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Atlanta United headline ESPN doubleheader Sunday

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It was always going to be us or the Red Bulls

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Atlanta United FC vs Chicago Fire Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This Sunday all five Eastern Conference games kick off at 3pm ET, and all six Western Conference games at 5pm, in MLS’ own version of the World Cup group stage final round scheduling. That gives ESPN the chance to take its pick of which game it wants to broadcast.

With the Supporters’ Shield/CCL race down to just two teams, it is hardly a surprise that they chose Atlanta United v. the Chicago Fire as the Eastern Conference game. The other option would have been the Red Bulls at the Philadelphia Union. So for those of us who will not be able to attend the game Sunday, we are spared the agony of being on Univision yet again. Spanish-speaking fans will get the game on ESPN Deportes.

The second game of the doubleheader will be the LA Galaxy at Minnesota United. That might seem like a strange choice, given that the Loons are already eliminated from the playoffs and the Galaxy are currently out of playoff position. However, this will be Minnesota’s final game at TCF Bank Stadium - they move into their own digs to start next season. They have sold 50,000 tickets for this game.

Note that the final weekend of the regular season also has a “flex” broadcast schedule, so the network for the game at Toronto FC on Sunday the 28th has not yet been decided.