Kick Off: Red Bulls, Fire, Rapids set for openers | TFC in for Valbuena?

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

Atlanta hosts nemesis D.C.

Coaches Ben Olsen (D.C. United) and Tata Martino (Atlanta United) square off Sunday. | USA TODAY Sports Images

Atlanta United will open their home schedule in Sunday's nationally televised contest on ESPN with D.C. United (3 pm ET | ESPN - full TV & streaming info). The home side, who are winless in six league games dating to last season, should be in an especially feisty mood after last week's 4-0 humbling in Columbus. PREVIEW

After D.C. took all three meetings last season, the matchup of MLS's odd couple coaches will play out yet again, with heightened attention to the revamped rosters. READ MORE

Timbers visit starts RBNY's season

With one leg firmly in the Concacaf Champions League semifinals, the New York Red Bulls turn focus to Saturday's league opener against guests Portland (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info). They will want a contribution from top gun Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has never bagged a run-of-play goal against the Timbers. PREVIEW

Writing for Pro Soccer USA, Caitlin Murray has come up with four keys to victory for the visiting Timbers. READ MORE

Galaxy head to NYC

A couple of Week 1 victors will lock horns on Sunday when New York City FC hosts the LA Galaxy (5 pm ET | TV & streaming info). David Villa has scored in all three prior meetings between the clubs, with his side winning the last two. PREVIEW

This week, NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira thanked the fans for their support, and asked for it to continue unabated, during his speech at a meet-and-greet event in Manhattan. READ MORE

Columbus bracing for Impact

Opening Weekend standouts Columbus Crew SC will try to stay at the top of the East when they host Montreal for a Saturday afternoon tilt (1 pm ET | CTV, TVAS, TSN - full TV & streaming info). The Impact have managed just one victory from 10 trips to Columbus, where Gregg Berhalter's boys hold a nine-game unbeaten streak at MAPFRE Stadium. PREVIEW

Impact midfielder Ken Krolicki was a surprise starter in Week 1, but that didn't stop him from impressing coach Remi Garde with his efforts. READ MORE

SKC visit is the Fire starter

Chicago will kick off their season with a Saturday clash against guests Sporting KC (6 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Fire are 14-4-2 all-time in this fixture, and have won three in a row against their Midwestern rivals at Toyota Park. PREVIEW

On the heels of an Opening Weekend defeat to NYCFC, Sporting KC midfielder Felipe Gutierrez knows the team has to step it up if they want to break into the win column. READ MORE

Can LAFC now win at Rio Tinto?

Expansion outfit LAFC will attempt to make it two wins from two road games when they pay a Saturday call on Real Salt Lake (3:30 pm ET | Univision - TV & streaming info). That will be easier said than done against a Rio Tinto bunch that has won their last five home games by a combined 14-3 count. PREVIEW

LAFC attacker Diego Rossi has earned the club's first honor, taking home the Goal of the Week prize for his fantastic Week 1 winner at Seattle. READ MORE

Whitecaps aim to break Houston hex

Both Vancouver and home side Houston will try to extend winning starts to the season when they square off on Saturday (6 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Whitecaps have yet to win at BBVA Compass Stadium, earning just one point from five previous tries. PREVIEW

Tim Parker may be gone to New York, but replacement starter Aaron Maund is thus far proving to be an able partner for star center back Kendall Waston. READ MORE

Loons land in Orlando for Heath's return

A pair of teams looking for their first win of 2018 will meet up on Saturday when Orlando City hosts Minnesota United (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Loons took the first clash between the two sides with a 1-0 home win last season. PREVIEW

After watching his charges concede three goals in their opener, Minnesota boss Adrian Heath has threatened some changes to the lineup if his defensive starters don't eliminate the mistakes this week. READ MORE

Rapids open in New England

The last of the three clubs to start their season in Week 2, Colorado have a Saturday afternoon date with New England (1:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). It has not traditionally been a fun trip for the Rapids, who have dropped three straight at Gillette. PREVIEW

Rapids GM Padraig Smith says a strike reinforcement is on the way, with a TAM-level signing nearly complete. READ MORE

Chris Mavinga inks fresh TFC deal

Toronto FC have extended the stay of Chris Mavinga, inking the defender to a new multi-year deal. READ MORE

Meanwhile, Turkish outlet ABD claims that the Reds have tabled a handsome offer for Fenerbahce winger Mathieu Valbuena. The former France winger has notched six goals and 15 assists in 31 games across all competitions this term. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

Susannah Collins ranks the top five player debuts from Week 1

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