It’s been a weird week. In the last seven days, we’ve seen Austin FC win a league match in the final minutes, get drubbed by a little-known Haitian side in CCL action, and potentially have that same side not play the return leg in Austin due to visa issues because, ya know, CONCACAF. At least we got to experience the Violette band that provided some sweet dance music to help us twerk away our sorrows.
Before we get to that big second leg match next Tuesday, there’s a full slate of MLS action to absorb, including our annual trip to red card hell, otherwise known as Utah. Time for the Match Day 3 cheering guide.
FC Charlotte vs Atlanta United – Saturday @ 11:00 a.m. (FOX/Apple TV – Free)
An afternoon double-header to enjoy some MLS action before the evening events? YES PLEASE! The first matchup sees Sir Minty’s Men host a rejuvenated Five Stripes. In what is now a weekly tradition, Charlotte gifted a back pass goal to St. Louis last week and lost to the newcomers. Charlotte is still looking for its first points of the season and will try to get them against an Atlanta squad that has a win and a draw so far, though both games were at home.
This is a budding rivalry and is part of the Southern States Championship.
Yes, this is a real thing. I’ve held the belt. It’s spectacular. And since this game pits teams from Charlotte and Atlanta, I demand Ric Flair be on hand to personally deliver this gem.
The Side: Wooooooooooo!!!!!
Vancouver Whitecaps vs FC Dallas – Saturday @ 4:00 p.m. (Apple TV)
MLS Pre-Season: Hey, we’re gonna have standardized kick-off times all year!
MLS Week 3: About that……
Anyway, this should be fun. The Whitecaps are winless in league play but smashed their CCL opponent 5-0 this week and have won three straight against Frisco. Here’s hoping it that streak grows by one.
The Side: Vancouver Fever
6:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew
FC Cincinnati vs Seattle Sounders*
DC United vs Orlando City
NYCFC vs Inter Miami CF
Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire
There are two really interesting matches in the early evening window to focus on. The first is Cincinnati hosting Seattle. The Knifey-Lions were expected to field a high-flying attack this year, but the first two weeks have seen them score just two goals. However, they’ve garnered four points in the those matches and are off to a nice start. Now they get a huge early test with the Sounders coming to town. Seattle has a combined 6-0 scoreline in its first two matches and looks like a rested, scary club on a mission. A fun atmosphere and big game feel await in the land of cinnamon chili.
The other early match to watch is NYCFC hosting Miami. This is a playoff rematch from last year where NYCFC beat the Herons 3-0. The Pigeons are playing their first home match of the season and haven’t looked very good so far. Meanwhile Miami is rolling after beating the top two finishers in the East in consecutive weeks. Saturday will be their first road match though, so we get to see if the form will translate to the hallowed soccer grounds of Yankee Stadium.
The Sides: Cincy & Mr. Worldwide Pigeon-bull
7:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Minnesota United FC vs New York Red Bulls
Sporting Kansas City vs L.A. Galaxy
Nashville SC vs Club de Foot Montreal*
It’s just week 3. And for the Galaxy, it’s only game 2. But damn this feels like a pivotal early season game for both clubs. Sporting KC has yet to score a goal in 180 minutes of action while the Galaxy got trounced at Frisco last week. This feels like a bigger game for the home side only if only because KC was expected to have a prolific offense this season. Friend of the False 9 KEVIÑCHO needs your good vibes.
The Side: PANIC!!!
9:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids*
Portland Timbers vs St Louis CITY*
Please don’t gift CITY any goals this week.
Everyone else in MLS
The Side: The axe swingers
LAFC vs New England Revolution – Sunday @ 9:30 p.m. (Apple TV)
Sunday night MLS After Dark is back!!!! The defending champs are getting the Sunday treatment since they had to travel to Costa Rica on Thursday for a CCL match. They’ll get to host a rested Revolution team that has taken six points in two games. On paper, LAFC should be the team to fancy here. But I expect some rotation in their lineup, which could make this game much more interesting than it otherwise would have been.
The Side: River Plate kits in New England