By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 16/10/17 6:00pm
Will Andrea Pirlo bow out with silverware? Will Bastian Schweinsteiger make the play-offs? It’s Decision Day in MLS on Sunday, with every team in action in the final round of regular-season matches.
Every MLS team will play at the same time, creating high drama heading into the play-offs and all matches kick-off at 9pm UK time.
To help keep you up-to-date as the goals fly in you can watch our MLS Goals Zone, with every goal and every major incident from across the fixtures.
Giovinco: My love for Toronto
In the latest The Players’ Tribune offering, Sebastian Giovinco describes his love for Toronto FC, growing up in Turin and his time with Juventus.
There’s one play-off place left to play for, while the other 11 confirmed post-season teams will be jostling for seeding.
AC Milan and Brazil legend Kaka has already bid farewell to MLS after playing his final game for Orlando City, but this is the start of Pirlo’s goodbye run with New York City FC, while Schweinsteiger is bidding to win silverware in his debut season with Chicago Fire.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of an exciting Decision Day…
Who is playing?
All 22 clubs face off against each other on the final day of the season, with every game starting at the same time.
MLS Decision Day fixtures
|Atlanta United v Toronto FC|
|DC United v New York Red Bulls|
|FC Dallas v LA Galaxy|
|Houston Dynamo v Chicago Fire|
|Montreal Impact v New England Revolution|
|New York City v Columbus Crew|
|Philadelphia Union v Orlando City|
|Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Real Salt Lake v Sporting Kansas City|
|San Jose Earthquakes v Minnesota United|
|Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids|
The state of play
Toronto FC snapped up the Supporters’ Shield on September 30, which means they will be top seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs and will have home advantage throughout.
They can cap off an impressive season by setting an MLS points record. LA Galaxy hold the record of 68 points in 1998 and Toronto only need a draw on the final day to beat it.
Patrick Vieira’s New York City currently sit second in the East with a play-off place guaranteed, but remaining in second would secure an automatic berth to the Conference semi-finals.
Atlanta United, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls have qualified from the East too.
MLS Eastern Conference play-off picture
|New York City FC||16||8||9||56|
|New York Red Bulls||13||8||12||47|
|No other teams can make play-offs|
In the West, Decision Day will be highly significant as San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake all compete for the final play-off spot. Minnesota, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy are mathematically out of contention.
Three sides could still top the West, with Vancouver Whitecaps in pole position from Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders.
MLS Western Conference play-off picture
|San Jose Earthquakes||12||7||14||43|
|Real Salt Lake||12||6||15||42|
What’s at stake?
The top six teams in each conference qualify for the play-offs.
The top two in the West and top two in the East receive a bye through the first round of play-off matches, while the other eight sides play for a place in the Conference semi-finals.
The fourth-placed team in the conference plays the fifth-placed team while the third-placed team plays the sixth-placed team. The higher-ranked side hosts the one-off match, with the winners going through to the semi-finals.
What stars will be involved?
Decision Day marks the beginning of Pirlo’s final hurrah as he will be retiring following the conclusion of his contract in December. The 38-year-old will be aiming to end his career with a piece of silverware with New York City.
Pirlo will look to help NYCFC alongside David Villa and England U21 international Jack Harrison to a Decision Day win against Columbus Crew to finish the campaign as the highest seed possible.
Elsewhere, former Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco will lead high-flying Toronto to Atlanta United off the back of 15 goals and six assists this season.
Ex-Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder Schweinsteiger is currently in a race to be fit in time for Chicago Fire’s game against Houston Dynamo after picking up a calf injury on September 2. Fire might even decide to rest Schweinsteiger with one eye on the play-offs.
How can I watch?
You can stay across all of the Major League Soccer Decision Day action on Sky Sports, with Atlanta v Toronto live and the goals as they go in on MLS Goals Zone.