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Sun. Dec 7th at 3:00pm EST · ESPN · UniMas · UDN · TSN1 · RDS2
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Final

Kick Off: Seattle is Portland's "Big Brother"

Kick Off - Seattle Sounders fans

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So you thought there was nothing more that could be said to fuel the build-up for this Saturday’s Cascadia rivalry match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders (11 pm ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)? Think again.

Find out which member of the Sounders said: “I know the mentality of the Portland fans … They want to beat the big brother.”

You’d think this rivalry does not allow players to have relatives wearing the other jersey. But did you know there is a player from the Timbers and one from the Sounders who are cousins?

Players will have to go out of their way to strip the title of the most hated player of the Northwest rivalry from Roger Levesque. The history between him and Timbers fans is a rich one that dates back.

If Portland thought life on the road was tough, it’s just about to get tougher when they head to a packed Qwest Field. The Timbers know the task at hand. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins says: “We’re going to have to fight against 40,000 people.”

Before we get to Saturday, there are four matches involving MLS teams tonight. The big one is being played at PPL Park between the first-place team in the West, the LA Galaxy, and the team that could go first in the East with a win — Philadelphia Union (7:30 pm ET, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live).

On Tuesday, Union forward Carlos Ruiz was backtracking from comments he made about the Galaxy being in trouble. Watch him clarify things here. It’s not like he’s any less intense, however. Here’s a new one for the soccer lexicon, a result of a botched translation: Ruiz says, “We have to win … yes or yes.”

David Beckham will not play in the match in Philly because his manager, Bruce Arena, chose to rest him. While the Union are glad not to see Beckham given their recent trouble defending free kicks, in Los Angeles there is one reporter who is suspicious about the Englishman’s absence.

One former England manager is campaigning for Beckham to take over the England national team job when Fabio Capello leaves in 2012.

Beckham may be off to England even sooner than that. After departing to attend the royal wedding, they’re asking for Beckham to be part of Gary Neville’s testimonial match in Manchester, England, at the end of this month.

FC Dallas also host Toronto FC tonight at Pizza Hut Park (9 pm ET, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live), where MLS Player of the Week Joao Plata will have his hands full against one of the toughest back lines in the league.

The Vancouver Whitecaps say they “need the three points” against the San Jose Earthquakes tonight at Empire Field (10 pm ET, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live) in a match which could see the return of captain and center back Jay DeMerit.

It’s all part of growing the brand. That’s how New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe sees tonight’s match against the Montreal Impact in Canada. Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez will both be there and Juan Agudelo is expected to go the entire match. The live stream on NewYorkRedBulls.com starts at 7 pm ET.

While he still wouldn’t address the controversy regarding racial quotas that is engulfing French soccer, RBNY star Thierry Henry did talk about the recent tackles that have been a talking point in MLS. He doesn’t think much of them.

Before getting back to MLS action following a bye week, Sporting Kansas City have made another player signing to strengthen their back line.

A new site has hit the blog space this morning — one that projects the probability of MLS teams to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. There are three clubs given less than a 20 percent chance to make it to the postseason.

The city of Tuscon, Ariz., is already thinking about next year. Officials are doing everything in their power to create a new MLS preseason.

While Tucson may not be the next expansion city in MLS, Minneapolis may not be too far behind. The owner of the NFL's Vikings says he foresees his team’s new stadium to be used for Major League Soccer.

In addition to tonight’s MLS matches, there are also a handful of international soccer fixtures. Barcelona can wrap up the La Liga title with a match at Levante (2 pm ET, GolTV) while Inter Milan look to salvage some pride in an Italian Cup semi against Roma (4 pm ET, GolTV). French Ligue 1 fans can catch Marseille vs. Brest (3 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus) while the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals kick off with a double-header that starts at 6:30 pm ET on Fox Deportes.

Say it ain’t so, Ochocinco! After trying out for Sporting Kansas City, he’s now accepted an invitation from the Professional Bull Riders. If he does well, he can rename his bull.

We leave the best story of the day for last. Earthquakes forward Matt Luzunaris, who likely won’t feature for his club on Wednesday night due to injury, is featured in a story of love that today is inspiring a battle against cancer.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

RBNY’s Ream still unsure whether ball crossed line on goal-line clearance

The story of Columbus Crew forward Emilio Rentería, from Caracas to Columbus

Designated Player Omar Bravo ready to spend the rest of his life in Kansas City


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