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MLS 2012, Week 12 Preview And Fixtures: Bracing For The Break

Get your fill of MLS this weekend because a two-week break is coming.

MLS is the worst! They don't take breaks for international dates so they play all these matches, and teams are without their best players, and who wants to see that,, and it's unfair, and it's minor league, and because of that the league will never be good. Oh, MLS is taking off for international dates? Well, hot damn.

After this weekend, almost every team in the league will have two weeks off as international teams play friendlies and then World Cup qualifiers. There is also that Euro 2012 thing. You may have heard of it.

Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

It's a rematch of last year's MLS Cup final, only without the goalscorer from that final, Landon Donovan, or the man who had that assist, Robbie Keane. Houston is also missing its best defender, Geoff Cameron. Oh, and did I mention that both of these teams are the opposite of good? Ohhhhhhhh new stadium! Shiny things!

Pick: Houston, 1-0.

Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Avert your eyes! Avert your eyes!

Pick: Nobody should be allowed to win.

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, Univision Deportes

This won't be a pretty match, but at some point Columbus and Chicago are going to have to be respected. Both have done well to churn out results, and if Marco Pappa steps up, there might be something worthy of a highlight too.

Pick: Columbus 2-0.

D.C. United vs. New England Revolution

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

Don't look now, but both of these teams are pretty good. DC. is a little more good, largely because of Dwayne De Rosario, but a little more good nonetheless.

Pick: D.C., 3-2.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

Saturday, 9:00 p.m ET, MLS Live

These were once two young teams on the upswing and primed to become the power teams in the Western Conference, if not the entire league. Then Dallas got messy, but Salt Lake has kept up its end of the bargain.

Pick: Salt Lake, 2-0.

Colorado Rapids vs. Montreal Impact

Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Kudos to Montreal for being a respectable team this year. Kudos to Colorado for getting rid of Gary Smith.

Pick: Colorado, 2-0.

Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Seattle and Vancouver got the Cascadia Cup off to a cracking start, and this match should be a lot more of the same. Well, if you ignore the "Portland isn't very good" part.

Pick: Vancouver, 2-1.

Chivas USA Vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Is this Chivas team really turning a corner? Will beating Seattle prove it considering the Sounders' recent struggles?

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

These two teams have been anointed the best team in MLS at some point this season then backed off. San Jose has rebounded and are back to winning, but Kansas City isn't. Surely it'll have to be able to win at home, though, right? Let's see what the Goonies have to say about that.

Pick: Draw, 2-2.