MLS 2013, Week 12 preview and fixtures: It's lesser-rivarly week!

Victor Decolongon

This week pits a bunch of teams that have bigger rivals against one another.

MLS unveiled something called rivalry week earlier this year. This week's matchups could be called "lesser rivalry week." We've got TFC and the Crew playing in the Trillium Cup, the Whitecaps and Timbers playing the "other" part of the three-way Cascadia Cup, the Galaxy and Red Bulls doing their LA-New York thing and Chivas USA and RSL renewing the vaunted "Class of 2005 Derby."

Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew

Saturday, 5 p.m. ET - Univision Deportes

Yes, this is an actual derby with a trophy and everything. Do fans care? That's debatable. Part of the reason is that the Crew have absolutely dominated, winning the Trillium Cup 4 of 5 years and losing just 1 of the 13 matchups. There's really no reason to think this is going to be different.

Pick: Crew, 2-1.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET - MLS LIve

It's sometimes easy to forget that the Cascadia Cup is actually a three-team tournament, especially with all the attention paid to the Timbers-Sounders part of it. The Whitecaps haven't exactly done much to warrant attention, though, as they've never managed to beat either of the Cascadia Cup opponents. Both teams are coming off solid results.

Pick: Tied 2-2.

Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Union coach John Hackworth says his team doesn't get enough respect. This won't be the game they get it.

Pick: Union, 1-0.

Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Their league record unbeaten streak ended last week, but the Dynamo are still a pretty darn good team at home. The Revs aren't very good anywhere.

Pick: Dynamo, 1-0.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

You'd be excused for not realizing it, but the Rapids have been the far better team this year. This is actually a pretty good test of where both these teams are.

Pick: Tied 1-1.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Pat yourself on the back if you predicted FC Dallas would be the best team in the league at any point in the season. Only 4 of their 11 games have been on the road, though. This is easily their biggest test of the season

Pick: Sounders, 2-1.

New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET - ESPN2

This has never been the matchup that MLS has hoped for, but this is about as good as it gets. Landon Donovan is rounding into form and the Red Bulls are, technically at least, leading the Eastern Conference.

Pick: Galaxy, 3-2.

D.C. United vs. Sporting Kansas City

Sunday, 5 p.m. ET - Univision Deportes

The wheels aren't just coming off, they've rolled down the street and United are heading straight for a brick wall. Sporting KC is simply going to hasten the fall.

Pick: KC, 3-0.

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

Sunday, 10:30 p.m. ET - MLS LIve

What's worse: rumors that the league is getting ready to seize control of Chivas USA or that the league is vocally supportive of the ownership? A result in this game won't do much to change the narrative, but at least it would give their fans something positive to talk about.

Pick: Chivas, 2-1.

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