Decision Day

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MLS Decision Day Preview: One chance left for Galaxy, Montreal, Crew

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Here’s your cheat sheet for Decision Day, the final match day of the Major League Soccer regular season.

[ PL PREVIEW: Liverpool vs. Cardiff City ]


Supporters’ Shield, East top seed: The Supporters’ Shield will learn its new home this Sunday, as Atlanta United heads to Toronto and the New York Red Bulls hope for a win of its own and failure from the Georgian outfit in Canada.

West top seed: The Western Conference No. 1 seed still has plenty of intrigue. Sporting KC hosts LAFC in a beauty which will go a long way toward deciding things. KC has a 2-point lead on LAFC, and a draw would be enough unless FC Dallas hangs a record blowout on Colorado.

West’s final playoff spot: If LA Galaxy beats Houston, it leapfrogs Real Salt Lake. Anything else, and RSL skates into the playoffs on its couch as a bye week witness.

East’s final playoff spot: Columbus gets into the playoffs with a home win over lowly Minnesota, but a draw or loss opens the door for Montreal to snag the sixth seed with a win in New England.

MLS 2016 Schedule sees Decision Day go next level; Five games to watch

AP Photo/Steve Dykes
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Last season’s MLS Decision Day was fun, but this year Major League Soccer is taking its final regular season match day to dramatic new heights.

All 10 finales will be staged at the same time: 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 23.

It’s not a unique move to MLS, obviously, but it’s the next step in fair play. North America has to deal with a time zone landscape that means plenty of teams would have to sacrifice in such a situation (in terms of ideal kickoffs for attendance, etc).

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That said, if you’re going to finish on a Sunday (Why not Friday night, we ask?), then fight against the lesser-scheduled late afternoon NFL games.

We won’t work too hard here and stretch to say things like, “Jeff Larentowicz’s return to Chicago is of more import than a Cascadia Cup match”, but we’ll also try not to be too obvious when we offer these five games we’re pumped about:

Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew — Sunday, March 6, 4:30 p.m. ET

We’ve known about this one for a couple weeks, but the MLS Cup rematch will be worth a watch for sure.

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC — Saturday, May 7, Time TBA

After a mere 271 MLS appearances, Brad Davis will return to Houston in a rival’s colors. Come. On.

Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC — Sunday, October 16, 5 p.m. ET

Quebec is the province for the third season match-up between these two rivals, and will come with likely playoff implications one week before Decision Day.

Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls — Sunday, June 25, 7:30 p.m. ET

To say that the Eastern Conference final was intense, physical, and begging for a rematch is an understatement.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers — Sunday, October 23, 4 p.m. ET

Our favorite Decision Day match-up could possibly see the Cascadia Cup and Western Conference honors decided, and that’s awesome.