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MLS Cup playoffs: Knockout game schedule, how to watch

The road to the MLS Cup continues on Thursday, and the Sounders will find out Sunday’s opponent tonight.

Borussia Dortmund v Los Angeles FC
Tyler Miller anchors LAFC’s shaky defense.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 2018 MLS Cup playoffs continue as the calendar flips to November, with two more elimination games tonight. The Knockout Round claimed its first two casualties last night as New York City FC ended the Philadelphia Union’s season, 3-1, while the Portland Timbers traveled to Frisco and knocked out FC Dallas 2-1, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men after a Larrys Mabiala red card in the 58th minute.

Today’s early game features DC United hosting the Columbus Crew at 5:00 PM PT (FS1 and UniMas). United finished their season on a ten game unbeaten run, going 7-0-3 over that span, to earn the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and a home playoff game. Since opening Audi Field on July 14th, DC has gone 12-2-1 at home. The Crew needed an MLS Decision Day win to clinch their playoff spot and got it with a 3-2 home win over Minnesota United thanks to a Gyasi Zardes hat trick. Zardes finished the season with a career-high 19 goals, good enough for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot race.

In tonight’s nightcap, Real Salt Lake visits LAFC at 7:30 PM PT (ESPN2 and UniMas). LAFC had a chance to finish atop the Western Conference on Decision Day, but were defeated 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City. KC thus secured the number 1 seed and LAFC fell to the 3 seed and will host Real Salt Lake in their franchise’s first-ever playoff match. RSL had a unique Decision Day experience — they were on a bye due to the odd number of teams in MLS this season. To make the playoffs they needed the Houston Dynamo — who were 1-10-5 away from home on the year and long eliminated from the playoffs — to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy had a 2-0 lead at halftime and RSL’s season looked to be over. But then the Dynamo scored three second-half goals and knocked the Galaxy out of the playoffs with a 3-2 win.

If LAFC wins, the Seattle Sounders will play them in the Western Conference Semifinals. If RSL wins, the Sounders will take a shorter trip down I-5 to face the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Playoff Seeds

Eastern Conference

1. New York Red Bulls
2. Atlanta United FC
3. New York City FC
4. D.C. United
5. Columbus Crew SC
6. Philadelphia Union

Western Conference

1. Sporting Kansas City
2. Seattle Sounders FC
3. Los Angeles FC
4. FC Dallas
5. Portland Timbers
6. Real Salt Lake

How to Watch

D.C. United v Columbus Crew

Date/Time: Thursday, November 1st, 5:00 PM PT
Location: Audi Field — Washington, D.C.
TV: FS1 and UniMas
Streaming: Fox Sports Go

  • D.C. United Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (labrum surgery), GK - David Ousted (elbow surgery), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), D - Vytas (hip injury), D - Oniel Fisher (knee surgery), D - Kofi Opara (hip injury)

Columbus Crew Injury Report: OUT: M - Mike Grella (left knee meniscectomy)

Los Angeles FC v Real Salt Lake

Date/Time: Thursday, November 1st, 7:30 PM PT
Location: Banc of California Stadium — Los Angeles
TV: ESPN2 and UniMas
Streaming: ESPN+

LAFC Injury Report: OUT: GK - Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture), M - Mark-Anthony Kaye (fractured ankle), M - James Murphy

RSL Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery)

Join the Discussion

This is your MLS Cup playoffs gamethread for November 1st. Watch with us as we see where the Sounders are headed this weekend.

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