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How to watch the MLS Cup final: Stream the US league’s championship game from anywhere in the world

With the play-offs underway, US soccer looks ahead to the MLS Cup final – read on to find out where to catch all the action

A hotly contested league season in both the Eastern and Western Conferences of the MLS ultimately saw Los Angeles FC triumph and take the Supporters’ Shield. As we enter the league’s postseason play-offs, there’s another piece of silverware up for grabs: the MLS Cup. League winners LAFC will be looking to complete a league and cup double, with top scoring players such as Carlos Vela and Cristian Arango eager to secure another trophy. Standing in their way are the likes of Eastern Conference winners Philadelphia Union and bitter intracity rivals and five-time cup winners LA Galaxy.

The MLS Cup final kicks off at 4pm ET on 5 November, following the MLS Cup play-offs which take place between 15 and 30 October. US viewers can watch the match live on TV channels Fox Sports and UniMás. If you don’t have access to those networks or would prefer to stream the game, you can do so by signing up to either YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV. YouTube TV gives you access to UniMás, while Hulu with Live TV allows you to stream channels such as Fox Sports.

UK viewers looking to watch the climactic game can do so by signing up to a Sky TV package that includes Sky Sports. If you’d prefer not to sign up for a whole TV package, you can also stream the final via a NOW Sports Membership.

READ NEXT: How to stream the Premier League

What is the MLS Cup?

For those of you unfamiliar with the structure of North America’s football league, let us fill you in. The MLS is divided into two geographical divisions, the Eastern and Western Conferences. The Supporters’ Shield is the name of the trophy awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the regular season, with the winners also gaining home advantage in the post-season play-offs as well as a qualifying spot in the CONCACAF Champions League. While the points total winner of the league is considered the overall winner of the competition in most European leagues, US fans usually see the play-offs and cup winner as the ultimate champion of a given season.To have a shot at the cup, a team must finish in the top seven in either conference, with the combined 14 teams from each half of the league qualifying for the MLS Cup play-offs. The play-offs are divided into two single-match elimination brackets based on the conference, with the winner of each bracket ultimately meeting in the MLS Cup final. The current MLS Cup holders are New York City FC, with the most wins historically residing with LA Galaxy, who have won the trophy five times, and DC United, who have four wins to their name.

How the watch the MLS Cup final in the UK: Sky Sports and NOW Sports Membership

UK fans who want to assess the quality of football across the pond can check out the biggest game of the North American season either via live TV or streaming.

Those opting for TV can catch the match by signing up to a Sky TV package that includes Sky Sports. Sky’s most basic package currently costs £26/mth and includes all the standard features of Sky, hundreds of channels, as well as a free Netflix subscription. Adding Sky Sports to the basic package will cost an additional £20/mth, and gives you access to Sky’s eight dedicated sports channels, including Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.

A NOW Sports Membership gives you streaming access to all Sky Sports channels, as well as a large selection of sports documentaries and highlights on demand. Normally set at £34/mth, NOW Sports is currently available for £25/mth for the first six months. However, if you just want to watch the MLS Cup Final, you can also opt for a NOW Sports Day Membership, which costs £12 and allows you to stream Sky Sports for a 24-hour period.

Sign up to NOW Sports Sign up to Sky TV

How to watch the MLS Cup final in the US: YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV

US MLS supporters looking to view the final match of the season can find the game on live TV, airing at 4pm ET on 5 November on Fox Sports and UniMás. Those not already subscribed to a cable package that includes these channels, or anyone looking for a streaming option for these networks, can stream them live via Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV

YouTube TV costs $65/mth and offers hundreds of channels – including NFL and MLB networks, Comedy Central, MTV and, of course, UniMás – as well as unlimited DVR space. 

The Hulu with Live TV bundle is a top-tier offering, bringing together Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and a host of live TV channels, including Fox Sports, NBC, ABC, FX, TLC, Vice and more, under one $70/mth plan. Sign up to this package and catch live sports such as the MLS Cup final, Hulu Originals such as Palm Springs and Disney content such as Andor, The Mandalorian and She-Hulk, all without the hassle or extra cost of subscribing to multiple services individually.

Sign up to YouTube TV Sign up to Hulu with Live TV

How to watch the MLS Cup final from anywhere in the world: Use a VPN

If you’re likely to be out of the country during November, on a holiday or business trip for example, you may find yourself unable to access your usual streaming libraries and subscriptions due to geoblocking practices. Some TV and streaming services limit your access to your content and accounts based on your physical location, which may render you unable to watch sporting events such as the MLS Cup final.

A useful tool for overcoming geoblocking restrictions is a VPN, or virtual private network. This is a software tool focused on privacy, security and anonymity. By means of encryption and rerouting your traffic through servers in different countries, a VPN allows you to browse the web without your data being logged or snooped on. This rerouting, also known as “location spoofing”, is the most important feature of a VPN for those looking to overcome location-based restrictions on their web access. 

For a more detailed description of what a VPN does, check out our in-depth VPN explainer, and for a range of sign-up options, check out our full-length Best VPN roundup. However, we can save some time on that front, as our two favourite VPNs are reviewed in brief just below.

Express VPN is our most highly recommended VPN for streaming, offering users a choice of more than 3,000 servers in over 90 countries, along with excellent streaming and download speeds. As well as reliable location spoofing and speed, ExpressVPN also gets top marks for security, as the company is based outside UK, EU and US jurisdictions in the British Virgin Islands and operates an audited no-logs policy. Beyond the actual VPN itself, ExpressVPN offers 24-hour customer service, a month-long money-back guarantee and an initial three months for free when you sign up using the link below. For more information, check out our full-length ExpressVPN review.

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While we like ExpressVPN for streaming, our all-round favourite VPN is NordVPN. What sets this service apart is how many areas it excels in. The mobile and PC clients are well featured and simple to use, the streaming speeds are among the best we’ve tested and the location spoofing is very reliable, with over 5,000 servers available for use. Other pros of NordVPN are its security credentials – NordVPN is based in Panama and also operates an audited no-logs policy – the ability to use it on up to six devices and its round-the-clock customer support. To find out more, read our full-length NordVPN review.

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