MLS is Back Tournament - what's at stake - simple for exlink

Here's what's at stake in Friday's MLS is Back Tournament matches

The Group Stage of the MLS is Back Tournament keeps on rolling on Friday with a trio of matches -- two from Group D and one from Group C. It's the second game of the tournament for everyone involved, meaning all these teams still have a shot at moving to the Knockout Stage, and can enhance their chances greatly with a win. Here's what to expect when the teams take the pitch on Friday.

D.C. United vs. New England Revolution

8:00 pm ET – ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada

D.C. United are coming off an epic comeback that they pulled off in their 2-2 draw against Toronto FC in their tournament opener in which they fell behind 2-0, and went down a man early in the second half, before late goals from Federico Higuain and Frederic Brillant improbably allowed them to salvage a point. Ben Olsen will hope the miracle finish will translate into some momentum going into this clash with Bruce Arena and New England. The Revs, meanwhile, topped Montreal 1-0 in their tournament opener on July 9 as Gustavo Bou found the game's only goal with a laser shot early in the second half, but probably left feeling like they should have won by more after outshooting the Impact 19-7.  

Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids

8:00 PM ET – ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada

This matchup pits two clubs with high hopes coming into the tournament that are each coming off disappointing defeats in their opening matches of the group stage. Sporting Kansas City were considered one of the favorites coming in after their torrid start to the season, but they took a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Minnesota United in their first match on July 12. The Rapids also had dreams of a deep run after starting the season 2-0-0 under new head coach Robin Fraser, but looked listless in their tournament opener -- a 2-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake. Both these teams really need all three points, so don't expect anyone to be sitting back.

Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United

10:30 PM ET – ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada

Both these teams are riding high coming into this matchup after impressive wins in their openers. Minnesota United's victory over Sporting was one of the most dramatic matches of the tournament so far, as an own goal off Khiry Shelton and a winner from Kevin Molino allowed them to erase a 1-0 deficit in second-half stoppage time and snatch all three points. Real Salt Lake were business-like in the win over Colorado, taking the 2-0 result on the strength of goals from Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach. An oft-overlooked RSL side will be looking to prove that it wasn't a one-off and they're a legitimate threat, while the Loons also have a chance to make a statement of intent with another three points. 


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