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MLS Cup playoffs: Conference finals game schedule, how to watch

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The road to the MLS Cup picks back up on Sunday with the first leg of both conference finals

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The week before the All Star Game gamethread.
FS1 has the Western Conference game today.
MLS Watercolorist

The 2018 MLS Cup playoffs continue on Sunday, picking up after the international break. The first leg of each conference final will be played today with the return games to be played on Thursday.

The two best teams in MLS this season were the New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United. Both teams topped the elusive 2.0 points per game threshold on the year with Atlanta earning 69 points and NYRB netting an MLS record 71 points. Both teams are only going to consider this season a success if they win MLS Cup so the stakes are high in this conference final. Atlanta United has had a great two year run as an expansion team, but face an off season of upheaval with likely player moves and their manager, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, confirmed to be moving on to take over the Mexico national team. Speaking of moving on, Tyler Adams has authored a thank you letter to RBNY fans on the Player’s Tribune. Adams is heading to the Bundesliga and RB Leipzig after this MLS season is over. The winner of this series will host MLS Cup. Atlanta United is expecting 70,000 fans at today’s game.

It’s been 17 days since the Portland Timbers eliminated the Seattle Sounders via a penalty kick shootout in the conference semifinals. Now they are at home hosting Sporting Kansas City who outlasted a plucky Real Salt Lake team to advance 5-3 on aggregate. SKC tied 0-0 at Portland in the regular season but won 3-0 at home, thus they will be eager to avoid any extra time or possible penalties in this round. Portland and Sporting Kansas City have only met once in the playoffs and it was decided by penalty kicks, the Timbers advancing on the way to winning MLS Cup mostly because a Sporting Kansas City spot kick hit both posts but somehow did not go in the net.

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

Atlanta United v New York Red Bulls

Date/Time: Sunday, November 25th, 2:00 PM PT
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Streaming: WatchESPN

Broadcast Info: ESPN – Adrian Healey, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Sebastian Salazar; ESPN Deportes – Richard Méndez and analyst Herculez Gomez

  • Atlanta Suspended: None
  • Atlanta Suspended after next caution: M - Eric Remedi, M - Hector Villalba, F - Josef Martinez, D - Franco Escobar, D - Miles Robinson
  • Atlanta Injury Report: OUT: D - Sal Zizzo (right knee injury), D - Mikey Ambrose (right knee surgery), F - Brandon Vazquez (foot injury), D - Chris McCann (left quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: M/D - Jeff Larentowicz (muscular injury)
  • NYRB Suspended: None
  • NYRB Suspended after next caution: M - Sean Davis
  • NYRB Injury Report: OUT: M - Florian Valot (torn left ACL), D - Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL), M - Vincent Bezecourt (right MCL surgery), D - Tommy Redding (shoulder surgery), M - Ben Mines (broken left clavicle surgery)

Portland Timbers v Sporting Kansas City

Date/Time: Sunday, November 25th, 4:30 PM PT
Location: Providence Park — Portland
TV: FS1, FOX Deportes
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, Fubo TV

Broadcast Info: John Strong, Stu Holden and reporter Katie Witham.

  • Portland Suspended: None
  • Portland Suspended after next caution: D - Liam Ridgewell, M - Diego Chara, M - Andres Flores, F - Diego Valeri
  • Portland Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (bilateral tibial stress fracture); QUESTIONABLE: M - David Guzman (thigh, head injuries), F - Samuel Armenteros (thigh injury)
  • SKC Suspended: F - Diego Rubio
  • SKC Suspended after next caution: M - Roger Espinoza
  • SKC Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee surgery), M - Cristian Lobato (quad injury)

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