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2019 MLS Decision Day preview: Schedule, key games, and what's at stake

October 4, 2019 By Ali M.
Two MLS Cup Playoff spots are up for grabs for four teams in the Western Conference while the battle for the Golden Boot between Vela and Ibrahimovic will be decided.

2019 Major League Soccer Decision Day fixtures - time and date

Decision Day in Major League Soccer is here. All 24 teams will be in action at the same time, meaning all 12 games across both conferences will kick off simultaneously at 04:00 pm (23:00 GMT) on Sunday, October 06, 2019. Below are the match-ups for the final day of the 2019 Major League Soccer regular season:

  • Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes

  • Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution

  • D.C. United vs. FC Cincinnati

  • FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City

  • Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

  • LAFC vs. Colorado Rapids

  • Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

  • Orlando City SC vs. Chicago Fire

  • Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC

  • Seattle Sounders FC vs. Minnesota United FC

  • Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew SC

  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake

Who have secured qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs?

Under the current format adopted for this 2019 season, 14 teams – seven from both the Western and Eastern Conferences – qualify for the tournament based on regular-season point totals. Here are the teams that have secured a playoff spot so far:

Eastern Conference

  1. New York City FC 

  2. Atlanta United FC

  3. Philadelphia Union

  4. D.C. United

  5. New York Red Bulls

  6. Toronto FC

  7. New England Revolution

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles FC

  2. Minnesota United FC

  3. Seattle Sounders FC

  4. La Galaxy

  5. Real Salt Lake

What's at stake on Decision Day?

As mentioned above, this is the final round of the regular season. In the Western Conference, two playoff spots are still up for grabs. What makes it interesting is that four teams are competing for those two slots and they are Portland Timbers (6th; 46 points), FC Dallas (7th; 45 points), San Jose Earthquakes (8th; 44 points) and Colorado Rapids (9th; 42 points).

For Portland Timbers and FC Dallas, the task is straightforward: win and they are through. Oddly enough, the Timbers will take on San Jose Earthquakes on Decision Day, meaning a draw would suffice, but if the Quakes win then they will snatch a playoff berth.

Colorado Rapids are facing a tough task as they need to win their final game and hope for a slip-up from FC Dallas. Unfortunately, their final game is against table-toppers LAFC who have lost only four of the 33 games they have played.

Another thing that will be decided are the standings. Only the top seeds in each conference have been confirmed, with NYFC and LAFC finishing first in their respective conferences. In the East, only two points separate fourth-placed D.C. United and sixth-placed Toronto FC, meaning the final spot available to host a playoff game is up for grabs. In the West, neither of those three hosting berths have been secured, with only three points separating second-placed Minnesota United FC from fifth-placed Real Salt Lake.

What is social media saying ahead of Decision Day?

Will Carlos Vela break the MLS goalscoring record or will Zlatan beat him to it?

Carlos Vela is enjoying the season of his life. So far, he has scored 31 goals in the 2019 MLS campaign, equaling the record for most goals scored by a single player set by Atlanta's Josef Martinez last year. One more strike for the Mexican and he will make that record his own. 

However, he should be wary. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is only two goals behind him in the top scorers chart and should the LAFC attacker shot blanks against Colorado Rapids on Decision Day and the Swedish icon bag a hat-trick, then Ibrahimovic would reach 32 goals and make history.

Live broadcast listings: 2019 Major League Soccer Decision Day

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes as part of the MLS on ESPN Presented by Audi. The remaining 11 Decision Day fixtures will be streamed on ESPN+ while SportsCenter will feature the highlights and reaction for the 12 simultaneous kick-offs. Below are geo-localized listings for the 2019 Major League Soccer Decision Day games:


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