What you need to know


Another Saturday full of MLS. Check the full schedule here.

MLSPA releases 2024 Salary Guide

The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) has released its 2024 Salary Guide, featuring salary information for all MLS players under contract as of April 25, 2024. The guide contains players’ current annualized base salary and their annualized average guaranteed compensation. Inter Miami CF superstar Lionel Messi leads the pack, ahead of Toronto FC's Lorenzo Insigne. Sergio Busquets (Inter Miami), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire FC) and Sebastián Driussi (Austin FC) complete the top five.

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A Saturday of Rivalry and Watchgridometer

All MLS games are worth watching. Some are worth watching more. Especially when it’s Rivalry Week presented by Continental Tire. The Watchgridometer is here to help you plan your matchday by giving each game a potential watchability score. A 50/50 game has “best game of all time” potential. Games are ranked in order compared to their time slot.

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

New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 47/50

The biggest Hudson River Derby matchup since… 2022? 2018? The Red Bulls are the best they’ve been in years. New York City FC aren’t quite at that level, but they’re starting to turn the corner after stumbling through 2023. Winner jumps into third place in the East.

Inter Miami vs. D.C. United
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 40/50

D.C. didn’t fare well against the Red Bulls midweek, but they’re still one of the better teams in the East and pose an interesting challenge for Inter Miami. They’ve typically handled press-happy teams well, but it’s always fun to dream that effort and grit and moxie and other old-timey buzzwords can overcome a serious talent gap. Speaking of, Lionel Messi is reportedly set to be good to go for this one. I’m not sure who I’d pick to score more between Messi, Luis Suárez and Christian Benteke.

Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 40/50

This year’s Rocky Mountain Cup has suddenly turned into a battle between two of the best teams in the West. Real Salt Lake are on top of the conference with 25 points, while the Rapids are tied for the second-most points with 21. The first time these two met, Colorado overcame a 1-0 deficit to pull out a 2-1 win. If they can get a result here, they’ll clinch their first outright Rocky Mountain Cup win since 2013. They’ve won twice on goal differential since then, but, c’mon, let’s be honest with ourselves about the more enjoyable way to win.

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.

Nashville SC vs. Atlanta United
WATCH: Apple TV - Free, FOX, FOX Deportes; TSN2 | Saturday, 1:45 pm ET
Watchability Score: 30/50

Well, this could have been an Anxiety Derby with a bit of SEC flair. Instead, Nashville parted ways with Gary Smith and decided to see if the new manager bounce can carry them to a (kind of, sort of) rivalry win while Atlanta look for anything positive to latch onto. At this point, I think they just want to score once on the road. They have one goal in five road games.

Charlotte FC vs. LA Galaxy
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 35/50

Charlotte have quietly worked their way up to fifth place in the East with 20 points through 13 games. Dean Smith has done remarkable work to solidify this team’s defensive setup and it looks like he’s going to get the backing from the front office to transform The Crown’s attack. DP striker Enzo Copetti is officially out and Charlotte have two DP spots available if they want to use them. They’ve already brought in DP winger Liel Abada and should be ready to spend big this summer. If they can keep winning home games until then - even against tough competition like the Galaxy - they can set themselves up for something big in the postseason.

FC Cincinnati vs. St. Louis CITY SC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 32/50

The league’s one-goal winniest team takes on the league’s drawsiest team. Something has to give here.

Minnesota United vs. Portland Timbers
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 34/50

It’s maybe not the best matchup in the West this weekend, but the chaos potential feels incredibly high. The Loons are hit-and-miss at home and the Timbers are once again the kind of team that feel like they’re rolling a twenty-sided die at every moment of the game. No one has scored more often in the West and just one team has allowed more goals.

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.

Toronto FC vs. CF Montréal
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 28/50

This edition of the Canadian Classique isn’t quite as big as it could have been. Toronto still have a few folks suspended from their altercation with New York City, and Montréal have a laundry list of injuries. It could still end up being a decent game. Both teams have good-looking goals in them.

New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union
WATCH: Apple TV - Free | Saturday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 23/50

Uhh this might be an Anxiety Derby? It kind of just feels like the Revs have already dove headlong into apathy. The Union, though… maybe they’re just glad to be away from home? They lost a fourth-straight home match on Wednesday. Something is wrong and it’s hard to see how to fix it.

Houston Dynamo FC vs. FC Dallas
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 24/50

Houston are scoreless and pointless in three Copa Tejas games this year. Maybe one more rivalry match can bring out something from their attack.

Reminder: A big cannon named El Capitán is on the line here. We really don’t talk about it enough.

Austin FC vs. Sporting KC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

Austin keep winning. SKC keep… not doing that. Anything could happen, though.

Chicago Fire FC vs. Columbus Crew
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 23/50

Not even the Crew can save it.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass; TSN4, RDS | Saturday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 29/50

I keep waiting for the Sounders to give us a tangible reason to believe. It hasn’t happened yet. And it definitely didn’t happen against Real Salt Lake midweek. The good news is Pedro de la Vega could be set to return in this one. Any amount of time from him will feel like a major boost for Seattle, even if that boost may not be enough to get past a good Vancouver side.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Orlando City
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Saturday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 28/50

The Cardiac Cats take on a Quakes team that has scored 22 times on the year and allowed a league-worst 32 goals in an MLS After Dark special. Please consume this one responsibly, it could be dangerous to your health.

Other Things

San Diego FC enter partnership with Club Tijuana: San Diego FC, the incoming 30th club in Major League Soccer, have entered a five-year partnership with Liga MX’s Club Tijuana that includes an annual friendly match as part of a football cultural celebration for the region. The multi-year competition, the first of its kind between an MLS and Liga MX club, will be played at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego beginning in 2025. This match will be included in the season ticket packages for SDFC season ticket members, and ample tickets will be made available for Xolos fans.

The Reading Rainbow
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Good luck out there. Keep up with the best of the best.