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MLS Weekend Preview: Atlanta United hosts Orlando City, Toronto FC travel to LA

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One of Major League Soccer’s youngest rivalries may also be one of its fiercest right now, as Atlanta United is set to host a rematch with Orlando City SC.

Atlanta is coming off two of its best games of the season, both at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Tata Martino’s men defeated FC Dallas last Sunday 3-0 and emphatically thrashed the New England Revolution, 7-0 on Wednesday. Orlando meanwhile picked up a big away win in our nation’s capital with a 2-1 result over D.C. United, setting up a mouth-watering matchup on Saturday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Elsewhere, Toronto FC takes it’s Supporter’s Shield leading side out west to face Sigi Schmid and the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas looks to end it’s slide against the streaking Seattle Sounders.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s MLS preview:


Atlanta United vs. Orlando City — Saturday, 4 p.m. ET

These two teams have a history of bad blood between them, even if it’s brief.

It began with a billboard in downtown Orlando, telling Orlando City players and fans that Atlanta was “coming to conquer,” and continued with a pair of 1-0 wins for Atlanta United in Orlando and Atlanta.

Now, after 10 goals scored in its last two games, Atlanta United is looking to keep the good times rolling against its closest regional opponent.

Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy — Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Sebastian Giovinco and Toronto FC hit the skies to travel to Los Angeles, where they’ll face the Dos Santos brothers and the LA Galaxy.

The Galaxy aren’t faring much better under Sigi Schmid, with a record of 1-4-2 since he took over in July, but Toronto FC are running away with the Supporter’s Shield trophy. With a little more than a month to go, TFC has already qualified for the playoffs and is nine points up on second-place New York City FC.

Expect TFC to add to their points total this weekend against an injury-riddled Galaxy squad.

Full MLS schedule (All Times E.T.)

Saturday

Atlanta United vs. Orlando City — 4 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew — 7 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. Minnesota United — 7:30 p.m.
FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders — 8 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United — 8:30 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution — 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. New York City FC — 9 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers — 9:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC — 10:30 p.m.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo — 10:30 p.m.

Sunday

New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union — 1 p.m.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

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Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.

Club World Cup wrap: Gremio reaches final, Urawa takes fifth place

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One half of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup final was decided on Tuesday as Brazilian side Gremio topped Liga MX champions Pachuca.

Second-half substitute Everton proved to be the difference for the Brazilians, with the attacker scoring in extra time to lift Gremio.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

Pachuca’s chances of completing a comeback were extinguished with 10 minutes remaining in extra time, as Víctor Guzman was sent off upon picking up his second yellow card of the semifinal.

Meanwhile, Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds captured fifth place in the tournament after narrowly topping Wydad Casablanca, 3-2.

Despite going behind early, Urawa responded almost immediately in the first half, before building its lead to 3-1 at the hour mark.

A late penalty kick from Reda Hajhouj gave Casablanca a glimmer of hope in the dying moments, however, the Moroccan-based club couldn’t find a way to equalize.

Gremio will await either La Liga giants Real Madrid or Al Jazira in the Club World Cup final, which will be played on Saturday. The loser of that match will take on Pachuca in the third-place game.

Below are the scores from Tuesday’s FIFA Club World Cup matches.

Gremio 1-0 Pachuca (after extra time)

Wydad Casablanca 2-3 Urawa Red Diamonds — Fifth-place match

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]