- Associated Press - Thursday, January 12, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Soccer will play again during World Cup qualifying but with a reduced schedule.

Three games each are scheduled during the June and September international fixture periods and two in October, the league said Thursday. National teams have the right to players during those dates, meaning clubs may be without stars.

The U.S. hosts Trinidad and Tobago on June 8 and plays at Mexico three days later. On June 10, Atlanta is at Chicago, Montreal is at Kansas City and Dallas is at Portland.

Qualifying in the North and Central American and Caribbean region resumes when the U.S. hosts Costa Rica on Sept. 1 and plays at Honduras four days later. On Sept. 2, the New York Red Bulls are at Dallas and Chicago is at Montreal. Kansas City is at New York City on Sept. 6.

The hexagonal concludes with the U.S. at home against Panama on Oct. 6 and at Trinidad four days later. The MLS schedule has Kansas City at expansion Minnesota and Vancouver at the Red Bulls on Oct. 7.

MLS will break between July 6 and 19 for the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Atlanta, the league’s other expansion team, hosts Orlando on July 30 in the first sporting event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Wanting to avoid heat, the league reduced matches on summer early afternoons from 15 to nine.

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