBVA Compass Stadium in recent years, going 5-1-1 in their last five trips down I-45 South. PREVIEW

6d95e047-968e-400d-9b17-7b573492855c.jpg Real Salt Lake will hope to continue their home derby mastery (12-0-4 run) when Rocky Mountain Cup nemesis Colorado invades on Saturday (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Both rivals showed up in our top five list of the best summer trade chips currently held by MLS clubs, with one of their players taking the top spot. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Streaking Timbers begin home swing

Portland will try to extend their league unbeaten streak to a baker’s dozen when they open a four-game home stand against Montreal on Saturday (11 pm ET | TVAS in Canada – full TV & streaming info). Meanwhile, the Timbers have filed an appeal over their midweek Open Cup defeat over the possibility that opponents LAFC may have played more international players than the rules allow. READ MORE | PREVIEW

LA duo hit the road

Expansion darlings LAFC will carry a six-game unbeaten run into Saturday’s contest at Minnesota United (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). With a victory, the Loons can achieve both their first three-game win streak and first four-game home win streak of their MLS tenure. PREVIEW

On Saturday, the LA Galaxy will hope to continue their recent climb with a visit to a building where they’ve never lost, Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). As he gets set to depart for the United States national team’s GM post, Union sporting director Earnie Stewart has reflected on the overall direction of the team compelled by the moves he made. READ MORE | PREVIEW

East strugglers to clash in Columbus, Chicago

A pair of Eastern Conference sides striving to get back to their best will lock horns when Orlando City visits Columbus on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, Crew SC boss Gregg Berhalter has knocked back Bristol City’s offer for starting netminder Zack Steffen. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Currently winless in six league games, defending champs Toronto FC will try for their third straight triumph at Toyota Park when they visit Chicago on Saturday (7 pm ET | TSN1/4 in Canada – full TV & streaming info). Though the Reds stand 11 points short of the playoff line, general manager Tim Bezbatchenko insists that “everyone in the building believes” they can still rally their way into the postseason and retain the MLS Cup title. READ MORE | PREVIEW

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch:

bf5bde71-1853-4f5f-bcbf-41a043480447.jpg Beyond The Stands: The heroes that inspire Rapids star Tim Howard

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