Kick Off: ATL-TOR opens Week 23 slate | Stejskal: Meram back to Columbus

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

Warming champs invade Atlanta


Supporters' Shield front-runners Atlanta United will try to knock off the holders when a Toronto FC side just now revving up rolls through Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday (4 pm ET | ESPN, TSN – Full TV & streaming info). While the Five Stripes are a force to be reckoned with in front of their huge home crowds, the defending MLS Cup kings say they're not afraid of the team trying to usurp them at the top of the East mountain. READ MORE | PREVIEW

'Caps, LAFC visit Big Apple

Lead Supporters' Shield chasers New York City FC will expect some home cooking when Vancouver drops by for a Saturday kick-about (8 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). NYC, who remain without David Villa for one more round, are 10-0-1 with seven clean sheets at Yankee Stadium this season. PREVIEW

The New York Red Bulls will get their first up-close look at expansion standouts LAFC in the comfort of their own home in Sunday's lone contest. (6 pm ET | FS1 – Full TV & streaming info). Bob Bradley's bunch received some bad midweek news, as key midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye will miss the rest of the season after undergoing ankle surgery. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Can FC Dallas run away in the West?

West leaders FC Dallas could push their edge to as many as nine points with a win in Saturday's home tilt against bottom feeders San Jose (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). Though the Earthquakes haven't won a league game in nearly three months, they've traditionally been rather rude guests on visits to the Big D. PREVIEW

Two Western rivals that stumbled through July, Houston and Sporting KC, will lock horns on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Dynamo have won just one of four at home, while their weekend guests want to halt a season-worst five-game win drought. PREVIEW

Union, Fire forge Western paths

Philadelphia, which has managed but one point from four previous trips to Providence Park, will aim to halt Portland's attempt to tie a club record 15-game unbeaten run on Saturday (11 pm ET | TV & streaming info). As usual, the Union will be led by skipper Alejandro Bedoya, who is enjoying a top-notch season in a deeper, more comfy midfield role. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Elsewhere, Chicago has the unenviable task of snapping a five-game slide in Saturday's contest (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info) away to a Real Salt Lake side that is 8-0-2 in their last 10 home games. The Rio Tinto residents have won 3-of-the-last-4 meetings to level the all-time series at 7-7-7. PREVIEW

Lions, Impact host East "6-pointers"


Orlando City and guests New England, who currently hold a tenuous grasp on the last playoff slot in the East, will each hope to shed a three-game losing streak in Saturday's meeting (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Lions appear set to cut Justin Meram loose by dealing him back to Columbus – barely six months after acquiring the winger. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Montreal will try to solidify their playoff credentials when D.C. United comes to town on Saturday for another important Eastern duel (7:30 pm ET | TVAS – Full TV & streaming info). The Impact have owned this matchup in recent years, going on a 4-0-2 series run. PREVIEW

Streaking Sounders, Galaxy hit road

A pair of warming sides chasing playoff spots in the West will clash on Saturday when Minnesota United wagers their four-game home win streak against a Seattle outfit on a resurgent 4-0-2 run (8pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Sounders have taken all three previous meetings by a 9-2 count. PREVIEW

Finally, Colorado will host a Saturday affair (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info) with an LA Galaxy side that will arrive without unavailable striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Galaxy, who are unbeaten in nine, have won 3-of-the-last-four regular-season meetings at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. PREVIEW

USMNT add Colombia friendly

The US national team will host Colombia in Tampa on October 11. It will be the 19th meeting between the two nations, and the first since Los Cafeteros edged a 1-0 win in the third-place game at Copa America Centenario. READ MORE Must-Watch

Galaxy star Ibra bags his second Alcatel Player of the Week