MLS 2013, Week 17 preview and fixtures: Internationals in the rearview mirror

USA TODAY Sports

MLS is back at full strength again.

The internationals are over. Players who played in front of packed stadiums with a trip to Brazil on the line for the last couple weeks finally get to return to their clubs.

Their reward?

Scintillating midseason MLS action in oppressive heat.

D.C. United vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 7 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Mark Watson beat a real team in his debut as a manager last week so beating D.C. shouldn't be a problem.

Pick: San Jose, 2-1.

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire

Saturday, 8 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Is this still a rivalry? I'm unclear. Can MLS, creator and arbiter of all rivalries, please weigh in?

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City

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

Dallas may win, but Kansas City's welcome back party for Graham Zusi and Matt Besler will trump any three points.

Pick: Dallas, 2-0.

Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC

Saturday 9 p.m. ET - MLS Live

TFC will be awarded a point if nobody gets arrested this weekend.

Pick: Houston, 2-0.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans and Alvaro Saborio are all back. It feels like real soccer again.

Pick: Salt Lake, 2-1.

Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

Sunday, 5 p.m. ET - ESPN

The Red Bulls have a new training ground. The Union have Jack McInerney.

Pick: Philadelphia, 2-1.

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

Sunday, 7 p.m. ET - NBC Sports Network

And so the post-Mastroeni era begins in Colorado. Or was that two years ago?

Revised: And so the DeShorn Brown era continues in Colorado.

Pick: Portland, 3-1.

Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy

Sunday, 11 p.m. ET - UniMas

The halftime entertainment will be a bare knuckle brawl between David Beckham and Jesse Marsch.

Pick: LA, 2-0.

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