Another 14-game Saturday awaits. Let's spotlight seven games that stand out above the rest as you're canvassing MLS Season Pass on Apple TV options.

Also, check out Matt Doyle's weekend set-up piece if you want to get smart on Matchday 7's ins and outs.

Key watch info

As some schedule listing reminders…

  • Apple TV - Free = games are free to watch; all you need is an Apple ID.
  • Apple TV - MLS Season Pass = an MLS Season Pass subscription is required.

Studio shows

If you want to keep track of everything…

  • Tune into the MLS 360 whip-around show for live look-ins and analysis of all the key moments from every match.
  • We've also got MLS Countdown as a lead-in and MLS Wrap-Up at the end of the night.

Select games are still viewable via national TV partners in USA and Canada, but gone are regional and local broadcasts. Instead, MLS Season Pass brings no blackouts (any device/any location) and multiple commentary options: English, Spanish, French (Canadian teams) and a club’s home radio broadcast.

FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union

FC Cincinnati are first in the Eastern Conference, but head coach Pat Noonan isn’t happy with how they’re playing. That’s remarkable progress for a club that, from 2019-21, finished last in the league and struggled (and we really mean struggled) defensively.

This game could be a statement of Cincy’s growth under Noonan and GM Chris Albright, who both came over from the Union to start this ascension in 2022. The club might be without defensive midfielder Obinna Nwobodo, though, as he’s been limited in training with a hamstring injury. The Nigerian DP is so, so important to the club’s growth.

On the Philly side, they’re heading on the road in between a Concacaf Champions League series where they’re in a 1-0 aggregate lead over Liga MX side Atlas. Dániel Gazdag’s late penalty kick was the difference in Tuesday’s first leg, and they’ll head down to Mexico on Wednesday to try and book a semifinal ticket in the continental competition.

Philadelphia, runners-up in the 2022 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield races, are also looking to emerge from some uncharacteristic down form in the league. They’re just 2W-3L-1D, below what many – internally and externally – feel they could accomplish with a top roster. Can they rebound in what amounts to a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Semifinal (which Philly won 1-0)?

LAFC vs. Austin FC

The Dénis Bouanga show just keeps on rolling. The Gabon international forward produced a stunning two-goal, one-assist performance in the second half of LAFC’s CCL game midweek, where they took a 3-0 aggregate advantage at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

While the defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions have an eye on Tuesday’s second leg, head coach Steve Cherundolo is still favored at home. And they’ve got depth to call upon for squad rotation, with forward Stipe Biuk, midfielder José Cifuentes and center back Giorgio Chiellini all strong candidates to enter the XI.

Austin, coming off a bye, may have some revenge on their minds after LAFC bounced them in last year’s Western Conference Final. But more pressingly, a positive result could boost the Verde & Black’s season after some early-season struggles.

Head coach Josh Wolff has called for Austin’s attackers to give support to Sebastián Driussi. They’ve also got center back troubles that need solving, plus general vibes issues after a historic CCL exit to Haiti's AC Violette in mid-March. Let’s see how they're all navigated.

Inter Miami CF vs. FC Dallas

Amid a four-game losing streak, Miami have been shut out three times. That makes the impending 2023 debut for Leo Campana (following a calf injury) so essential, though head coach Phil Neville hasn’t confirmed whether the Ecuador international will start or come off the bench.

Does that mean Campana and Josef Martínez start together, as was designed when both strikers were signed during the offseason? The Herons need that partnership to take off, almost as much as they’re still searching for a midfield solution after Gregore’s long-term foot injury.

For Dallas, we’ll keep it simple: Their ceiling in 2023 is driven by the production (or lack thereof) from forwards Paul Arriola, Alan Velasco and Jesús Ferreira. They’re on 5g/3a combined early in the season, which certainly isn't poor. But that trio has another level or two to reach as form sharpens.

New York City FC vs. Atlanta United

WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET

Atlanta’s best moments in 2023 have come when Thiago Almada is orchestrating the attack and has willing runners in front of him to pick out. The issue this weekend? Yankee Stadium has a smaller pitch and the game can grow increasingly condensed, complicating things tactically.

That’s not to suggest the Argentine World Cup winner can’t tackle those challenges – he’s in fantastic form, generating buzz about a potential league-record outbound transfer (possibly as soon as this summer) and being a Landon Donovan MLS MVP frontrunner. But this is a different nut for Almada to crack, and so much of Atlanta’s fortunes are tied to their 21-year-old playmaker pulling the strings.

For NYCFC, the most compelling part is probably what happened off the field this week: U22 Initiative winger Thiago Andrade was loaned back to Brazil. That was an intriguing move not for its on-field impact – their attack will be just fine – but because of the flexibility it creates re: roster-building.

There’s buzz around NYCFC going for a high-impact striker, and they’ve got some U22 Initiative flexibility to do exactly that. This squad, as Calen Carr noted on Thursday’s Extratime episode, is being built somewhat on the fly. Santiago Rodríguez, James Sands and Richy Ledezma have all come in the last five weeks or so. Who’s next?

Houston Dynamo FC vs. LA Galaxy

WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET

From a national lens, this one’s all about longtime Mexican internationals meeting at Shell Energy Stadium. LA Galaxy striker Chicharito is poised to make his 2023 debut (likely off the bench) after a nagging hamstring injury sidelined him, while Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Héctor Herrera has looked like his elite Concacaf-level self after a sub-par first half-season in the league.

Who will win this battle between stars who represented El Tri dozens of times together?

The MLS deep-dive lens puts LA’s faltering offense squarely in the crosshairs. Head coach Greg Vanney could switch to a two-striker formation from the jump, especially as their wingers struggle to make an impact. The Galaxy have the personnel for it, but Vanney’s long preferred the 4-3-3 formation he’s seemingly constructed their roster around.

On the Dynamo side, questions linger about what’s up with DP striker Sebastián Ferreira. They’re scoring one goal per game, but the Paraguayan international is stuck on the bench after being their leading scorer in 2022 (13g/3a). Ferreira wasn’t a Ben Olsen signing, and there may be nothing to it, but it’s definitely a situation to monitor.

LA are also seeking their first win of 2023, one of three Western Conference clubs in that mold entering Matchday 7.

Nashville SC vs. Toronto FC

WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET

When Toronto FC last visited Nashville SC, on Aug. 7 of last year, the Reds earned a memorable 4-3 win that included Lorenzo Insigne’s first MLS goal, a penalty kick from Federico Bernardeschi and a Jonathan Osorio brace. Talk of their late-season climb up the table, which never quite panned out, surged.

Fast forward eight months and Insigne remains sidelined by a hamstring injury and Toronto have grown increasingly dependent on Bernardeschi in his absence. They have a new-look defense, yes, but the club’s fortunes still greatly center around the Italians.

Nashville SC’s story, in many ways, also remains a single-minded one in the final third: Hany Mukhtar’s production controls their ceiling. The good news is the reigning MLS MVP and Golden Boot presented by Audi winner had 1g/1a in last weekend’s 2-0 win at Orlando City SC, a true don’t-forget-about-me performance from arguably the league’s most dominant attacking player.

Less important but still interesting: Nashville can stack their first winning streak of the year. They’ve had seesaw-like results this year, yet still are within striking distance of the Eastern Conference’s top tier.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. St. Louis CITY SC

WATCH: Apple TV - Free | Saturday, 10:30 pm ET

Let’s start with the Sounders, who have a champagne problem in attack. What we mean there is how head coach Brian Schmetzer configures his forwards with Jordan Morris and Léo Chú both on a heater, while strikers Raúl Ruidíaz and Héber wait on the bench for their chances. Then again, this is the hallmark of a trophy-potential team.

Seattle also have João Paulo back to his old self after missing most of the 2022 campaign to an ACL injury. The Brazilian veteran is arguably the top defensive midfielder in the league, elevating everyone around him.

For St. Louis, this is a massive opportunity to rebound from last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Minnesota United FC – a result that snapped their record-breaking start to life in MLS (5W-0L-0D). The Loons dared the expansion side to break them down, and the hosts couldn’t find the finishing touch at CITYPARK.

But let’s not forget that St. Louis are top of the league on 15 points, and the winner of this match will take (or keep) the way-early Supporters’ Shield lead. Head coach Bradley Carnell’s team will like their chances, having scored a combined nine goals in their first three road games.