We’re in Week 28 of the MLS regular season, and the cutoff for making the playoffs is drawing near. As the tight race continues, here are the matches to watch this weekend.
Friday, September 11
New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m.
New York is hosting this Eastern Conference showdown and its 8-2-2 home record this season shows the odds are in the Red Bulls’ favor. They’re sitting in second in the East, with a point separating them from D.C. and Columbus on either side, but having three games in hand over both competitors. On the other end of the table is Chicago, trying to claw its way back into playoff contention. The Fire have a lot of making up to do from the 10th spot in the East. It’s almost a must-win scenario for Chicago.
Saturday, September 12
Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m.
With 30 points in 28 matches, Philadelphia is just one point under the red line and still very much in playoff contention. The Union will be eager to collect three points against an Eastern Conference opponent when it hosts Crew SC, which ranks third with 41 points. The Black & Gold meanwhile can take a big step towards the playoffs with a win on Saturday. Read more on the matchup here.
FC Dallas vs. New York City FC, 8:30 p.m.
NYCFC is trying to snap out of a three-match winless spell at FC Dallas Saturday, and needs to do so desperately if it doesn’t want to lose more ground in the playoff race. With only seven weeks remaining in the regular season, NYCFC is three points behind the last playoff spot but has played three more matches than sixth-placed Montreal Impact.
Colorado Rapids vs. D.C. United, 9 p.m.
D.C. remains at the top of the conference, with 44 points in 28 games played. United are at Colorado on Saturday to face the Rapids for the first time this season. They’re close to clinching a playoff spot as they need just two wins in their last six matches. But D.C. can’t get complacent with only four points separating the top four teams in the East.
LA Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact, 10:30 p.m.
Montreal’s in a pretty good spot right now. The Impact are coming off a 4-3 win over the Chicago Fire and are just above the red line with 31 points. What’s the Impact’s advantage? Ten games in hand, the most of any team in the League. With Didier Drogba starting for the Blues, they could climb up the table quickly.
Sunday, September 13
Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution, 5 p.m.
It’s the fourth seed versus the fifth seed in this Eastern Conference clash. The Revolution are only three points ahead of Toronto, but the Reds have a game in hand. The Revs are leaving the comfort of Gillette Stadium for the third meeting between the clubs. New England has beaten and drawn with Toronto FC this season.
Orlando City SC vs. Sporting KC
Orlando City SC needs to find a rhythm, as its playoff chances are diminishing. The Lions are winless in their past six matches, dropping two spots from last week to eighth. Having already played 28 matches this season, a win against Sporting Kansas City is crucial for Orlando to have a realistic shot at making the postseason.