Well hello there and welcome to the end of the work week! Trying to figure out what games to watch all day Saturday while you patiently wait for ATXFC to kick-off for some Sunday MLS After Dark action? I got you covered. And bonus: I’m going to let you know who you should root for! Let’s get to it.
Orlando City vs Chicago Fire – Saturday at 12:00 p.m. (Univision, TUDN, & Twitter)
Chicago won(?) the Brimstone Cup last week in a 0-0 draw at home against FC Dallas while playing in sleet. Sounds fun. The Fire are also just one of a handful of teams that have yet to lose this season. Meanwhile Orlando City got spanked at home vs LAFC. Realistically, this game means nothing for us as Austin FC fans. Just enjoy it while eating some lunch…..or not.
The Side: Chicken wings and cold beer
Inter Miami vs New England Revolution – Saturday at 2:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Putting this game on national tv probably seemed like a good idea at some point in the pre-season. It’s Beckham’s club vs the defending Supporters’ Shield winners. But now? We get a prime afternoon game between two of the three worst teams in the Eastern Conference. I warn you dear reader, don’t look directly at this game.
The Side: Do literally anything else. Unless you’re a masochist.
New York Red Bulls vs CF Montréal – Saturday at 3:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
Few have noticed, including their own fan (this is not a typo), but the Red Bulls are pretty good. They’re currently sitting on 10 points through five games with their only loss being to Minnesota United. Now they get to host a road weary Club de Foot. This will be Montréal’s fifth road game in six MLS contests this season. And that doesn’t even include the two rounds of CONCACAF Champions League travel that they experienced. I don’t have any strong feelings either way here, but Montréal played a wild game last week in a 4-3 win at Cincy. For that, you get my support this week.
The Side: Club de Foot
Philadelphia Union vs Columbus Crew – Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
This is the best all Eastern Conference matchup of the week. Philadelphia looks to be the class of the conference and they get to host the Crew in a game that should feature a lot of offense. This will be fun. But you already know where my loyalties lie…..
The Side: A more perfect Union
L.A. Galaxy vs LAFC – Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (FOX)
Ahhhh El Tráfico. A rivalry that some love, some hate, and some love to hate. And before you say anything, the nickname El Tráfico is absolute perfection. This is not up for debate. I personally enjoy this game as it has built some real animosity in a short period of time. This version has a little extra juice as LAFC are sitting in first place while L.A. Galaxy are in third. Oh, and Chicharito is scoring goals at a pretty strong pace. Sit back, pour yourself a beverage, avoid Mopac, and enjoy this.
The Side: An enjoyable draw would be nice
Real Salt Lake vs Toronto FC – Saturday at 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
RSL are pretty damn good y’all. They don’t score much (7 goals in 6 games), they’re kind of boring, but they’ve been able to accumulate points. It would be in ATXFC’s best interest if Toronto could take some points off of the hosts at the RioT because at some point, the limited goal scoring is going to have RSL regressing to the mean a bit which should put them right in the bunch with Austin for a playoff spot.
The Side: Toronto FC
FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Both of these teams come into the game with identical records and goals scored this season. Now for FCD, four of their seven came in one game against Portland, so the goals for number may be a bit misleading. Colorado seem to rounding into form and while the Toros are definitely improved from last season, this appears to be some tough sledding at home. Usually I’m all about FCD losing, but with both of these clubs tied with Austin on points, a draw helps us more.
The Side: 0-0 please and thanks
Houston Dynamo FC vs San Jose Earthquakes – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Houston went on the road and won for the first time in nearly two years last week by beating Inter Miami. The Dynamo, like FCD and ATX, have eight points. This is not OK. Quakes, I don’t like you. Lose this one and I shall smite you into oblivion.
The Side: San Jose Earthquakes, reluctantly
Sporting Kansas City vs Nashville SC – Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
If the playoffs started today, these two teams would both be at home watching. Something about this SKC team feels off to me. I’m more confident that Nashville can and will turn things around once they finally get home and open their new stadium. But for now, the best result for ATX is for these two to battle to a draw.
The Side: PRO Refs
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers – Saturday at 9:00 p.m. (ESPN+)
The fight for the Cascadia Cup begins this week! And its late on Saturday night, so if you happen to be home and are looking for something to watch, allow me to offer you a rivalry match. Don’t think it means much? Let me introduce you to how Whitecaps fans celebrate winning 3 points in the Cascadia Cup:
Yeah, I love that energy.
The Side: Vancouver Whitecaps
Charlotte FC vs Atlanta United FC – Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
These two teams are already playing for the second time this year, which feels a little wrong. However, the way the first meeting ended a few weeks should add some extra juice to this one. In case you need a refresher, Charlotte were on the verge of picking up their first result in club history before Atlanta scored a late stoppage time goal to pull out the win.
But here’s what’s really crazy. That goal marked the first of what is now a three game streak for Atlanta where they have scored a second half stoppage time goal to either win or draw. This game has the potential to be a lot of fun. A nice appetizer for the main course at Q2 later in the evening.
The Side: Chaos