Your Friday Kick Off

Week 27 Preview, Playoff Scenarios, Canada roster …
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Kick Off: Shield leaders Atlanta, RBNY can clinch | Week 27 Preview

Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:

Atlanta, RBNY vying for Shield, can clinch playoff spots

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Should the Red Bulls drop points on Saturday, Atlanta United will have the chance to regain the summit when they visit D.C. United in Sunday’s lone contest (7:30 pm ET | FS1, TSN2 – Full TV & streaming info). Despite two straight losses, the Black-and-Red are making a genuine playoff push in part thanks to a trio of US national team candidates for the future. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls will try to extend their fresh Supporters’ Shield lead clear of the pack in Saturday’s contest at Montreal (7:30 pm ET | TVAS – TV & streaming info). RBNY haven’t won at Stade Saputo since their first visit back in 2012, suffering shutout defeats their last three times over. PREVIEW

And if the results break right, either or both stand to clinch a playoff spot at the conclusion of the weekend slate. The short version? Win and you’re in! READ MORE

Can Sporting slow down the Sounders?

The hardest-charging teams in the West will clash when Seattle hosts Sporting KC to kick off the weekend action (4 pm ET | UniMás, UDN – Full TV & streaming info). While the Sounders prepared to gamble their seven-game winning run, the ExtraTime Radio crew was still busy paying tribute to now-retired star Clint Dempsey on Thursday’s show. LISTEN TO ETR | PREVIEW

We’ll be treated to a fast Texas derby rematch when a Houston side that has lost six of their last seven road games travel to face FC Dallas on Saturday (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Dynamo are also winless in their last six at Frisco, but have managed shares on each of their last three visits. PREVIEW

Red-hot Philly roll into Orlando

Philadelphia will put a four-game win streak on the line when they pay a Saturday call on an Orlando City side that has dropped five of six (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Union have really heated up since a position shuffle for CJ Sapong re-energized their tactical setup. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Playoff seeding at stake in Columbus

Though they stand well above the playoff line, both Columbus and visitors New York City FC will be looking to right the ship in Saturday’s Eastern showdown (8 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Crew SC defense will want to throw a net on David Villa, who has scored 9 times in the 10 meetings between the two. PREVIEW

Tough road tests for LA duo

The first meeting between Toronto FC and LAFC is set for Saturday at BMO Field (8 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). While the champs are still concerned about their place in the Eastern table, they are no longer worried over the future of midfield ace Jonathan Osorio, who inked a multi-year contract extension on Thursday. READ MORE | PREVIEW

Real Salt Lake will try to extend their 9-0-3 home run when the LA Galaxy visit for a key Western duel on Saturday (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Galaxy come to town parched from a five-game win drought, but can rise above the playoff line with a victory. PREVIEW

Slipping Revs host Portland, ‘Caps rising

A pair of teams fighting for their playoff lives will lock horns on Saturday when Portland visits New England (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info). The Revolution have lost three straight and are winless in eight, but they’ve yet to lose to Diego Valeri & Co. at Gillette. PREVIEW

Playoff chasers Vancouver start a three-game home swing with Saturday’s tilt against visiting San Jose (10 pm ET | TSN – Full TV & streaming info). The Whitecaps, who enter unbeaten in five, also hold a massive 7-1-3 series edge at BC Place. PREVIEW

Canada announce roster for Nations League opener

Nine MLS players highlight Canada’s squad for their upcoming CONCACAF Nations League opener against the US Virgin Islands. Joining the young hotshot likes of Alphonso Davies and Cyle Larin is new phenom Jonathan David, who has scored six times in his first seven Gent outings despite starting just once. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

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