The MLS Cup Playoffs begin this weekend in what should be one of the most exciting tournaments in MLS history. Following a historic season, the New England Revolution won the Supporters’ Shield with the best record in the MLS. The Revs’ 73 points set a single-season record, and with 5-time MLS Cup-winner Bruce Arena as head coach, New England is a heavy favorite to win the first MLS Cup in team history (they’re 0-5 in the final).
If New England is the clear favorite in the East, the West is a little more muddled. The Colorado Rapids (60 points) secured the No. 1 seed and a First Round bye in a furious finish that saw the Seattle Sounders—which has played in the championship game in four of the last five years—miss out on the top seed by just one point. Colorado and Seattle both have strong defenses and good team chemistry, an effective combination for a deep playoff run.
Sporting Kansas City finished with 58 points, just two points behind Colorado, while the Portland Timbers had 55 points. That makes the West an extremely competitive bracket with strong competition at the top. In the East, there’s just as much uncertainty thanks to a more muddled middle, with just six points separating the No. 2 seed, the Philadelphia Union (54 points), from the No. 7 seed, New York Red Bulls (48 points). Although New England is the class of the East, it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s the next best team.
We’ll get more clarity when the Playoffs get underway this weekend. The Union and Red Bulls get things started with a 2:30pm ET game on Saturday, Nov. 20. That’s followed by Sporting Kansas City taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps, which kicks off at 5pm ET. Both games are available to watch on MLSsoccer.com or the MLS app. First Round action continues on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3pm ET, as New York City FC faces Atlanta United from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx; Sling subscribers can catch that game live on ESPN3. Sunday’s second game finds the Portland Timbers taking on Minnesota United at 5:30pm on ESPN. The First Round wraps up with a pair of night games on Tuesday, Nov. 23. First up it’s Nashville SC hosting Orlando City at 8pm ET, followed by the Seattle Sounders taking on Real Salt Lake from Lumen Field at 10:30pm ET. Both of Tuesdays games will air live on FS1.
Colorado will play the winner of Portland and Minnesota on Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 25) at 4:30pm ET on FOX, while New England faces the New York City-Atlanta winner on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7:30pm ET on FS1. The rest of the playoff schedule has yet to be announced, save for the MLS Cup Final, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 11 at 3pm ET on ESPN3.
We’ll update this post with more details as they’re announced, so be sure to bookmark this page for additional information on how to watch on Sling TV. Check out the MLS Cup Playoff schedule below and use the link at the bottom of this page to watch every game by subscribing to Sling Orange + Blue.
MLS Cup Playoffs
|Time (ET)||Matchup||Channel||Sling Package|
|Saturday, Nov. 20|
|2:30 PM||Philadelphia 1, NY Red Bulls 0||MLSsoccer.com||N/A|
|5:00 PM||Kansas City 3, Vancouver 1||MLSsoccer.com||N/A|
|Sunday, Nov. 21|
|3:00 PM||NYC FC 2, Atlanta 0||ESPN3||Sling Orange|
|5:30 PM||Portland 3. Minnesota 1||ESPN||Sling Orange|
|Tuesday, Nov. 23|
|8:00 PM||Nashville SC vs. Orlando City SC||FS1||Sling Blue|
|7:05 PM||Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake||FS1||Sling Blue|
|Thursday, Nov. 25|
|2:30 PM||Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers||FOX||Sling Blue (Select Markets)/ Locals*|
|Tuesday, Nov. 30|
|5:30 PM||New England Revoltion vs. New York City FC||FS1||Sling Blue|