MLS Heineken Rivalry Week: What you need to know

MLS Heineken Rivalry Week is here.

Get ready for five no-holds-barred match-ups featuring some of the top sides in MLS in 2015 that raises the level of passion a few notches both on the field and in the stands.

FC Dallas vs.

Houston Dynamo

Friday, June 26, 9:00 ET

Toyota Stadium | Frisco, TX

 

Watch: UniMás (USA) or MLS LIVE (CAN,MEX)

The battle for Texas can often be explosive, which makes it fitting that these two teams play each year for El Capitán – one of the coolest trophies in US sports, in that it’s literally a cannon. Yes, a cannon.

This year marks the first time since the 2010 season that the teams are playing in the same conference, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing out some memorable clashes in recent years, both in MLS and the US Open Cup.

Dallas thumped Houston, 4-1, back on May 1, in what was a humiliation on home turf for the Dynamo. Now, they’ll be looking to return the favor and deny Dallas a chance at clinching El Capitán.

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San Jose Earthquakes vs.

LA Galaxy

Saturday, June 27, 10:30 PM ET

Stanford Stadium | Palo Alto, CA

Watch: MLS LIVE (Blacked out in LA region)

As far as memorable moments go, few MLS clashes top the California Clásico. From their MLS Cup meeting in 2001 to the Quakes’ epic comeback in the 2003 playoffs to Alan Gordon’s heroics at Stanford Stadium (below) – before he moved down the coast to LA -- this matchup is one of the most dramatic and historical in MLS.

Playing once again at the 50,000-seat Stanford Stadium, these two teams are expected to offer plenty more fireworks on the field (and don’t forget to stick around for the literal fireworks after the game).

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New York City FC vs.

New York Red Bulls

Sunday, June 28, 4:30 pm ET

Yankee Stadium | New York, NY

Watch: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, or TSN5

There’s no denying it: Despite being in its infancy, this rivalry already has some bite to it. The teams’ first encounter at Red Bull Arena on May 10 proved that there is no lack of passion – or animosity – between the Big Apple rivals (highlights below).

This time the scene shifts to Yankee Stadium, where NYCFC have opened the upper deck of Yankee Stadium due to ticket demand, setting the stage for what could be a spectacular night for soccer in New York City.

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Portland Timbers vs.

Seattle Sounders

Sunday, June 28, 7:00 PM ET

Providence Park | Portland, OR

Watch: None

This year marks the 40th anniversary of what is perhaps North America’s most prominent soccer rivalry. A lot has changed since the first game was played in May 1975, but one thing hasn’t: the passion.

20,000-plus Timbers supporters will pack Providence Park, looking for revenge on their biggest rivals after last year's 4-4 draw. In one of the games of the season, the Sounders' Clint Dempsey scored twice in the final five minutes to complete a hat-trick and earn the visiting side an unlikely point.

Seattle are rolling this season, clearly in the running for the Supporters' Shield, but after a slow start to the season, the Timbers have found their groove. Will it be enough to take down their bitter enemies?

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Toronto FC - 3

Montreal Impact - 1

VAN: Oyongo (19')

TOR: Bradley (27'), Altidore (56'), Giovinco (82')

Match highlights and stats

The 401 Derby, so named after the stretch of highway that separates two of Canada’s most prominent cities, is the latest in a long line of Toronto-Montreal sports rivalries.

And now there's another chapter to write into it the rivalry's book -- a come-from-behind 3-1 win for TFC, thanks to their big three: Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, and Jozy Altidore.

Toronto FC still lead the overall series, having dominated their Canadian Championship encounters in the days when the Impact were still in a lower division, and now owning a 3-0-2 record in their last five league matches.

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