This Saturday sees nine MLS matches on the schedule, the most during the 2020 regular season since March 7, with several high-profile rivalry clashes included on the itinerary.


Here's your cheat sheet on what's at stake as games get back underway:


Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United 


7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)


For D.C. United and head coach Ben Olsen, this might already feel like must-win territory psychologically, even if it's early days mathematically. The Black-and-Red haven't scored from the run of play in three matches, although forward Ola Kamara (penalty kick) tallied his first of the year in a midweek loss. 


It won't get any easier against the Union, who have posted consecutive shutouts since the regular season restart got underway. Andre Blake is one of the league's top goalkeepers, Homegrown midfielder Brenden Aaronson is a must-watch each week and forward Kacper Przybylko may just be about to break out after his 15-goal season in 2019.


FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC


7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)

These Hell is Real rivals met in their MLS is Back Tournament opener back on July 11, and Columbus cruised to a 4-0 drubbing of Cincinnati. That marked a turning point of sorts for FC Cincy, as new head coach Jaap Stam opted for a more pragmatic approach following the defeat.


Cincy have a chance to avenge that poor performance, while Columbus are coming off their first league loss in 2020. The Crew hold a 2W-0L-1D edge in MLS competitions.


NYCFC vs. Chicago Fire FC


7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)


Six of NYCFC's seven league matches in 2020 under first-year coach Ronny Deila have been decided by a 1-0 scoreline. They've only won two of those six 1-0 results, but they are coming off a Hudson River Derby defeat against the New York Red Bulls. 


Meanwhile, Chicago are navigating a comprehensive reboot amid a pandemic. There have been impressive results and bouts of inconsistency, but their latest game was the former, a dominant 3-0 win over Cincy on Tuesday in their long-awaited Soldier Field return. 


New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls


8 pm ET | FS1; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada


Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena remains suspended, but they're coming off an impressive 2-1 win at D.C. earlier this week. Gustavo Bou got back in the goalscorer's column, and a confident Argentine striker poses danger to any side.


The Red Bulls are healthier, but have scored only once in their last four league matches. Newly-acquired forward Samuel Tetteh should help eventually, but as of earlier this week he was still in quarantine following his arrival from Europe.


FC Dallas vs. Minnesota United


8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)


Life without Reggie Cannon could begin as early as Saturday for FC Dallas, as MLSsoccer.com's Tom Bogert reported they have a deal in place for a transfer to Portuguese first division side Boavista. If Cannon is unavailable, fans of excellent outside backs can take solace in watching Minnesota's impressive duo of Romain Metanire and Chase Gasper.


Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City


9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)


Depending on how you look at it, it's been five months or four games since the Rapids last got a victory, after starting 2020 so brightly with back-to-back wins. They can probably forget about sneaking up on Sporting, however, since Peter Vermes's group got embarrassed in a 5-2 home loss to Houston on Tuesday night. 


LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes


10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)

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It's been over a year since the last California Clasico match, when the Quakes earned a 3-1 victory against the Galaxy (highlights above). The Galaxy's star striker is now Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (though he's still questionable with a calf strain), and forward Cristian Pavon has emerged as arguably their most important player.


The Quakes remain incredibly difficult to play against, and should be well-rested after their run to the MLS is Back Tournament semifinals. It'll also be their first game without midfielder Magnus Eriksson, who has returned to Sweden. 


Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake


10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada (local TV)


Two games ago, the Timbers were the reigning MLS is Back Tournament champions. Come Saturday, they may be a bit of a wounded animal after a 3-0 home defeat to their historic rival Seattle last weekend.


Meanwhile, it's hard to know what impact the evolving situation regarding owner Dell Loy Hansen will have on Real Salt Lake. He's since taken a leave of absence amid investigations from MLS and the NWSL. 

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