MLS Week 19 preview, TV schedule

The weekend slate is headlined by the LA Galaxy's trip to face Sporting Kansas City in a match between teams that have earned the past three MLS Cup titles.

Friday, July 18
11:00 Portland Timbers
- Colorado Rapids
Saturday, July 19
6:00 Sporting Kansas City
- LA Galaxy
7:00 New York Red Bulls
- San Jose Earthquakes
MLS Live
7:30 Columbus Crew
- Montreal Impact
MLS Live/TVA Sports
Chicago Fire
- Philadelphia Union
MLS Live
9:00 FC Dallas
- New England Revolution
MLS Live
9:00 Houston Dynamo
- Toronto FC
MLS Live
10:00 Real Salt Lake
- Vancouver Whitecaps
Sunday, July 20
8:00 D.C. United
- Chivas USA
Univision Deportes

All times p.m. ET

Portland Timbers - Colorado Rapids

Portland’s season is rapidly deteriorating before its eyes, and Colorado’s visit Friday night represents a crucial chance for three points. After losing 2-0 to archrival Seattle on Sunday, the Timbers are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 21 points from 19 games.

Colorado is in fourth place in the West, but just one point ahead of FC Dallas and Vancouver, who are tied for fifth and sixth. The Rapids will be missing three players through suspension: Vicente Sanchez, Nick LaBrocca, and Shane O’Neill

Sporting Kansas City - LA Galaxy

Between them, Sporting KC and the Galaxy hold the past three MLS Cup titles. And the clubs in recent weeks have looked like contenders for the 2014 crown, with Kansas City enjoying a 4-0-1 stretch and LA unbeaten in eight matches.

The visitors will be without center back Omar Gonzalez (ankle) and fullback Dan Gargan (red card), while Sporting will boast the services of center back Aurelien Collin after his midweek red card was rescinded.

New York Red Bulls - San Jose Earthquakes

Coming off a 3-1 loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the Red Bulls will likely make several lineup changes for their third game in eight days. New York sits in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, just a point ahead of the Union.

San Jose is bottom of the Western Conference, and will at least be more rested than New York after making a cross-country journey to the east coast. The Quakes fell 2-1 at home to D.C. United in their most recent game, a fourth consecutive loss.

Columbus Crew - Montreal Impact

In 36 combined matches, the Crew and Impact have pulled off just seven wins between them, with just two wins from their last 12 matches combined. Those numbers don't exactly make this a must-watch game, but it should still be an entertaining affair.

Both sides have scored and shipped plenty of goals this season, and both teams have some quality attacking talent. Jack McInerney leads the way for the Impact with six goals, while Columbus usually relies on the brilliance of Federico Higuain to produce goals.

Chicago Fire - Philadelphia Union

With 16 goals in their past five matches, the Union have quietly become the Eastern Conference's most prolific attack. But the league's second-worst defense sees Philadelphia still sitting one point out of playoff positioning.

After a hot start to the season, Fire forward Quincy Amarikwa ended a six-game drought by finding net against New England last weekend. He'll look to get a scoring streak going against the Union, who will be without playmaker Cristian Maidana (hamstring).

FC Dallas - New England Revolution

Back in May, the Revolution looked like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. A five-match run saw the side net 16 times and pick up 15 points, putting the Revs in a great position to move forward and earn a playoff spot. But that run came to an end on the last day of that month, and the Revs have not won since, slipping to fourth in the conference, fully nine points back of Sporting KC.

Dallas comes in unbeaten in five and looking to climb up the table in the Western Conference. While May was kind to New England, the Hoops struggled before turning things around just before the World Cup break with a win over Colorado and a draw in Portland against the Timbers. A win and a draw since returning to league play have FCD just inside the playoff spots. 

Houston Dynamo - Toronto FC

Toronto couldn't be in a better place as the club heads to Houston for a second match against the Dynamo in a seven days. TFC sits on 25 points from just 16 matches played, and has three games in hand on Eastern Conference leading SKC.  

Houston may come in with some confidence against the Canadian side though, having scored twice against TFC to take a 2-0 lead the last time these two met, but the collapse that followed has been all too familiar in Houston this season. The club sits second bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 18 points from 19 games. 

Real Salt Lake - Vancouver Whitecaps

Real Salt Lake is chasing the top spot in the Western Conference but needs a win to try and close down the 10-point gap to conference-leading Seattle. One win, three losses and one draw in the club's last five outings have allowed Seattle to pull away at the top of the table, but RSL has a fantastic record against the Whitecaps.

Vancouver is in a chase of its own, trying to pass up Dallas for fifth place and the last playoff spot in the West, but the form of the Whitecaps has been very up-and-down of late. A win over the Sounders was followed up by a loss to Chivas USA and then a draw against Canadian rival Toronto to leave the club on 26 points from 18 games played.  

D.C. United - Chivas USA

While United has reeled off a three-game winning streak on the road to climb near the top of the Eastern Conference, the club has actually failed to win its past two matches at home.

United will hope to get back on track at RFK Stadium with three points against Chivas USA, which has won four straight after a sluggish start. With goals in five consecutive games, striker Erick Torres is once again the man to watch for Chivas.

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