What you need to know

Houston Dynamo sign midfielder Valverde from LDU Quito

Houston Dynamo FC have signed defensive midfielder Jefferson Valverde from Ecuadorian top-flight side LDU Quito. The 24-year-old is under contract through the 2025 MLS season with options for 2026-27. The defensive mid joins a Houston Dynamo squad that sits sixth in the Western Conference.

Inter Miami get Rojas, injury boost vs. New England Revolution

Inter Miami CF will be boosted by new signing Matías Rojas and the return of two key players from injury in Matchday 11. Rojas and attackers Robert Taylor and Leonardo Campana will be available after recovering from their respective hamstring issues.

Sign up for The Daily Kickoff in your inbox! The Daily Kickoff is more than an article – it can be delivered to your email account as well.

Your 2000% stone-cold locks of the century for Saturday

We could try and “analyze” the upcoming games today, but you could get that in a few different places on The Mothership or over on Apple TV. We’re going to be braver than that. Better than that. Bolder than that. Just like we were last week when we correctly predicted Orlando City would pull off a late comeback, Lucho Acosta would put on a show in Atlanta and LAFC-Red Bulls would get weird. There’s no reason to discuss any of the other predictions. Please do not look at them, let’s move on quickly. Thanks, ok bye.

Here are a few predictions for today guaranteed to come true.

Austin keep doing the thing

Look, does my brain think Austin have it in them to pull off a result against an LA Galaxy side that’s scoring 2.33 goals per game? No. Does my brain think an Austin FC side that’s been able to pull out 12 points in nine games despite having the lowest expected goal differential per game in the league is actually a playoff-caliber team that will keep grabbing points? No.

But MLS is a league of heart. And my heart feels it’s all starting to feel a bit like 2022 in Austin. My heart says “What are underlying numbers to a team that’s shown the ability to reject them outright?” My heart says, “So what if there’s no indication any of this is sustainable?” My heart says, “The numbers can’t hurt you if you don’t believe in them. Like ghosts or fire.” My heart says, “Austin are going to keep earning points today because they say so.”

The fanbase of the losing team in D.C. United-Seattle Sounders goes into panic mode

I feel good about this one. We have a full-on Anxiety Derby tonight in our nation’s capital. D.C. United are coming into this one after getting absolutely shelled by New York City last weekend. The last time D.C. played at Audi Field, they blew a 2-1 lead to Orlando City despite leading in the 81st minute. Despite great underlying numbers and numerous leads, D.C. have won just once since opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Seattle have started the year in freefall. Eight games. Six points. Yikes.

We’ll see if tonight brings about major changes after last week’s disastrous loss to Vancouver. A breath of fresh air via a change in tactics or personnel (or both) could do this team some good. Someone has to try and right the ship, right?

I’m not sure which team comes out of this one alive. But when both teams feel like they have a chance to get back on track because the other team is struggling so much, you have a recipe for the losing team’s fanbase to feel like hope is fading away. Even if it is only April.

Columbus play some kids. Win anyway.

It would be incredibly Crew of them to beat Monterrey midweek in the first leg of Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal, rotate heavily a few days later and pull out a win anyway.

With the second leg upcoming, Columbus have bigger things to worry about right now besides an April matchup with CF Montréal. That won’t keep them from coming out and putting together a typical Crew performance. You might even see a goal tonight from a young player you’ve never heard of who just happens to immediately thrive in Wilfried Nancy’s system. This is just how things work. And a heavily-injured CF Montréal side might have a tough time handling it.

The Revs give Miami a scare (and maybe even steal some points)

Why? I don’t know, man. It just seems like the least likely thing to happen today. And in MLS that normally means it’s a lock to happen.

Lewis Morgan scores against Vancouver.

Go ahead and plan on it.

Chicho Arango scores in the 53rd minute against Philadelphia

The league’s MVP race leader (yeah, I said it) stays hot and gets a goal in the 53rd minute against the Union. This might be the best game of the day and you should probably watch all of it. But now you’ve got to at least tune in for the 53rd minute to see if I’m right. Do you see the power of these predictions yet?

Four goals or more in three straight games

Minnesota United host Sporting KC at 8:30 pm ET. Nashville host San Jose at 8:30 pm ET. And LAFC close the night against Portland at 10:30 pm ET. We’re looking at four goals at least in each of those. You could even be bold and say five goals in each game if you wanted. LAFC might be the only one of these teams playing decent defense right now (yes, even Nashville) and there are goals to be had for everyone.

I know, I know, Minnesota just kept a clean sheet on the road, but that’s Road Minnesota. Home Minnesota is an entirely different team.

Other things

St. Louis CITY SC sign Pompeu to new contract: St. Louis CITY SC have signed midfielder Célio Pompeu to a new contract. The 24-year-old Brazilian is now signed through the 2026 MLS season with a club option for 2027. Pompeu, who was promoted to the first team after a standout 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season with St Louis CITY2, has four goals and three assists over 35 appearances.

Austin FC sign Kolmanič to contract extension: Austin FC have signed left back Žan Kolmanič to a contract extension through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. A member of the Verde & Black since their inaugural 2021 MLS season, the 24-year-old former Slovenia youth international has made 62 regular-season appearances.

The Reading Rainbow
Full Time

Good luck out there. Find a fun activity to do with your friends.