Kick Off: 2017 MLS Cup is here! | Report: USMNT to France | Solo for prez?

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

Toronto-Seattle, MLS Cup, Take Two!

The big one has arrived! Defending kings Seattle Sounders FC will defend their crown on the same pitch where they claimed it a year ago in Saturday's MLS Cup bout against Toronto FC at BMO Field (4 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás; TSN, TVAS). The Reds will be shooting for the first treble in league history, while Seattle wants to become the fourth club to book a title repeat. MATCH PREVIEW

Sam Stejskal weighs up the three most important player battles of all the ones that will shape Saturday's championship result. READ MORE

Seattle will need to make do without midfield general Osvaldo Alonso, who was relegated to being a spectator on Saturday. READ MORE

However, the champs will have the services of striker Will Bruin, who has been riding high on confident play during these playoffs. READ MORE

While most of the Toronto FC squad should make themselves at home in the frosty weather expected for Saturday's MLS Cup final, the Reds admit some concern for the effects likely to be felt by Sebastian Giovinco. READ MORE

Finally, our staff get out on the limb together to Discuss their MLS Cup predictions. READ MORE

Houston seals Cabezas return

Houston made an important move for the future on Thursday, bringing back a loan standout by finalizing the full transfer of defensive midfielder Juan David Cabezas from Deportivo Cali. READ MORE

On the other hand, the Dynamo will reportedly say farewell to midfield ace Alex during the offseason. READ MORE

Whitecaps linked with Kei Kamara

It's not for the first time, but veteran New England forward Kei Kamara has been the topic of transfer rumors connecting him with Vancouver. READ MORE

Report: Galaxy adding to the defense

What's more, Norwegian daily Adressa claims the Galaxy have added a new back liner (in Norwegian) by snaring Jorgen Skjelvik from Rosenborg. The 26-year-old Norway international will reportedly become the highest-paid defender in MLS. READ MORE

UMSNT Report: Visiting France in June?

It appears as though France have the US national team lined up for a June friendly in Lyon that will serve as part of their World Cup preparations. READ MORE

Hope Solo declares USSF candidacy

Speaking of US Soccer matters, women's national team star Hope Solo has joined the federation's presidential race by announcing her intentions in a Facebook post. READ MORE

Exports: Klinsmann stops PK on debut

Jonathan Klinsmann enjoyed a memorable first start for Hertha Berlin, in Europa league action on Thursday. The US Under-20 netminder turned away a late spot kick to preserve a 1-1 home draw with Ostersunds FK. Watch Video

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

MLS MVP Diego Valeri drops by MLS Cup Central with title game takes

NEXT UP: Special guests Ike Opara (2017 MLS Defender of the Year) and Dax McCarty (2x MLS All-Star) join the crew at 7pm ET Friday on MLSsoccer.com. Tune in for expert analysis and the chance to win prizes!

ExtraTime Radio Podcast

LISTEN: The 2017 MLS season comes down to this... Seattle vs. Toronto, an MLS Cup rematch that might just be the best final of all-time, depending on who you ask. Will the Sounders repeat? Will the Reds lay claim the best season of all-time? David Gass and Sam Stejskal get things started from the Six, and Andrew and Matt finish things off from the Green Room back in NYC. Subscribe so you never miss a show! Download this episode!

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