Friday’s soccer news starts with the preview of week 38 in Major League Soccer, aka Decision Day. With all games on Saturday in the 6pm and 9pm ET timeslots, we’ll soon know which of the five teams between 8th and 13th still in playoff contention in the East will take the final two playoff spots.
That’s where we start with our preview, where 8th-place Montreal on 41 points from 33 games can finish no higher. The four teams behind them that have a game left on the schedule certainly can, with 10th-place New York, 11th-place Chicago, and 12th-place Charlotte tied on 40 points. NYCFC is in 13th on 38 points.
Montreal is at 4th-place Columbus with the Crew a point behind 3rd-place Philadelphia and two points ahead of 5th-place New England. The Red Bulls are at 7th-place Nashville who can finish no lower but can pass 6th-place Atlanta a point ahead of them. Chicago is at NYCFC with both teams’ situations clear.
We need to catch up with Charlotte, who drew 2-2 at Inter Miami on Wednesday after taking the lead from a 45th minute Enzo Copetti goal. Inter’s Nicolas Stefanelli equalized six minutes into first-half stoppage time. Charlotte retook the lead from a Kerwin Vargas goal in the 52nd. Robbie Robinson equalized for Miami in the 84th minute. It’s the same matchup for Decision Day with a change of venue.
Moving West, the teams in 7th through 11th-place are still in contention for the three final playoff spots, with 7th-place Portland, 8th-place Dallas, and 9th-place San Jose tied on 43 points and unable to finish any higher than 7th-place. Behind them are 10th-place Sporting Kansas City and 11th-place Minnesota, both tied on 41 points.
Portland hosts 4th-place Houston, with the Dynamo two points behind 3rd-place Seattle and three points behind 2nd-place LAFC. The Dynamo are a point ahead of 5th-place RSL and 6th-place Vancouver. 8th-place FC Dallas is at the LA Galaxy, already eliminated but could finish higher than their current 13th-place.
9th-place San Jose hosts 12th-place Austin, who could potentially finish a spot higher. Sporting Kansas City hosts Minnesota in a meeting of 10th and 11th-place. As always, let’s assume it’s worth the reminder that total wins is the first tiebreaker in Major League Soccer, then goal difference, then goals for, the top three of a list that extends to the 9th and final tiebreaker, the coin toss or drawing of lots.
WEEKEND SOCCER TV
Saturday has the Premier League on USA: Liverpool vs Everton at 7:30am and Manchester City vs Brighton at 10am. NBC has Chelsea vs Arsenal at 12:30pm. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Real Sociedad vs Mallorca at 8am, Getafe vs Real Betis at 10:15am, Sevilla vs Real Madrid at 12:30pm, and Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid at 3pm. Ligue 2 on beIN Sport: Caen vs Auxerre at 9am. Ligue 1 on beIN Sport: PSG vs Strasbourg at 11am and Nice vs Marseille at 3pm. Pro League on Fox Soccer Plus: Al Nassr vs Dhamk at 11am and Al Ahli vs Al Wahda at 2pm. Super Lig on beIN Sport: Galatasaray vs Besiktas at 12pm.
Liga MX on Univision: Club America vs Santos Laguna at 9pm and Tigres vs Cruz Azul at 11pm.
Sunday has Ligue 1 on beIN Sport: Lorient vs Rennes at 7am, Lille vs Brest at 9am, Monaco vs Metz at 11am, and Lyon vs Clermont at 2:45pm. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Las Palmas vs Rayo Vallecano at 8am, Girona vs Almeria at 10:15am, Villarreal vs Alaves at 12:30pm, and Barcelona vs Athletic at 3pm. Premier League on USA: Aston Villa vs West Ham at 11:30am. Serie A on CBS Sports: Atalanta vs Genoa at 12pm. Super Lig on beIN Sport: Fenerbahce vs Hatayaspor at 12pm.
Liga MX on TUDN: San Luis vs Necaxa at 8pm. Ecuador’s Primera A on GolTV: LDU Quito vs Emelec at 7pm.
Monday has Serie B on Fox Soccer Plus: Palermo vs Spezia at 2:30pm. Premier League on USA: Spurs vs Fulham at 3pm. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Valencia vs Cadiz at 3pm. Uruguay’s Primera Division on GolTV: Nacional vs Deportivo Maldonado at 7:15pm. All Times Eastern
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Photo by Perry McIntyre – ISIPhotos.com