MLS Week 30 preview, TV schedule

FC Dallas hosts the LA Galaxy in key clash for the Supporters' Shield race to headline the MLS weekend slate.
Friday, Sept. 30
8:00   Houston Dynamo - New York City FC UniMas
Saturday, Oct. 1
7:00   New York Red Bulls - Philadelphia Union MLS Live
7:30   Columbus Crew - Chicago Fire MLS Live
7:30   New England Revolution - Sporting Kansas City MLS Live
7:30   Toronto FC - D.C. United MLS Live/TSN2
9:00   FC Dallas - LA Galaxy MLS Live
9:00   Colorado Rapids - Portland Timbers MLS Live
10:30   San Jose Earthquakes - Real Salt Lake MLS Live
Sunday, Oct. 2
1:00   Orlando City - Montreal Impact ESPN
8:00   Vancouver Whitecaps - Seattle Sounders Fox Sports 1/TSN2

All times p.m. ET.

Houston Dynamo vs. New York City FC: It's been a mixed bag for NYCFC as of late, with three wins, two losses and a draw over its last six. But the second-year team is in the playoffs and will look to improve its position as it visits Houston on Friday evening. NYCFC will be without Steven Mendoza (hamstring) and remains without Frank Lampard (calf). The Dynamo, who come in as winners of their last two with only one loss in their last seven games, still harbor very faint playoff hopes and absolutely need three points to keep them going.

New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union: Like their Hudson River rival, the Red Bulls have a playoff spot locked down but are fighting for positioning in the East. A win coupled with a Toronto draw or loss would see the Red Bulls go top in the conference, at least for this week. The Union are in playoff position, and could lock up their spot officially this weekend with a win combined with a New England loss or draw. The Union will likely be missing Joshua Yaro (concussion) and possibly Tranquillo Barnetta (knee) while the Red Bulls will be without Ronald Zubar (groin). 

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire: The Fire are the only team in MLS officially eliminated from the postseason and the Crew could join them if they don't pick up the full three points, depending on the results for D.C. United and the Montreal Impact. The Crew did get Wil Trapp back from a concussion in their midweek loss to D.C., but still may be without Federico Higuain (abdomen) for this must-win affair. 

New York England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City: In seventh place in the East, the Revolution could find themselves eliminated from playoff contention if they don't pick up the full three points from this one, depending on how results go elsewhere. On the other side, Sporting KC is in playoff position but enters the weekend with just a two-point cushion in the Western Conference. Roger Espinoza will sit this one out for Sporting on yellow card accumulation, while Graham Zusi (lower leg) is questionable.

Toronto FC vs. D.C. United: TFC leads the East despite a run of three consecutive home draws that has the players and fans a little anxious. D.C., on the other hand, is flying high after two straight three-goal victories, and the club is looking to keep the positive results going as it aims to secure a playoff berth. The home side is still awaiting the return of Sebastian Giovinco from injury, especially because the Italian scored a hat trick when the clubs last met in July.

FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy: The LA Galaxy are coming off a loss to the Seattle Sounders and need a win to stay in the hunt for the Supporters' Shield. The teams meet twice in the final few weeks of the season, but a win for Dallas at home would make the top spot in the West a virtual two-horse race between Dallas and the Colorado Rapids. Gyasi Zardes, who is out for the season with a broken foot, and Zach Loyd (concussion) are the only two players listed on the injury report. 

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers: With two games in hand on Supporters' Shield-leading FC Dallas and needing to make up the five-point difference, Colorado has its own destiny firmly in hand. A win against the red line-chasing Timbers would represent another step toward the No. 1 spot for the Rapids, but the home side has just one win in the past seven. Portland will look to get maximum points in this one, as rival Seattle holds the final playoff spot with an identical number of points as the Timbers on one fewer game played.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake: The Earthquakes' slim postseason hopes could be permanently dashed this weekend, so a home win is a must for the Northern California outfit. Standing in San Jose's way is an RSL side still within shouting distance of a top two spot in the West. The Utah side hopes for the return of Yura Movsisyan (heel), while the 'Quakes have a number of players out injured — including Quincy Amarikwa (knee), Jordan Stewart (hamstring) and Anibal Godoy (hamstring).

Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact: The Florida side is watching its playoff window rapidly close, and nothing less than three points will do in this one. Orlando winger Brek Shea will miss this match due to yellow card accumulation. The Impact earned a confidence-boosting 3-1 victory over San Jose midweek, and could jump into fourth place with a win (and help in other games). One thing Montreal shouldn't rely on is the presence of Didier Drogba, who has shown an aversion to artificial turf since joining the Impact last year.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders: With Clint Dempsey out for the rest of the season, things could very well have looked grim this week had it not been for a Seattle win over the Chicago Fire that vaulted the team into the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The club gets a chance to solidify its spot this Sunday with a showdown against a Vancouver Whitecaps side in desperate need of a win to keep its faint playoff hopes alive.