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MLS at Week 10: Sounders host TFC in rematch of 2016 final

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Week 10 around MLS presents several tantalizing matchups but none bigger than a meeting between last season’s MLS Cup winner and runners’ up.

Surprises like the Houston Dynamo and Orlando City will meet in an important cross-conference clash on Saturday, while a rivalry is renewed when the Philadelphia Union host the New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: Week 8 MLS Power Rankings ]

Let’s take a look at all of this weekend’s matches:

Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
10 p.m. ET Friday

These two sides are moving in opposite directions very quickly. The Rapids haven’t won since the opening week of the season, while the Whitecaps have won three of their last five and are beginning to show signs of life after falling out of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC
3 p.m. ET Saturday

Game of the Week! We get to see the two best sides from a season ago battle it out at CenturyLink Field, and this matchup couldn’t have come at a better time. The Sounders aren’t exactly in midseason form but they’re playing very well and TFC has certainly gotten its deficiencies sorted out after winning its last three fixtures.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact
6 p.m. ET Saturday

Ben Olsen’s side is coming off of a very important win down in Atlanta, but can D.C. keep it up against the struggling Impact? The Canadian club hasn’t won on the road yet in 2017so they’ll be looking at RFK to get off the snide.

Philadelphia Union vs. NY Red Bulls
7 p.m. ET Saturday

It’s always a fun one when these two sides get together but as Week 10 approaches there’s a very different feel to this match. The Union are looking for something, really anything, to get them three points. Back-to-back draws can be minor positives for Jim Curtin and his club but it’s getting very close to the point where massive changes need to be made in Chester.

Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution
7:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Both teams are coming off of very disappointing results, particularly the Revs, who led the Sounders by three goals on the road a week ago. The Crew and Revs will need to forget their short-term memory.

Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City
8:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The Lions had their four-game win streak ended on Wednesday but it’s hard to say the sky is falling for Orlando City. They’ve been one of the best sides this season thus far and Jason Kreis has become an early candidate for Manager of the Year. Meanwhile, the Dynamo suffered a similar fate to Toronto in their last match but continue to be a pleasant surprise as well.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas
9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Back-to-back defeats for RSL isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for Mike Petke and co. and with Dallas coming to town it could be more trouble ahead for the Claret and Cobalt. Dallas remains the lone unbeaten side in MLS, but can RSL put an end to that streak?

LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
10:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Coming into this season, it would’ve been expected that the two sides would have their positions reversed in the table but the Fire have shown drastic improvement in the second year of Veljko Paunovic’s managerial tenure. The Galaxy, however, haven’t had much go in their favor in 2017 with just two wins in seven matches.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers
10:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The Timbers have been one of the most exciting teams to watch in the attack this season, and the Quakes will surely be looking to borrow a trick or two from them when these sides get together at Avaya Stadium. San Jose has yet to lose at home this season after going 2-0-2 in their first four matches.

Minnesota United vs. Sporting KC
1:30 p.m. ET Sunday

The good news for the Loons is they’re playing at home, but unfortunately it’s against one of the top sides in MLS. Sporting KC has only allowed three goals in nine games this season, and the Western Conference leaders are beginning to fire on all cylinders up front as well.

New York City FC vs. Atlanta United
4 p.m. ET Sunday

In most other weeks this would be Game of the Week-worthy given their firepower on the offensive side of things. It should still live up to the hype though, especially if Josef Martinez is able to make a return for Atlanta.

Mascherano out 6 weeks, will miss Argentina vs. Brazil

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says defender Javier Mascherano will be out of action for six weeks to recover from a right knee injury.

[ MORE: Luis Enrique leaves Barca with feeling of accomplishment ]

Barcelona’s season is over, but the injury will rule out Mascherano from Argentina’s friendly against Brazil on June 9.

Mascherano injured his leg early in Saturday’s final of the Copa del Rey, when Barcelona beat Alaves 3-1 to defend its title for a third straight season.

He also cut his head during the collision with an Alaves player that produced the leg injury. He returned on crutches to join the team celebration.

Argentina doesn’t play its next World Cup qualifier until it plays Uruguay on Aug. 28.

Courtois aiming at new Chelsea contract after strong season

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There’s a wide range of players that were integral in Chelsea’s Premier League-winning season in 2016/17, but one of the most underrated was arguably goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

[ MORE: PL clubs may miss on Celtic’s Dembele and more transfer news ]

The Blues shot-stopper started all but two PL matches this past campaign, and now the Belgian international is seeking an extension with the London club.

“Contract talks haven’t opened but I am happy at Chelsea,” Courtois told Sky Sports after Chelsea’s loss to Arsenal at Wembley.

“I hope they reward me with a good contract, then there will be no doubt I will sign it.”

The 25-year-old keeper has been in at Stamford Bridge since arriving from Genk in 2011, but Courtois spent three seasons in Spain on a loan spell.

Courtois likened this PL campaign to his time on loan at Atletico Madrid, stating that while his side’s achievements in the league were everything Chelsea could have hoped for that there was still more the Blues could have done.

“It’s not a good feeling now,” Courtois told Chelsea’s official website. “I had the same thing in Spain when I won the league and then lost the Champions League.

“We wanted to end on a high, now we feel sad. Winning is everything so this is hard to face but we have to try to forget it.”

Francesco Totti on bench for final Roma match

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Sunday marks Francesco Totti’s final match with Roma after a stellar 24-year career, but the striker won’t be starting at the Stadio Olimpico.

[ MORE: Reus could miss at least six months after suffering knee damage ]

The 40-year-old was named to the bench for his club’s 2016/17 Serie A finale against Cagliari, with Roma needing a victory to capture second position in Italy’s top flight.

Napoli currently sits just one point behind the Giallorossi and hold a slight two-goal edge in goal differential, which could be a decisive factor in which side finishes second.

It would be quite odd for Roma to not give Totti playing time in his final outing, after a career that featured over 300 goals across all competitions for his hometown club.

Transfer rumor roundup: PL clubs losing ground for Dembele and more

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With all the major leagues across Europe either closing or already have finished it’s the season of transfer rumors once again.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s FA Cup win vs. Chelsea ]

Here are several of the juiciest pieces from Sunday:

Three London sides could potentially miss out on Celtic star Moussa Dembele as AC Milan has emerged as a favorite to sign the top-rated Frenchman. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all expressed great interest in the promising attacker, who scored 17 goals this season for the Scottish champions.

After struggling at times this season to keep goals out, Liverpool could turn to France as a potential outlet to fix the cracks in their back line. AS Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy already has significant PL interest from Manchester United and Manchester City, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side could also put up a fight.

West Ham is looking to bolster its attack this summer, and with Pep Guardiola likely making significant changes at the Etihad Stadium, Kelechi Iheanacho could be on his way to the Hammers ahead of the 2017/18 PL season.

Manchester City higher ups are keen on having Guardiola bring back goalkeeper Joe Hart from Torino this summer. Hart spent last season on loan with the Italian club after Guardiola sent him away from England early in his managing tenure at the club.