Your Friday Kick Off

Heineken Rivalry Week, Weekend Preview, El Tráfico …
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Kick Off: Heineken Rivalry Week opens packed weekend slate with Friday doubleheader

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

Late Heineken Rivalry Week levelers for Dynamo, Crew SC

Heineken Rivalry Week traveled to Texas, and Ronaldo Pena bagged his first MLS goal with two minutes remaining to earn Houston a 1-1 home share with derby foe FC Dallas on Thursday. While the late rescue strike ended the Dynamo’s five-game losing slide, they remain winless in eight. RECAP

In Chicago, a Niko Hansen tally three minutes from time salvaged a 1-1 draw for Columbus. Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle once again invited Bobby Warshaw over to kick around the night’s action, with both deciding that the results did no favors to home sides thirsty for victory. READ MORE | RECAP

El Trafico: Round 3

9b2dd1ed-f4d9-4bb0-b3ac-49e5369e3f81.jpg The season’s third and final regular-season installment of Los Angeles’ grudge match highlights Friday’s Heineken Rivalry Week action, as the Galaxy “welcome” LAFC to the StubHub Center (10:30pm ET | ESPN – Full TV & streaming info). WATCH VIDEO | PREVIEW

Ahead of the match, Sam Stejskal takes a look at a unique midfield system instituted by LAFC boss Bob Bradley that has proven surprisingly effective. READ MORE

Lions vow to stop ATL’s Martinez

Orlando City will be out for their first win against southern rivals Atlanta United, who invade on Friday night (8 pm ET | ESPN – Full TV & streaming info). Five Stripes strike ace Josef Martinez stands one goal away from setting a new single-season record, but the Lions insist that won’t happen in their home. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Cascadia, Atlantic Cup duels on tap Sunday

Sunday will bring Heineken Rivalry Week to a close with a high-stakes doubleheader, that opens in New York with the Red Bulls trying to slow down suddenly streaking rivals D.C. United (7 pm ET | FS1 – full TV & streaming info). Back after 10 months out of Black-and-Red, D.C. netminder Bill Hamid is marveling at all the changes that occurred while he was in Denmark that have the capital crew looking like a whole new club. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Portland and Seattle cap the round with a Cascadia Cup scrap at Providence Park (9:30 pm ET | FS1 – full TV & streaming info). The Sounders arrive on a six-game win streak that has set them up for a great shot at yet another nod in our all-time top-five list of the best in-season team turnarounds. READ MORE | PREVIEW

TFC, Philly host big East clashes

Defending league champs Toronto FC will try to creep toward the sixth and final Eastern playoff slot – currently held by Montreal – when the derby rivals clash at BMO on Saturday (8 pm ET | TSN, TVAS – Full TV & streaming info). Though this away fixture has rarely been kind to the Impact, they have taken two of the last three regular-season contests in Toronto. PREVIEW

Elsewhere, strugglers New England must break a string of three consecutive shutout losses at Philadelphia if they hope to climb closer to the playoff line on Saturday (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). They’ll have a new wrinkle to contend with this time, as the Union have been benefiting from a shuffle that moved striker C.J. Sapong out to right wing. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Can RSL clinch Rocky Mountain Cup away?

Real Salt Lake can secure their third straight Rocky Mountain Cup on Saturday’s visit to arch rivals Colorado (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Rapids must win by four goals in order to pry the trophy away from their Heineken Rivalry Week visitors. PREVIEW

Sporting KC aim for their fourth straight win against Saturday guests Minnesota United (8:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Off the field, the Kansas City crew are reportedly close to a multi-year extension with one-club man Graham Zusi. READ MORE | PREVIEW

‘Caps shoot for first San Jose win

A warming Vancouver side will make one of their least favorite road trips when they visit San Jose for a Saturday tilt (10 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). The Whitecaps, who stand three points below the playoff line, have yet to win at San Jose in nine tries. PREVIEW

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

c76ec16d-b06c-471c-90bb-31ee722471cc.jpg Top 5 all-time Heineken Rivalry Week goals

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