What you need to know

LA Galaxy striker Chicharito suffers ACL tear

LA Galaxy striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández suffered a torn right ACL in their midweek US Open Cup defeat at Real Salt Lake. While he's yet to undergo knee surgery and a recovery timeline wasn't provided, the 35-year-old Mexican star likely is out for the remainder of the 2023 MLS season. He had one goal and one assist through nine league games (seven starts) this year. With Chicharito out long-term, LA's main striker becomes Serbian international Dejan Joveljić. Any Secondary Transfer Window replacements may be limited, as the club faces sanctions where they can't add players from abroad (but can from within MLS).

Soccer Saturday

Back at it. A whole bunch of games today and two more to come on Sunday. Check the full schedule here.

Columbus Crew sign Ukrainian center back Cheberko

The Columbus Crew have acquired Ukrainian center back Yevhen Cheberko from Croatian top-flight side NK Osijek. The 25-year-old has signed through the 2026 MLS season. He won’t be eligible for selection until the league’s Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 5. A visa process needs to unfold as well.

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Another full weekend of actual soccer. Just in time for you to take a moment off from actively considering selling your kidney so you can afford to see Inter Miami in September. It’s mostly a quiet weekend, but sometimes those turn into the best weekends of the year. I’d keep an eye on these things in particular…

West coast tests for two of the East’s best

At 10:30 pm ET tonight you can flip back and forth between the exact same game happening 1,000 miles away on the west coast. San Jose host Philadelphia, Vancouver host FC Cincinnati, and you can you use the same words to describe everything about both games. You’ve got one of the East’s best going up against a Western Conference opponent that is definitely an Audi MLS Cup Playoff team, but still feels like it has a few steps to go before becoming a true contender. It should even look somewhat the same stylistically. Just change the colors and the setting.

These games won’t necessarily have wide-ranging consequences or anything, but they’re definitely the two best games of the day on paper. For those of y’all who need to stay up to take them in, I’d drink an extra coffee or two to make it happen.

Get right games for New England and NYCFC?

Down. Bad.

NYCFC and New England could desperately use a win against beatable teams. NYCFC especially. The Pigeons have all of two points from their last 21 available while the Revs have two from their last 15. 

The good news for New England though is they’ve played well enough over the course of the season to keep themselves in fourth place despite a few missteps. They should really get back on track tonight against Inter Miami. I’ll actually start worrying a bit about them though if they don’t.

NYCFC, on the other hand, probably should be slamming the panic button. The results have been miserable. They can’t score. And they just lost DP center back Thiago Martins for the next two months after he underwent knee surgery. If New England actually don’t get right against Inter Miami tonight, there’s a legitimate chance NYCFC finish the weekend in last place in the East. It’s kind of a whole nightmare. 

To get out of it, they’ll have to pull out a win on the road against Real Salt Lake. Which… yeah, I’m not giving nearly enough credit to RSL here by calling it a get right game. They technically have more points than NYCFC even if they don’t have some of the star power. I don’t think RSL are a great team or anything, but it’s not as simple for NYCFC as rolling up and playing slightly better to grab three points. They’ll need to be good. But maybe a solid road win can reset things and get them heading in the right direction? Something has to soon, or changes will probably be made.

Bebelo is back

Keep an eye on the Loons! The underlying numbers have been decent without Bebelo Reynoso. They may be even better now that he’s officially back. He made his 2023 debut last week off the bench and Minnesota immediately started piling on chances. I’d imagine he gets even more minutes this week and maybe even starts against CF Montréal.

A bad week could get worse for LA

The Galaxy just lost Chicharito for the season to an ACL tear. A bad year has already somehow gotten much much worse. The week may somehow do the same.

Folks, let me tell you St. Louis are the absolute last team I’d want to face when I found myself in the gutter. The fact the Galaxy have to play them on national TV on Sunday is nothing short of mean. There’s a chance it gets ugly. Fast.

Inter Miami could use some points before… ya know…

Welcome to pre-Messi watch. There’s a legitimate chance some of those new Instagram followers tune into Apple TV tonight to check out Lionel Messi’s potential new team and start to worry a bit. They’ve been struggling since losing Jean Mota and Gregore in midfield. But, obviously, help is on the way. It’s just probably not on the way until late July. They have six games to pile up as many points as possible to set themselves up for a critical 12-game stretch that will determine whether or not they make the playoffs. It’s not a gentle six games either. After New England tonight, they’ll face Philly, Austin, Columbus, D.C. and St. Louis before Leagues Cup. Anything they can take from that will be huge.

Other Things

LAFC sign midfielder Darboe to homegrown contract: LAFC have signed midfielder Bajung Darboe to a homegrown contract. The 16-year-old joins the Black & Gold through the 2026 MLS campaign with a club option for 2027. In order to sign Darboe, LAFC acquired the player's homegrown priority from Minnesota United FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2024. Minnesota United will retain a sell-on percentage.

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