As the MLS season continues through the dog days of summer, clubs aim to get into the playoffs or, if that is already likely, secure a better position in order to receive one or more home postseason matches or a first-round bye.
Two matchups highlight this upcoming weekend’s slate. One is in the Eastern Conference (Orlando City-Philadelphia Union). And one is an intriguing interconference showdown (Austin FC-New York Red Bulls).
Orlando City-Philadelphia Union
Orlando City and the Philadelphia Union will kick off at EDT on Saturday at Exploria Stadium.
The club representing the City of Brotherly Love will bring the Eastern Conference’s highest point total into Florida. The Union has 39 points from 21 matches although it trails New York City in points per game (1.86). Meanwhile, Orlando is in the thick of the playoff race, in fifth place with 30 tallies earned in 21 games, in the sixth spot in points per match.
Philadelphia is riding a three-match winning streak, which all occurred in a nine-day span, most recently using a new 4-2-3-1 formation in defeating the New England Revolution, 2-1, on Saturday. Orlando drew its last two matches, including a 1-1 stalemate with Atlanta United on Sunday.
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Austin FC-New York Red Bulls
This interconference matchup features sides in the top four of each conference’s table.
Austin FC, which is currently in second place in the Western Conference, sits on 41 points through 21 matches, behind Los Angeles FC’s 42 points from 20 games. Meanwhile, the Red Bulls have earned 33 points in 21 contests, putting it third in the Eastern Conference on total points and fourth in points per game. Either spot would earn it home-field advantage in the playoffs’ first round.
The Texan side has been especially hot as of late, recording 13 tallies in its last five outings, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas on Saturday. However, that result was enough for it to secure the Lone Star State’s Copa Tejas trophy.
In contrast, the New Jersey-based club is coming off of a 1-0 home loss to rival New York City FC on Sunday. That followed a run of seven points from three games.
This matchup will kick off at EDT on Sunday.
How to Watch MLS This Week
If you are interested in games that feature teams far from you (out-of-market), you can watch most of them on ESPN+ — either directly or with Hulu + Live TV, which comes with ESPN+, Disney+, and 85+ live TV channels including all the local network affiliates and plenty of sports channels like CBS Sports Network, ESPN, FS1, and much more.
All the games that feature your local MLS team will be blacked out. If you are a fan of your local team, you need to get a streaming service that provides local RSNs. These services also offer all the national channels you need to watch:
- DIRECTV STREAM: Get the best selection of RSNs to watch the local games of MLS, NBA, NHL, and MLB with the Choice plan for $89.99/mo.
- FuboTV: This service is great for soccer in general and also offers RSNs in many areas for as little as $69.99/mo.
Note that many MLS games are broadcast on local channels that you can get via antenna. See our HD antenna guide for all you need to know to set up one and watch for free.
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Next Week’s MLS TV Schedule
Note that blackout restrictions apply to many MLS games. In the following list, we’ve included national as well as local broadcasts where available.
- Sat Jul 23 : NYC at Miami (ESPN+,My33,UniMas)
- Sat Jul 23 : Cincinnati at Nashville (ESPN+,Star 64,MyTV30)
- Sat Jul 23 : Columbus at New England (ESPN+,Bally Sports Great Lakes,TV38,MyRITV)
- Sat Jul 23 : Orlando at Philadelphia (ESPN+,Fox 35,PHL17)
- Sat Jul 23 : Toronto at Charlotte (ESPN+,WAXN,Telemundo)
- Sat Jul 23 : DC at Montreal (ESPN+,NBC Sports Washington)
- Sat Jul 23 : Houston at Minnesota (ESPN+,Bally Sports North Extra)
- Sat Jul 23 : Kansas City at LAFC (ESPN+,38 The Spot,KCOP 13,Estralla)
- Sat Jul 23 : Salt Lake at Dallas (ESPN+,KMYU,TXA21)
- Sat Jul 23 : Seattle at Colorado (ESPN+,Fox 13+,Altitude)
- Sat Jul 23 : Vancouver at Chicago (ESPN+,WGN-TV)
- Sat Jul 23 : Portland at San Jose (ESPN+,Fox 12 Plus,NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Sun Jul 24 : Austin at New York (ESPN+,KBVO,MSG)
- Sun Jul 24 : LA at Atlanta (FS1,Fox Deportes)
Featured image cropped from Atlanta United vs New York Red Bulls by Eric Jason Cross under CC BY-SA 4.0.
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