What you need to know

Matchday 25 begins

We’ve got eight matches today and another six on Sunday. Check out the full schedule here and peruse this handy watch guide.

Canada beat Venezuela on PKs to reach Copa América semifinal

Canada advanced to the 2024 Copa América semifinals by beating Venezuela 4-3 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw Friday night at AT&T Stadium. Portland Timbers goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau made two saves in the PK shootout, while former CF Montréal midfielder Ismaël Koné scored the semifinal-clinching goal from the spot.

Watchgridometers are for the weekends

All MLS games are worth watching. Some are worth watching more. The Watchgridometer is here to help you plan your weekend by giving each game a potential watchability score. A 50/50 game has “best game of all time” potential. Games are ranked in order relative to their time slot.

Tier Three: The satisfaction of expectations being met
Sometimes, you want the best, and you get it.

FC Cincinnati vs. Inter Miami CF
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 48/50

There’s one “clear your schedule, stop everything, force your family to watch along with you” game this weekend, but it’s about as big as regular-season games in July can get when they’re not in the Rose Bowl. FC Cincinnati are two points behind Inter Miami in the Supporters’ Shield standings with a game in hand. As we approach the final third of the season, I think we can go ahead and call this a genuine six-pointer.

It comes at a weird time for both teams, though. You should be aware Cincy are missing multiple center backs and Inter Miami are missing multiple legends of the sport. They’ll have to find ways to outmaneuver each other without key pieces. That being said, neither team has slowed down much lately. The Herons have won four straight and Cincy are staying step for step with them. This is still a heavyweight fight. And the winner has an inside track to the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Tier Two: The joy of stumbling onto a match you previously weren't invested in but now are
Every now and then, you go into a game not asking for much and come away with more than you ever imagined.

Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC
WATCH: Apple TV - Free; TSN, RDS 2 | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 33/50

Columbus are playing some of the best ball in the league. Toronto are swan-diving into an open volcano. Which means this ending is totally obvious… right?

Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 30/50

A battle between teams doing their best to try and get somewhat close to their preseason expectations! Seattle have won three of their last four and New England have won five of six. Both are still floating around the playoff line. There’s a long way to go, but at least they’re looking more competent by the week.

Houston Dynamo FC vs. LAFC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Sunday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 37/50

Houston are in the middle of their toughest week of the year. They came up short against RSL on Wednesday, but maybe they catch LAFC coming down after a big win on Thursday. LAFC are due for a letdown, right? They’ve won nine of their last 10. You can’t just keep winning forever… right?

(They can.)

Tier One: The delightful hum of a soccer broadcast on television
Soccer is nice to have on. And sometimes you look up and see something fun.

CF Montréal vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 26/50

Vancouver have earned some decent results lately. They’ve won four of their last six and snuck back to fifth in the Western Conference. Montréal will need to be at their best to slow down Brian White and company. White has four goals over the last two games.

Orlando City SC vs. D.C. United
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 22/50

D.C. have fallen to the bottom of the East. Orlando have drastically underperformed expectations. Should be fun?

Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 20/50

The Union are the most disappointing team in MLS right now. These games aren’t typically all that pretty even when both teams are good. This is for a more refined MLS palate.

Austin FC vs. New York City FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 28/50

Austin are at the bottom of the middle of the West. That’s enough to have them on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot. That means it’s probably not a great time for New York City FC and Alonso Martínez to roll in, but there’s never a great time is there? Martínez is coming off a brace on Wednesday and is in the 99th percentile in goals and xG per 90 this season.

Real Salt Lake vs. Atlanta United
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

All indications here are RSL should roll. Atlanta are in for a very tough stretch before the summer window opens and two new DPs get in. But the Five Stripes have had a habit lately of making road games pretty difficult for the home team.

Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Sunday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 24/50

I’m still willing to buy in on Dallas making a late playoff push. Their 3-2 win over Portland on Thursday was a step in the right direction. Winning against an SKC side whose season is wholly disappointing would be another. They’re looking for their fourth win in six games.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire FC
WATCH: Apple TV - Free | Sunday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 19/50

The Fire have won three of their last five and are three points out of a playoff spot. The dream of a playoff berth lives on. Hugo Cuypers is making that possible right now with six goals in his last six starts. He has a good chance to keep that scoring rate going against the last-place Quakes.

Colorado Rapids vs. St. Louis CITY SC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Sunday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 24/50

The Rapids are still in a home playoff spot. These are the kinds of games they should be winning to ensure they’re still there at the end of the year.

LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Sunday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 28/50

Man, it’s hard to believe this match is down here in Tier One. But that’s what happens when one side of the matchup has lost five in a row with one win in nine matches. At least the Galaxy are certainly worth tuning in for.

Portland Timbers vs. Nashville SC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Sunday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

The Timbers hit their first roadblock in a while with their loss at Dallas on Thursday. Nashville are doing their best to ensure Portland stay stalled out. That’s a tough ask against a Timbers attack that seems to be firing on all cylinders lately. They still looked as dangerous as ever getting forward against Dallas.

Other things

Chicago’s Cuypers named Player of the Matchday: Hugo Cuypers scored a late brace to give Chicago Fire FC a dramatic win over the Philadelphia Union and earn MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Michelob Ultra honors for Matchday 24.

Cincinnati's Hagglund out for 2024 with ankle injury: FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund will miss the remainder of the 2024 MLS season after undergoing successful ankle ligament reconstructive surgery. Hagglund, who got hurt in Cincy's June 22 match vs. the New England Revolution, will be placed on the Season-Ending Injury List. He joins fellow center back Matt Miazga (knee) with that roster designation.

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Good luck out there. Enjoy the ride.