Daily KO - Inter Miami Suarez
The Recap

It stayed quiet yesterday until it got late. Here’s how it went down and what we learned from it.

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Toronto held their own here. It would be a step too far to say they were great, but a lot of teams went on the road this week and came up empty. A point at the Shield winners’ house is an excellent start to the year. Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi even looked lively at times. Maybe there’s enough of a chip on their shoulder to grind out more points than expected this year.

Cincy won’t be thrilled about that, but they were coming off a midweek Concacaf Champions Cup matchup and had to keep Aaron Boupendza on the bench for the majority of the game while he dealt with a hamstring problem. It happens. It did bring up a potentially important question, though: Without Brandon Vazquez around, who are they going to turn to when Boupendza is out? Luciano Acosta can only do so much.


A friend took his son to this match. He took a picture midway through of his son actively frowning while watching it. That’s pretty much all you really need to know about what happened in this one.

But there are a couple of important notes. First and foremost, both Hany Mukhtar and DP forward Sam Surridge were out due to injury. It goes without saying Nashville desperately need both back in the lineup ASAP.

Second, new Red Bulls DP Emil Forsberg looked the part in his debut. The Red Bulls created 1.49 xG in this one… but couldn’t find the back of the net. Forsberg will help elevate this attack, but another DP to help him out could be critical for a New York team that spent a lot of time putting up great underlying numbers in 2023 with no end product.

D. Joveljic (75'), M. Delgado (Red Card 87') | L. Messi (90+2')

The Galaxy were the better side. They finished the first half with 2.32 xG worth of chances to Inter Miami’s 0.12 at the end of the first half. In the second half, Dejan Joveljic finally put them ahead. And then, none of it mattered.

You have to double tap and triple tap and quadruple tap Inter Miami just to make sure they’re dead. They’re in every game at all times because it only takes one little moment for Lionel Messi and company to flip a game on its head.

But we knew that already. We didn’t know how new DP winger Joseph Paintsil would fit in for LA. Paintsil started this one and looked threatening the entire night and seemed like the bonafide product. His fellow DP winger, Gabriel Pec, made his debut off the bench. Both helped contribute to one of the more impressive Galaxy performances for a while.

And it didn’t matter. Final xG: 3.28 to 0.55. You gotta make sure they're dead, man. Then make sure again.

Week One was a welcome reminder that MLS is hard

I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with team-by-team takeaways from Week One. There’s incredibly little to learn from the first game of the year. We’ll give it a couple of weeks at least before we start pretending we actually know what’s going on with each team.

We do at least have a good idea of what’s going on across MLS, though. It’s more of the same. It’s really, really hard to win in this league.

That, as you know, is especially true on the road. Last year, road teams won barely more than one in every five matches. This weekend, as teams tried to escape preseason and round into regular season form, that rate was even worse. A lot worse. Across 14 games, one road team pulled out a win.

It’s already difficult enough to get points on the road, but sometimes you go on the road and absolutely nothing goes your way. Seattle went to LAFC and watched as Timothy Tillman sent home an outstanding volley and Mateusz Bogusz pinged the ball into the top right corner of the goal to give the Sounders an opening-day loss via death-by-worldie. Colorado suffered the same fate, coming straight out of their heralded offseason only to allow 0.4 xG worth of chances… and four goals in the first half.

And it’s even more difficult to live life as an MLS team trying to navigate the start of the season and Concacaf Champions Cup. All seven teams who played in CCC midweek went winless. Six CCC teams drew and one, New England, lost. On the road, of course.

It’s a tough league, y’all. There are a few constants built in that keep it that way. I’m glad it’s back. Even if it means it might be a while before someone breaks the mold and distinguishes themselves as elite.

The Reading Rainbow
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Good luck out there. Don’t give them a chance.