Your Friday Kick Off

Full weekend slate ahead
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Kick Off: Key tilts litter weekend slate | Griezmann drops LAFC tease

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

Business trips for NYCFC, RBNY

New York City FC have a shot at taking a tentative lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings when they visit nearby rivals Philadelphia on Saturday (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). In other Cityzens news, a Goal.com report states that NYCFC academy gem Giovanni Reyna will make a Borussia Dortmund move when he turns 16 in November. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Kicking off at the same time, the New York Red Bulls will also take a run at the Eastern summit in an away contest at Vancouver (7 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info). The Whitecaps will want to keep a lid on Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has scored in four of the last six meetings between the two across all competitions. PREVIEW

ATL, DC host key Eastern clashes

Atlanta United will return after a week off for Saturday’s challenge against Columbus (4 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Gregg Berhalter’s team, who have won three straight, have also come out on top in each of their last two visits to Atlanta. PREVIEW

D.C. United will be out for their fourth home win in a row when New England visits Audi Field on Sunday (7:30 pm ET | FS1 — Full TV & streaming info). For those wondering if the Black-and-Red are good again, Bobby Warshaw writes that everyone should be convinced following their midweek destruction of Portland. READ MORE | PREVIEW

West heats up in Dallas, KC

FC Dallas could go clear atop the West if they end a two-game skid in Saturday’s home game against Minnesota United (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Their chances seem good, as the visitors are both sweating the fitness of Darwin Quintero and 1-8-1 on the road this season. PREVIEW

Two teams chasing Dallas, Sporting KC and Portland, meet in an important conference scrap (8:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Timbers, who have dropped two in a row for the first time since March, are 2-1-2 in their last five overall visits to Children’s Mercy Park. PREVIEW

LA sides set for Western duels

Seattle will shoot for their sixth straight victory in Saturday’s key contest against an LA Galaxy group that will be missing anywhere from a couple to several key players (4 pm ET | ESPN — Full TV & streaming info). The Galaxy, who have lost but once in their last five trips to CenturyLink, will be without the likes of Romain Alessandrini and the dos Santos brothers, while the status of Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains up in the air. PREVIEW

Depending on other weekend results, LAFC could have a chance to move level at the top of the West when Colorado comes to town on Sunday (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Could another star have designs on joining LAFC in the future? Atletico Madrid and France standout Antoine Griezmann essentially promised a playing reunion with old teammate Carlos Vela in an interview. READ MORE | PREVIEW

East vs. West in San Jose, Montreal

Toronto FC will aim to translate another Canadian Championship success into a climb up the East table when they visit San Jose on Saturday (10 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info). Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle has reported interest from Serie A and Ligue 1 in Reds strike ace Jozy Altidore. READ MORE | PREVIEW

If Montreal wish to keep hold of a playoff spot, they’ll want to snap a four-game win drought when Chicago arrives for a Saturday tilt (7:30 pm ET | TVAS — Full TV & streaming info). Though the Fire once struggled mightily at Stade Saputo, they’ve taken two of the last three meetings there. PREVIEW

Can Dynamo get well at home?

Houston return home looking to halt a four-game losing slide in Saturday’s clash with a Real Salt Lake side barely hanging on to the last playoff slot in the West (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Dynamo have dominated this particular fixture, winning 10 of 13 Texas meetings between the two. PREVIEW

Lions seal late Ascues loan swoop

Though idle from play this weekend, Orlando City have kept active by officially completing a loan deal to land Peruvian center back Carlos Ascues. How did they manage to do that after the close of the transfer window? Sam Stejskal has the explanation, which involves paperwork miscues and deadline waivers from all governing bodies concerned. READ MORE

Analyzing the USMNT pool

With the next round of US national team friendlies fast approaching, MLSsoccer.com’s Matt Doyle attempts to break down the squad hopefuls by position. He starts with the ‘keepers and defenders, and from there you can follow links straight through to get his takes on the midfield and strike pools. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch:

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The Movement: Calen Carr checks out Brampton, Canada’s diverse soccer hotbed

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