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MLS Weekend Preview: Round 17

A whirlwind look at the games of the weekend, where to tune in, and what to watch for.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With no European football to speak of, you can spend your morning pulling weeds and sleeping in, girding yourself for the MLS onslaught of a full slate of games. Here's how to watch and what to watch for. Plus the Rabbi's Start XI, a new feature.

Round 17 Games

Friday, 7/9/16

Orlando vs Houston

6pm MST, Univision Deportes

Orlando sits just below the red line and parted ways with manager Adrian Heath yesterday. Houston have an interim manager in Wade Barrett, and actually got all three points last week against Philadelphia. Both teams prefer offense to defense, so this could be fun to watch.

San Jose vs Dallas

8:30 MST, Univision Deportes

SJ have only 3 points from their past 5 games in the tough Western Conference. Their turnaround has to start now, or they'll miss another playoffs this year. David Bingham is excellent, but he might need to be downright legendary to fend off the best offense in MLS with Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti.

Saturday, 7/10/16

Seattle vs. Los Angeles

1pm MST, ESPN

Can we just root for both teams to lose?

Philadelphia vs. DC

5pm, MLS Live

Have you seen Roland Alborg? You should watch Roland Alborg. He's got Darlington Nagbe-acceleration out of midfield, and he's even younger than Nagbe.

New England vs. Columbus

5:30pm, MLS Live

Columbus have only 3 wins on the season to date. Against the Revs, they face discarded striker Kei Kamara. Just pure revenge-hate will probably get Kamara a brace against the yellow jackets.

Toronto vs. Chicago

5:30pm, MLS Live

Toronto are 2-3-1 (WTL) at home, and sit just 6th in the Eastern Conference. If they're going to turn it around, they need to start now against a weak Chicago Fire.

Salt Lake vs. Montreal

8pm, MLS Live

Hate to say it, but Joao Plata and Burrito Martinez make this team one of the most exciting to watch in MLS. With 10 goals of his teams 27, Ignacio Piatti is the second best contributor to his team in MLS in terms of percentage of total team goals this year - fully 37% of MTL's goals come from Nacho, bested only by David Villa. This could be a great game. Might be worth it to put this on your laptop next to the TV of...

Vancouver vs. Colorado

8pm, MLS Live

Vancouver have the second-to-worst defense in MLS, having hemorrhaged 31 goals. The Rapids have surrendered just 11 goals. Still this should be a tough match on the road for the burgundy boys.

Sunday, 7/11/16

New York RB vs. Portland

4pm, ESPN2

Two great coaches in Caleb Porter and Jesse Marsch, with two great midfields matching up. Expect an up-tempo, back and forth match.

Kansas City vs. New York City

6pm, Fox Sports 1

The Blue Hell is a great atmosphere for the surprising top-of-the-table side from the Bronx, and Jack Harrison and Frank Lampard (really) are something to see. Only question is: how will we be able to tell these two light blue teams apart?

Rabbi's Starting XI

The Rapids 'What-if?' line of Sjoberg, Marvell Wynne, and Drew Moor, mixed with two established central midfielders to watch in Kljestan and Diaz, and two up-and-comers in Alberg and Harrison. And I captained Larin, because Houston is garbage.

Happy MLSing!