As teams vie for the remaining spots and seeding in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, Major League Soccer today announced the broadcast lineup for Sunday’s doubleheader on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The penultimate week of the 2018 MLS regular season consists of 22 teams in action on Sunday, October 2,1 with all five Eastern Conference matchups beginning at 3 p.m. ET and all six Western Conference matchups beginning 5 p.m. ET. Flex broadcast scheduling during the final two weeks of the regular season allows national broadcast partners to select the most compelling matches while providing live look-ins to pivotal moments throughout the league.
At 3pm ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes will showcase Atlanta United hosting the Chicago Fire in front of more than 70,000 fans at Mercedes Benz Stadium. With a win, Atlanta United, including marquee striker Josef Martinez, could earn not only the top seed in the East and home field advantage headed into the postseason, but also the coveted Supporters’ Shield - awarded by the fans to team with the best regular season record – and a 2019 Concacaf Champions League berth.
At 5 p.m. ET, the Western Conference spotlight match is a must-win for global icon Zlatan Ibrahimović and the LA Galaxy as they push for a postseason berth on the road, in front of what will be a record-breaking crowd of more than 50,000 in Minnesota (5 p.m. ET). The game will be Minnesota United’s final match in TCF Bank Stadium before the club celebrates the opening of Allianz Field in 2019.
In addition to domestic coverage in the U.S., TSN and TVA Sports will this week air the classic Canadian rivalry of Montreal versus Toronto. The Montreal Impact are in a race against surging D.C. United for one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference playoff picture headed into the final two weeks of the season, but Toronto FC will be back full force as all seven of the club’s international callups, including Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado and Jonathan Osorio return from international duty for the match.
The full slate of games will air in more than 170 countries worldwide, with international broadcast partners carrying live look-ins as the drama unfolds on Goal Zone.
On both sides of ESPN’s coverage, MLS will provide an hour of in-depth analysis during “MLS MatchDay Central,” which will be hosted on MLSsoccer.com and MLS social media platforms (Facebook / Twitter/ YouTube). Pregame commentary from 2-3 p.m. ET will set the stage before the Eastern Conference matchups, with postgame coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET following the Western Conference games to break down the final implications leading into Decision Day 2018 presented by AT&T on October 28.