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MLS Weekend Preview: Cascadia Cup, Northeast rivalries highlight tripleheader

Seattle Sounders v Portland Timbers

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 5: Clint Dempsey #2 of the Seattle Sounders FC brings the ball up the field on Will Johnson #4 of Portland Timbers during the first half of the game at Providence Park on April 5, 2014 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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The 2016 Cascadia Cup takes its next steps Sunday, when Seattle heads to Oregon for its first match of the year versus the Timbers.

It’s the first of a three-match Sunday for MLS, and sees the Sounders coming off a huge 5-0 home win over FC Dallas (who admittedly wasn’t at full strength).

Seattle’s the last Cascadia team to play its second Cup match, having lost to Vancouver 1-0. As it stands now, the ‘Caps have played three and have six points, the Timbers have played two and have three, while the Sounders look to draw level with Portland via a two-goal win. They’ll have to do it without suspended Clint Dempsey, who picked up a red card late Wednesday.

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Sunday’s a banner day for the league, as NYCFC looks to get off the mat against a strong Montreal side and surprising Philly hopes to take care of the Red Bulls in a geographic rivalry.

Elsewhere this weekend the favorites mostly remain at home, and we’ve well-documented how important the venue is in MLS. After Wednesday’s action, we’re closing in on home teams taking points from more than 85 percent of matches this season.

Houston at L.A. Galaxy -- 11 p.m. ET

DC United at Columbus -- 7:30 p.m. ET
Sporting KC at Colorado Rapids -- 9 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire at FC Dallas -- 9 p.m. ET
New England at Real Salt Lake -- 10 p.m. ET
Orlando City at Vancouver -- 10 p.m. ET
Toronto at San Jose -- 10:30 p.m. ET

Seattle at Portland -- 3 p.m. ET
NYCFC at Montreal -- 5 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia -- 7 p.m. ET

Follow @NicholasMendola