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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.

FIFA force pace on $25B Club World Cup, global league plan

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GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.

FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Walcott strike ]

The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.

UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.

FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”

Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.

Video: De Rossi, Roma make classy visit to Hillsborough memorial

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On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.

Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.

After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.

De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”

Liverpool, Roma ride major emotions into the UCL semifinals

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Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.

Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]

Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.

The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.

Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.

For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.

Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.

Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.

Keeper Ederson hopeful he can score this season for Man City

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The prospects for a goalkeeper scoring during a match are usually uncommon, but that hasn’t halted Manchester City’s number one choice from aiming to break the trend this season.

Ederson — who has moved into the starting role at the Etihad Stadium with relative ease in 2017/18 — has dreamt of scoring a goal of his own for the Premier League champions in waiting.

“I heard the fans chanting my name, asking me to take the penalty but Gabriel went there,” Ederson said. “Unfortunately he missed it and Bernardo happily scored. But if the manager have asked me to go there, definitely I’d score.

“I’m not sure if I would be able to do set-pieces, but I’m good at penalties, either using power or technique on shooting it. But City have [their] regular penalty-takers and we are well-served.

Citizen supporters chanted for the goalkeeper to take a penalty kick over the weekend in the team’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

However, Gabriel Jesus was the man selected for the opportunity, but had his attempt saved by Lukasz Fabianski before Bernardo Silva was in the right spot to score the game’s fifth goal.

“If Pep asks me to take it, I’m there,” Ederson said of the penalty kick. “Hopefully it will happen [before the end of the season], I’d like to score.”

This isn’t the first time Ederson has discussed exploring opportunities outside of the net, though.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has long been a fan of former Brazil international goalkeeper Rogero Ceni — who scored 65 goals for club side Sao Paolo.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old joked around with the media, saying that he’d be more than happy to fill a role in the midfield when City was experiencing some injury issues within the squad.