Rejoice! Austin FC has won an MLS match for the first time in two months, and it came in Seattle of all places!
Before Wednesday night, Austin had never scored a goal at Lumen Field. But then Ethan Finlay put in arguably his best shift in a Verde uniform, Gyasi Zardes finally put one home, and Brad Stuver did Brad Stuver things to bring home a massive three points.
Austin now finds itself just one point below the playoff line and now a very manageable part of the schedule has arrived. Time to go on a run boys.
Turning our attention to the rest of the league, we’ll note one other interesting result from the weekday slate: LAFC 1 – Sporting KC 1. We’re very happy for friend of the False 9 Kevincho, though I could buy the conspiracy that LAFC drew on purpose so that Galaxy are alone at the bottom of the table. I want that to be true because pettiness in sports is fun.
Alright, let’s get to this weekend where rivalry matches await.
MLS Sickos Game of the Week
Y’all, the East is WILD right now. 5th thru 15th place are separated by just 5 points. Nothing makes sense. Trying to figure out how points affect the standings each matchday right now essentially requires a doctorate in mathematics.
So if you’re a true MLS sicko, get your calculator and dry erase board out while you try to figure out the possibilities.
6:30 p.m. Block – (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew
Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution
New York Red Bulls vs CF Montreal
Inter Miami CF vs Orlando City
D.C United vs L.A. Galaxy
FC Charlotte vs Nashville SC
Welcome to the Queen City for Hell is Real, where Cincinnati is the best team in the league.
Yeah, its true. The Knifey-Lions lead the Supporters’ Shield standings and are a perfect 7-for-7 at home this year. By the way, that’s only two fewer home wins than their last three seasons COMBINED. Both teams come into the match off of midweek shutout victories and of course, this has quickly become one of the best rivalries in the league. But the funnier result here is Columbus losing so that they can stay in the aforementioned Eastern Conference playoff knife fight.
The second wildly interesting game in the early window is taking place in the other Queen City, where Sir Minty’s boys are red-hot and hosting Nashville. Charlotte has won 6-of-7 in all competitions and vaulted themselves above the playoff line with this run. Nashville is unbeaten in their last seven, meaning this one could be the best matchup of the evening. We have no dog in this fight. Just enjoy good soccer.
The Sides: FC Cinnamon Chili and a Tub of Popcorn
By the way, I now petition for Cincinnati and Charlotte to play for a crown moving forward.
7:30 p.m. Block – (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo
Chicago Fire vs Atlanta United
The other two MLS teams in Texas play Saturday night in a Copa Tejas match.
The Sides: Fuck ‘em both.
8:30 p.m. Block – (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake*
St. Louis CITY vs Sporting Kansas City* (also on FS1)
Both of the games in this block are going to be fun, but I want to focus on the Rocky Mountain Cup match in Commerce City because it has more direct impact on ATXFC. Both teams are sitting on 12 points, just one beind the Verde & Black. We need to create distance at every opportunity. What I’m saying here is, y’all go have fun and accomplish nothing.
The Sides: Please just draw
9:30 p.m. Block – (Apple TV – *denotes free match)
LAFC vs San Jose Earthquakes
Portland Timbers vs Minnesota United FC
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders
The late block is full of games that matter. LAFC hosts the only team to have beaten them this season as San Jose comes to town. You have to think the defending champs are a little distracted with the CCL Final looming, but revenge is probably on their mind here. A second Quakes win over LAFC would cement their early season status as contenders. I hope they both fall into the ocean.
Portland hosts Minnesota in a game that has similar circumstances for Austin as the Colorado/RSL matchup. Except this time, both the Timbers and Loons are above ATX in the standings. A draw here coupled with a Verde win pulls us level with Minnesota and one point behind Portland. A Minnesota loss and an Austin win puts us ahead of the Loons. Either of those results are acceptable.
Finally, the Sounders, who are licking their wounds after getting their ass kicked in the mid-week at home, travel north to face Vancouver in a Cascadia Cup match. The ‘Caps are directly above Austin in the table right now. So Seattle, need your to regroup, FIGHT AND WIN.
The Sides: Only Seattle gets to have fun here. May everyone else choke on boring draws.