What you need to know

Austin FC acquire Hedges in trade with Toronto FC

Austin FC have acquired center back Matt Hedges in a trade with Toronto FC. In exchange for Hedges, TFC will receive up to $475,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) – $375k of which is guaranteed next year and $100k of which is conditional for 2025. Additionally, Hedges has signed a new contract with the Verde & Black through the end of the 2024 MLS season with options for 2025-26.

LAFC bring back defender Segura

LAFC have brought back a fan favorite, announcing Wednesday the re-signing of veteran defender Eddie Segura for the 2024 MLS season with options through 2026. The 26-year-old Colombian, originally acquired on a six-month loan from Atlético Huila, previously spent four seasons (2019-22) with the Black & Gold, contributing 3g/3a over 85 regular-season appearances (76 starts).

LAFC acquire Bulgarian midfielder Krastev on loan

LAFC have acquired Bulgarian international midfielder Filip Krastev on loan from Belgian second-division side Lommel SK. The 21-year-old’s deal with the Black & Gold runs through June 2024 with a purchase option.

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 Leagues Cup Kickoff

A team scored five goals! And then another team did! And then another team did! 

Let’s talk it out.

E. Hurtado (70')

What happened?: Erik Hurtado scored late to give D.C. a win.

So, did we learn anything?:  D.C. clinched a spot in the knockout round with a surprising win after another turbulent week. CF Montréal now need some help from a D.C. team playing for very little against Pumas if they want to make it out of the group. Pumas need two points to advance.

M. Chanot (30'), M. Bakrar (45'), S. Rodríguez (45'+2', 75'), A. Jasson (56')

What happened?: NYCFC just absolutely rolled here. NYCFC’s new U22 signing Mounsef Bakrar found the net for the first time.

So, did we learn anything?: It seems all it took to wake up one of the sleepiest attacks in the league is a striker and the Toronto FC defense. Even if this likely doesn’t mean NYCFC have suddenly solved all their attack woes, a boost of confidence can’t hurt. It’s at least a good sign for Bakrar’s ability to affect the team for the better.

Toronto would very much like the season to be over now please and thank you let’s hurry this up.

D. Gazdag (30', 39' PK, 63' PK), N. Harriel (43'), J. McGlynn (89') | R. Sandoval (84')

What happened?: Queretaro became the latest team to receive a classic Union mollywhopping. 

So, did we learn anything?: The Union seem to do this every few games. Queretaro shouldn’t feel too bad. Daniel Gazdag averages like 1.5 penalty goals a game and there’s nothing you can really do to stop it. The Union have six points and are onto the knockout round.

M. Klimowicz (22') | G. Vrioni (15', 39', 60'), G. Bou (29'), J. Domínguez (32' OG)

What happened?: Giacomo Vrioni’s hat trick led the way as the Revs flexed against San Luis.

So, did we learn anything?: Like the Union, I don’t think we really needed a reminder of how good this team can be. The Revs have advanced to the knockout round.

J. Glad (8' OG), G. Berterame (13', 74')

What happened?: Monterrey took off from the jump and RSL never got in it.

So, did we learn anything?: RSL are one of the hottest teams in the league with a ton of depth but Rayados are a different kind of monster. There’s so much quality at the top end of their roster that it’s going to be hard for most MLS teams to handle them. They’re one of the favorites in this competition for a reason.

Á. Mena (58')

What happened?: León’s Ángel Mena made the difference.

So, did we learn anything?: Nah. The CCL Champs took care of business here. The Galaxy will need a win over Vancouver to advance.

A. Gignac (42'), J. Angulo (80') | Evander (24’)

What happened?: An excellent Evander free kick didn’t give the Timbers enough juice to get past Tigres.

So, did we learn anything?: Don’t think so. Definitely an interesting night though to see the Liga MX big boys come out and out-muscle some MLS sides while a couple of MLS sides straight-up clobbered some lower-tier Liga MX teams. I think in general we’re learning… well, exactly what we suspected about the quality of each league from top to bottom.

What about tonight?

Chivas vs. FC Cincinnati | 8 p.m. ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Plusometer Score: 47/50

Chivas had an excellent year under Veljko Paunović last season and nearly won the Clausura. FC Cincinnati are going to have their hands full trying to keep their unbeaten home record alive tonight. This is one of the premier matchups of the group stage and it could be an outstanding game.

Minnesota United vs. Chicago Fire FC | 8:30 p.m. ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - Free
Plusometer Score: 29/50

I still like Minnesota’s potential as a “Wait, how are they still here?” dark horse candidate in the later rounds of this tournament. A point tonight would go ahead and put them in the knockout round. Meanwhile, Chicago could gain a major advantage over Puebla with a win in their first game of the group stage. The Fire have been playing well lately and should expect to make it out of the group at this point.

Nashville SC vs. Toluca | 8:30 p.m. ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Plusometer Score: 38/50

Toluca kind of quietly (?) spent last season being one of the most consistent teams in Liga MX. They finished with the fourth-highest point total in the league over the Apertura and Clausura and qualified for the Concacaf Champions Cup. Nashville will need to be really sharp tonight to secure a win. Even if they aren’t at their best though, they only need a point to advance to the knockout round.

Club América vs. St. Louis | 10 p.m. ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - Free, UniMas, FS1
Plusometer Score: 46/50

I kind of a have not-so-optimistic gut call about how this might go, but this matchup is so much fun I’m not going to share it. The continent’s biggest club is taking on its newest club and the new club has a genuine chance to pull off something special. They kind of need to. A loss would end their Leagues Cup run. The energy levels are going to be high in front of what should be a wild, wild crowd.

Other Things

Austin FC waive defender Tarek: Austin FC have waived defender Amro Tarek, exercising a buyout of his guaranteed contract. Tarek joined the Verde & Black in January after last featuring for Egyptian Premier League side Al Masry SC.

The Reading Rainbow
Full Time

Good luck out there. If they don’t get the message remind them again (and again).