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MLS at Week 3: Timbers-Dynamo highlights weekend slate

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Week 3 is upon us and the cold is still present in the Northeast, potentially making Saturday’s New York City FC clash against the Montreal Impact an intriguing one to watch.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Week 2 ]

Meanwhile, the defending champions open up their home account at CenturyLink Field against the New York Red Bulls.

New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact — 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Patrick Vieira’s side found their offensive groove a week ago, and now its Montreal’s turn to try to tame David Villa and co. For the Impact, the Canadian team is coming off a disappointing draw against the Sounders after giving away a two-goal lead late in the match last weekend.

Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire — 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Both sides are coming off of solid wins a week ago, but how good can Atlanta actually be? The newcomers put up a six spot on fellow expansion side Minnesota United, while the Fire put together a solid first-half effort at home against Real Salt Lake.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC — 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Both Canadian sides have had their share of struggles in the first two weeks, but TFC remains unbeaten. The Whitecaps fell in their Champions League first leg semifinal against Tigres, and now Carl Robinson’s side faces a TFC team that will likely be without Sebastian Giovinco.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew — 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Both teams from East haven’t played their best in the opening two weeks, particularly D.C., who allowed four against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, Ben Olsen’s group hasn’t scored a goal yet either without playmaker Luciano Acosta in the attack.

Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union — 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Lions got some extra time off last week with the rough New England weather, while the Union scored late to pull out a point against TFC.

FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution — 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Revs get back on the road against one of the league’s best while Dallas will riding in hot after picking up a 2-1 win over Pachuca in the CCL. Oscar Pareja’s side has looked among the league’s best to start the season, so the Revs will have their hands full.

Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 8:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Earthquakes have started off hot, and Dominic Kinnear’s men will look to become the first team to score this season against Sporting KC. Meanwhile, the 2013 MLS Cup champions have had difficulty breaking down backlines through the first two weeks.

Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United — 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Minnesota has had a rough go of it since their entry into MLS, allowing a league-high 11 goals in two games.

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy — 9:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Both teams have battled injuries early on, especially the Galaxy who continue to play without Ashley Cole and Gyasi Zardes, and each club is searching for their first victory of 2017. The Galaxy have struggled out of the gate with Robbie Keane no longer bolstering the attack.

Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo — 10:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

In arguably the most intriguing matchup of the weekend, the two unbeatens meet at Providence Park. The Dynamo have surprised many to start the season with their potent attack, led by Erick Torres and Romell Quioto, while the Timbers may have the best front group in all of MLS after scoring six goals in the first two weeks.

Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls — 10:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday

The Red Bulls haven’t played their best, but Jesse Marsch’s side is unbeaten to start and improving week to week. The Sounders, however, have shown a bit of struggles out of the gate although Clint Dempsey‘s return has given the champions a moral boost.

“Three trophies and CL”: Mourinho relieved after “most difficult season”

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Don’t try to tell Jose Mourinho that his first season at Manchester United wasn’t a raging success, because all you’d get in return is a simple shake of the head before he walks away.

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

Following Wednesday’s Europa League final victory over Ajax, one which put Man United into next season’s UEFA Champions League, Mourinho was adamant that the club’s 2016-17 season was a success, despite the fact the Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League.

“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League,” as Mourinho put it, in his “most difficult season as a manager” — quotes from the BBC:

“We totally deserved the win. I am so happy to see the boys with the crutches with the trophy and now I am on holiday. I don’t want to see any international friendlies, I am selfish. I can’t do it.

“For me, enough is enough. It has been a very hard last few months, we were short of numbers.

“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League. I am very happy in my most difficult season as a manager.”

[ WATCH: Pogba gives United an early lead ]

As for his summer shopping list and Wayne Rooney‘s future at the club, well… Mourinho was much clearer about one than the other — quotes from the BBC:

“Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like for more than two months. So now it’s up to him and the owners. But I don’t care about football for now.

“Wayne Rooney was ready to play, he was a big option. But I didn’t need to attack at 2-0. I told him yesterday that he could be the key man but he can perfectly be here next season. He is a very important player for us. If he stays next season I’d be very happy.”

USMNT’s Gedion Zelalem out 6-9 months with knee injury

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Following much fanfare as he rose through the ranks of Arsenal’s youth academy system, and even more after officially pledging his international allegiance to the U.S., Gedion Zelalem‘s progress stalled a fair bit this season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | U-20 World Cup ]

After failing to force his way onto the fringes of Arsenal’s first team, the 20-year-old was sent out on loan to VVV Venlo, where he made just nine league appearances (one start) in the Dutch second division. Now, with the U.S. U-20 national team at the U-20 World Cup in South Korea, his tournament is over after just 34 minutes.

Zelalen suffered ligament damage to his left knee during the first half of the Americans’ tournament-opening draw with Ecuador. The Washington Post received confirmation on Wednesday, from Zelalem’s family, confirming that he’ll be sidelined for at least six months. An earlier report, from Football.London, pinned the recovery time at up to nine months.

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

“For Gedion, this was his second U-20 World Cup, so his experience was invaluable for us,” said U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos. “His passing ability is second to none in this tournament, and we’ll miss that. He was running the team from his position.

Europa League final: Man United too tough for Ajax, qualify for UCL

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Though it may have required a minor detour in the journey to the intended destination, Jose Mourinho’s first season as Manchester United manager ultimately reached the promised land: qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Once it became clear that Man United’s season was unlikely to result in a top-four finish in the Premier League (they eventually wound up sixth), Mourinho put every Mancunian egg into the Europa League basket, and it paid off on Wednesday, as United topped Ajax, 2-0, in the Europa League final inside the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Paul Pogba put United 1-0 ahead after just 18 minutes (WATCH HERE), benefitting from a wicked deflection off a defender’s shin, and Mourinho’s famously rigid, organized midfield and defensive structure frustrated a young Ajax side (a starting lineup with an average age of just under 23 years old) that reached the final on the back of a free-flowing, attacking tidal wave.

[ WATCH: Pogba gives United an early lead ]

Down just a goal, Ajax needed little more than a moment of brilliance from any number of rising stars sure to fetch massive transfer fees and land big-money contracts elsewhere in Europe, in the not-so-distant future.

That hope lasted less than 180 seconds into the second half, though, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the lead, thanks to some unbelievably quick reflexes and a tidy overhead kick from three yards out. Ajax would manage just two shots on goal all night (four for United).

Not only did Mourinho deliver Champions League qualification, alongside a European trophy, United also claimed the EFL Cup back in February. With the allure of UCL football next season, expect another busy (and expensive) summer of spending at Old Trafford.

AT THE HALF: Man Utd lead Ajax in UEL final, thanks to Pogba (video)

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After 45 minutes of Wednesday’s Europa League final, between Manchester United and Ajax, in Stockholm, Sweden, Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils have one foot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

After a cagey opening 15 minutes that saw neither side create anything of consequence, Man United pulled ahead on a fair bit of luck in the 18th minute. Paul Pogba received the ball 25 yards from goal, took a touch toward goal and fired a low shot toward goal. Davinson Sanchez did everything he could to get his body in front of the strike, but the ball glanced off his shin, sending it one direction and goalkeeper Andre Onana the other.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Europa League final ] 

Having conceded just eight goals in 14.5 Europa League games thus far this season, would you bet on United conceding an equalizer in the final 45 minutes? Hit the link above to follow along, live.