MLS Pre-Season: A Look Ahead

MLS Pre-Season: A Look Ahead

MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS Pre-Season: A Look Ahead

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 Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

It may only be a preseason tournament, but come Saturday the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., is still serving up two of the stronger rivalries in MLS.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake will face off in a rematch of last year's Western Conference final at 8 p.m. The contest will be particularly important for the Galaxy, who are less than two weeks away from their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Toronto FC.

And in the second half of the doubleheader, at 10 p.m., the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution will continue their longtime Eastern Conference feud. Both matches Saturday will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com.

The tournament opened Wednesday, with the Galaxy falling to New England by a 3-2 score and Salt Lake defeated New York 1-0. After concluding the round-robin phase Wednesday, the tournament will wrap up with a consolation match and final next Saturday.

Here is a full rundown of this weekend's pre-season slate:

DISNEY PRO SOCCER CLASSIC

The Desert Diamond Cup isn't the only tournament in action this weekend, as the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando will feature a slew of matches, all of which will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com.

The schedule kicks off Friday at 6 p.m., when Sporting Kansas City will look to exact a small dose of revenge against Houston after losing to the Dynamo in last year's Eastern Conference final. At 8 p.m., Canadian foes Montreal and Vancouver will face each other for the first time as MLS opponents.

On Saturday, Toronto FC will continue its preparations to face the Galaxy in Champions League play with a match against Orlando City at 6 p.m. Immediately after, FC Dallas will share the pitch with Swedish club B.K. Hacken.

On Sunday, Friday's matchups will be reversed, with Vancouver facing Houston at 1 p.m. and Montreal taking on Kansas City at 3 p.m. The tournament will continue through next week, with a series of matches building toward next Saturday's final and consolation game.

CAROLINA CHALLENGE CUP

The Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C., is back for an eighth year. After playing to a scoreless draw last month in Florida, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire will meet again Saturday at 5 p.m. At 7:15, the hometown Charleston Battery will play the Columbus Crew.

The four-team round robin will resume with a double-header Wednesday before coming to a close next Saturday.

PORTLAND TIMBERS TOURNAMENT

Chivas USA will kick off the Portland Timbers Tournament at Jeld-Wen field at 5 p.m. Monday with a match against Swedish side AIK. At 7:30 p.m., the Timbers will play the San Jose Earthquakes.

The round robin will continue with matches scheduled for Thursday and next Sunday.

MISCELLANEOUS FRIENDLIES

The Colorado Rapids will conclude their Hawaiian Islands Invitational run in the tournament consolation match Saturday against Australian club Melbourne Heart.

The Philadelphia Union, meanwhile, will play the first of three friendlies scheduled in Costa Rica when they visit league-leading Municipal Perez Zeledon on Sunday.

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