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Experience MLS like a die-hard fan

Photograpy and video by Samuel Wilson

Soccer in America is all about the atmosphere. Die-hard supporters of MLS teams from Atlanta to Seattle spend their time and money creating fan experiences and traditions unique to the cities they represent. Take a trip across the country for a firsthand look at five matchday environments that rival any in American pro sports.

RIVALRY WEEK PREVIEW

MLS RIVALRY WEEK on ESPN , AUGUST 22-26
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
VS MINNESOTA UNITED
Thursday, Aug. 22, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Sporting have four league wins at home this season and only one since the end of May. Three points are necessary to keep playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, the Loons have a daunting schedule to close out the season and need maximum points against non-playoff sides to secure their first postseason berth. Minnesota's Ike Opara, who has a point to prove against his former club, will make his case for MLS Defender of the Year in a Minnesota victory.
ORLANDO CITY SC
VS ATLANTA UNITED FC
Friday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Atlanta United have never lost to Orlando City. The Five Stripes have emerged victorious six times in eight meetings, including four at Exploria Stadium. The Lions will have the help of their rowdy home fans against their closest rivals, but Frank de Boer's Atlanta team has gotten hot at the right time. United should get their seventh victory in nine meetings against Orlando.
PORTLAND TIMBERS
VS SEATTLE SOUNDERS
Friday, Aug. 23, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Sounders are Best of the Rest in the West behind LAFC, and a positive result in hostile territory will go a long way to keeping the chasing pack at bay. Portland has already beaten Seattle twice this season -- both times on the road. Can Portland do it again at home? With the Timbers surging toward the playoffs and the Sounders stumbling, Portland will complete a season sweep with a narrow victory.
NYCFC VS
NEW YORK RED BULLS
Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN 2
The finest of margins separate the haves and the have-nots in the race for playoff places. Just a single point and 22 miles separate fourth-in-the-East New York City FC and the fifth-place New York Red Bulls. In the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium, those gaps stand to remain minuscule. The visiting side is winless in the past six editions of the Hudson River Derby, giving the edge to NYCFC in the friendly environs of the Bronx.

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