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MLS Week 24 preview, TV schedule

The Portland Timbers will fight for playoff positioning when they welcome the Seattle Sounders to Providence Park for a Cascadia Cup clash.


Friday, August 22
9:00 FC Dallas
- Real Salt Lake
NBCSN/TSN2
Saturday, August 23
7:00 New York Red Bulls
- Montreal Impact
MLS Live/TSN2
7:00 Toronto FC
- Chicago Fire
MLS Live
7:30 New England Revolution
- Chivas USA
MLS Live
7:30
Columbus Crew
- Houston Dynamo
MLS Live
8:30 Sporting Kansas City
- D.C. United
MLS Live
10:30
LA Galaxy
- Vancouver Whitecaps
MLS Live/TSN2
Sunday, August 24
5:00 Portland Timbers
- Seattle Sounders
ESPN2
8:00
Philadelphia Union
- San Jose Earthquakes
UDN

All times p.m. ET

FC Dallas - Real Salt Lake

Two of Major League Soccer’s hottest teams square off in a nationally televised match on Friday evening. FC Dallas enters the game on a nine-match unbeaten run, while RSL has gone six games without a loss.

FCD can tie RSL in the standings with a win. These two teams met once already this season, as a May 24 meeting at Rio Tinto Stadium ended in a scoreless draw. RSL will hope to slow down the red-hot duo of Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele, who combined for all five goals in a 5-0 demolition of San Jose last weekend.

New York Red Bulls - Montreal Impact

The Montreal Impact (4-14-5) have improved in recent weeks, beating the Chicago Fire to end a seven-game MLS losing streak and winning a CONCACAF Champions League match against CD FAS. But taking three points off the playoff-battling New York Red Bulls (6-7-10) will be a much more difficult task.

The Impact have the worst record in the league this season, and the worst goal difference at -18. Reinforcement, in the form of Spanish defender Adrian Lopez, was short-lived; the center back tore his ACL in his debut match on Wednesday. The Impact defense will be without Lopez to face the league's leading scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and its leading assist maker, Thierry Henry.

Toronto FC - Chicago Fire

Toronto FC returns home after a four-game road trip that ended with two wins and two losses. The Reds will take on the Fire, who are reeling after losing 1-0 last weekend to Montreal – the league’s worst team.

TFC sits in third place in the Eastern Conference while the Fire, despite only 25 points from 23 games, are just three points out of fifth place and the final postseason spot. The Reds will likely welcome Jermain Defoe back to the lineup, after the striker missed three games with an injury. Gilberto has picked up the slack in his absence, scoring four goals in six league games.

New England Revolution - Chivas USA

The Revolution will be looking for just their second win since May when they host the Western Conference’s last place team. The Revs (8-12-3, 27 points) did pick up a point last weekend in a 1-1 home draw with Portland, but need to take advantage against a Chivas USA side that’s 0-4-1 in its last five MLS games.

As always, the visitors (6-11-6, 24 points) will be reliant on Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres, who leads the team with 14 goals and was rewarded on Thursday with his first Mexico national team call-up. New England, which is one game out of a playoff spot, will hope for Charlie Davies to continue his goalscoring form, as the former U.S. national team forward has goals in consecutive games.

Columbus Crew - Houston Dynamo

The Columbus Crew (7-8-9) moved into the playoff places with a big win against New York, and three points against chasing Houston (7-12-4) could help them keep that spot.

Houston endured a rough middle of the season, losing six games of seven with just one point from May 21 to July 12, but the Dynamo have rebounded with two wins over Eastern Conference rivals in the past three weeks. The Dynamo won the other meeting between the two sides this season, Will Bruin scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win on May 7.

Sporting Kansas City - D.C. United

It’s first against second in the Eastern Conference, as Sporting KC (12-6-6, 42 points) and D.C. United (12-7-4, 40 points) meet in one of the marquee matchups of the weekend. Both teams are coming off home wins in which they score four times, as Sporting KC beat Toronto FC 4-1, while United took care of Colorado 4-2.

Both teams are also coming off midweek CONCACAF Champions League games, as SKC grabbed a 1-1 tie at Real Esteli on Tuesday, while DCU won 1-0 at home against Waterhouse FC on Wednesday. DCU will be without Eddie Johnson, who is serving the second and final game of a suspension for kicking the ball at a Real Salt Lake player after the whistle.

LA Galaxy - Vancouver Whitecaps

LA (10-5-7) turned a 3-1 deficit against Colorado into a 4-1 win, and the continued impressive form of Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes and the on-his-farewell-tour Landon Donovan means the Galaxy are still one of the most dangerous teams in the league. The Whitecaps (7-4-12) are undefeated in their last seven, but six of those are draws and the 'Caps have several teams breathing down their necks for the last playoff place.

The two Western Conference rivals played two back-to-back league games in April, with LA recording a 1-0 win before the teams shared a 2-2 draw.

Portland Timbers - Seattle Sounders

The Pacific Northwest rivalry between the Sounders and the Timbers has become perhaps the most prominent matchup in the league. This year, the Sounders have been firmly on top, coming back for a thrilling 4-4 draw at Providence Park on Apr. 5 before recording home wins in the Open Cup and the league last month.

But that doesn't mean the Timbers aren't without a chance. Caleb Porter's side has fought its way back into the playoff race and is 3-1-1 in its last five matches. And while Portland chases autumn soccer, Seattle could move three points clear of Kansas City and Salt Lake City at the top of the Supporters' Shield race.

Philadelphia Union - San Jose Earthquakes

Is this the game Rais M'Bolhi finally starts for Philadelphia (6-9-9)? Zac MacMath played the hero in Philadelphia's Open Cup semifinal shootout win against Dallas, and rookie Andre Blake impressed despite a loss to Houston, but the Algerian World Cup star is set to take over the starting job when he's ready.

San Jose (6-9-7) has turned in some impressive results in recent weeks, but the playoffs are probably too far away for Mark Watson's side, which would have to overtake Colorado, Portland and Vancouver to get into the postseason.

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