Week 4 is here and despite the doom and gloom of CONCACAF Champions League, Austin FC are actually sitting pretty in the MLS standings with a nice 6 points out of 9. And after playing a tough, resilient Violette squad, ATXFC gets a breather with a road match against “rival” Houston this weekend where thousands of newly installed orange and black seats are expected to cosplay as fans.
It’s a pretty big weekend elsewhere around the league with a high-profile Saturday afternoon game and some tasty matchups during the evening. To the cheering guide!
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC – Saturday @ 3:00 p.m. (FOX/Apple TV – Free)
HELLO!!! Two of the best teams in the league so far will do battle in Cascadia. Seattle took a tough 1-0 loss at a much-improved FC Cincinnati last week, but return home where they won their first two matches of the year by a combined 6-0 scoreline. As for the defending champs, you must question if the legs will be there for this match. This will be Black & Gold’s 4th game in 10 days after having to deal with CCL play during the midweek. It’s very early, but these are points that Austin would love for each team to drop.
The Side: Draw 2
6:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Atlanta United vs Portland Timbers
Club de Foot Montreal vs Philadelphia Union
New England Revolution vs Nashville SC
New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew
NYCFC vs D.C United
Orlando City vs FC Charlotte
Toronto FC vs Inter Miami CF*
There’s only one game of consequence involving the Western Conference during this block, but it’s a doozy. The Timbers return to “The A” five years after Atlanta defeated them in MLS Cup. Atlanta sits atop the East with two wins and a draw while Portland has just three points after blowing a home lead to St Louis last week (seriously, St Louis, stop it). The Five Stripes have the look of being a really good side this year and can cement themselves as an early favorite with a home win. And you know me. I’m always going to root for Western teams to drop points against the East in March.
The Side: The home of the world’s busiest, AND COOLEST, airport
THE ATLANTA AIRPORT IS UNDEFEATED Y’ALL!!!
7:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Chicago Fire vs FC Cincinnati
FC Dallas vs Sporting KC*
St. Louis CITY vs San Jose Earthquakes
Would you rather watch structured, boring soccer or complete chaos? That is the dichotomy between the Frisco/KC match and St. Louis/San Jose. In reality, you’re going to be watching Austin beat up on Houston, but for those who like to go back and see game replays, these two games offer completely opposite styles.
FC Frisco will host a Sporting Kansas City team that has two points and no goals so far through three matches. At some point, KC has to score. The Toros haven’t been much better, having scored 3 of their 4 goals in a single outing. I’m fully expecting this match to be a snoozefest.
On the opposite side of the soccer spectrum, you have St. Louis CITY hosting resident chaos agents San Jose. If there’s one team that I think could give CITY a taste of their own medicine with an insane moment or two, it’s San Jose. I don’t like the Quakes, like at all, but I need the new kids to come back down to earth.
The Sides: Saucy BBQ & The enemy of my enemy
8:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Colorado Rapids vs Minnesota United FC*
Let’s be honest. I’m not watching this. Neither are you.
9:30 p.m. Block (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
L.A. Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps*
The nightcap this week could be interesting. L.A. has looked lackluster in two road outings to start the year, gaining just one point in the process. Vancouver hasn’t been any better in league play, but did wallop their competition in CCL to move on to the quarterfinals. This game could be anywhere from Top Gun (good and fun) to Top Gun 2 (absolute shit).
The Side: I feel the need…..the need for speed