Heineken Rivalry Week - 2018 - primary image - NYCvRBNY

What's at stake on the field in the 2018 Heineken Rivalry Week

It's Heineken Rivalry Week! Irrespective of the ever-critical jockeying for playoff positions, there's everything to play for as bragging rights are on the line for players, clubs and supporters alike this week. With games starting on Wednesday and flowing through Sunday, MLS fans are spoiled for action. Here's what's at stake:

NYCFC vs. New York Red Bulls

7:00 ET on Wednesday

Watch in USA on FS1 or FOX Deportes or FOX Sports GO

Watch in Canada on TSN 1/3/4

The Red Bulls and NYCFC get rivalry week underway on Wednesday night as managers Chris Armas and Dome Torrent get their second taste of the NY Derby. Earlier this season, with Jesse Marsch and Patrick Vieira roaming the touchlines, the Red Bulls dismantled NYCFC 4-0. Then, after both managers took European jobs during the season, Armas and Torrent added their own spice to the rivalry, resulting in a 1-0 NYCFC win at Yankee Stadium. Watch the highlights:

Armas attempted to play more possession and was burned by a late giveaway in their defensive third, allowing Maxi Moralez to score the game-winning goal. Meanwhile, unlike Vieira, Torrent elected not to attempt building possession through the Red Bulls' vaunted press. The tactical adjustments each manager makes Wednesday will be one to keep an eye on.

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo

9:00 ET on Thursday

Watch in USA on Twitter or UniMás or Univision Deportes

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

FC Dallas are first place in the Western Conference (45 pts) but Sporting KC (42 pts) refuse to let them create much distance. Three points ahead, Dallas will look for all three points in the Texas Derby on Thursday night to keep SKC at arm's length.

The two sides drew 1-1 in their first meeting of the season in Houston and will finish the series in Dallas on September 1.

Houston, after conceding a 93rd-minute equalizer followed by a heartbreaking 100th-minute game-winning penalty to Albert Rusnak and Real Salt Lake, have lost five straight league games in a row. They are, however, in the U.S. Open Cup final against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 26.

Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United

8:00 ET on Friday

Watch in USA on ESPN or ESPN Deportes or WatchESPN

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

As has been the case throughout his MLS career, all eyes will be on Josef Martinez on Friday night in Orlando City. The striker leveled the MLS single-season scoring record by scoring his 27th goal on Sunday against Crew SC and can take sole possession of the record behind enemy lines against the Lions.

Atlanta remain atop the Supporters' Shield race both in points and points per game ahead of the Red Bulls, though New York have a more home-heavy schedule to finish the season than ATL. Three points would be well welcomed for both sticking it to their rivals as well as continuing to set the pace in the Supporters' Shield race.

As for Orlando, well, the only thing separating them from the bottom of the Eastern Conference is a tie-breaker over Chicago, who have lost eight straight matches. A big occasion against Atlanta could galvanize James O'Connor's side. Atlanta United won the previous two matches against Orlando this season by a combined 6-1 scoreline.

LA Galaxy vs. LAFC

10:30 ET on Friday

Watch in USA on ESPN or ESPN Deportes or WatchESPN

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

El Trafico III can't possibly exceed the pyrotechnics of either of the first two editions, can it? The LA clubs meet again on Friday night.

In the first iteration of the rivalry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired a 4-3 win on his Galaxy debut after LAFC led 3-0 at halftime. In Act II, the Galaxy again resorted to late magic by digging out of a 2-0 hole for a 2-2 draw. Watch the highlights:

Since that draw, though, the Galaxy have just one win in five while LAFC have won two straight and will be seeking revenge for previous capitulations against their rivals. Will Act III have another Hollywood ending?

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake

9:00 ET on Saturday

Watch in USA on ESPN+

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

After the previously mentioned late, late, late winner in Houston, RSL will hope their second road win of the season can power them in the Rocky Mountain Cup in Colorado.

Historically, RSL have dominated this series. They have won 9 of the 13 series, including 9 of the last 11. They are in a solid spot to retain their Cup as they won 3-0 in April and drew 2-2 in July. But, with a big win, Colorado can reverse their fortunes and steal the cup. The Rapids' loss to LAFC on Sunday snapped a three-match unbeaten streak as they have begun to pick up more points of late.

New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United

7:00 ET on Sunday

Watch in USA on FS1 or FOX Deportes or FOX Sports GO

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

The Red Bulls are double-dipping during rivalry week.

After getting the party started on Wednesday, New York will circle back and help close out the weekend on Sunday with an Atlantic Cup tie against surging D.C. United (7 pm ET | FS1 — Full TV & streaming info). The Red Bulls won the first meeting between the sides this season 1-0 at Audi Field and will meet again in the nation's capital on September 16. United will be riding the confidence from a nine-point week, with wins over Orlando, Portland and New England all at home in a seven-day span.

D.C. hold the all-time Atlantic Cup edge, though the Red Bulls have taken five of the last eight.

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders

9:30 ET on Sunday

Watch in USA on FS1 or FOX Deportes or FOX Sports GO

Watch in Canada on MLS LIVE on DAZN

What's the old adage about rivalries? Throw recent form out the window? Well, with two teams in opposite runs, Portland would love to do just that. Seattle? Not so much.

After a 15-match unbeaten streak, the Timbers lost three on the bounce last week against Vancouver, D.C. and Sporting KC. As Bobby Warshaw pointed out, they probably aren't worried yet -- but falling to their rivals at home on Sunday might raise their level of concern.

The Sounders, meanwhile, are white-hot after winning their sixth consecutive match and are now unbeaten in their last nine, having last lost to... the Timbers. The Sounders have dropped both games to the Timbers this season, but they are playing like a completely different team than the previous two meetings.