What you need to know

LA sign winger Paintsil from Genk

The LA Galaxy's Designated Player trio is complete, as the club have signed winger Joseph Paintsil from Belgian Pro League side Genk. The 26-year-old Ghana international is under contract through the 2027 MLS season. He joins Gabriel Pec and Riqui Puig as the Galaxy's DPs. LA reportedly acquired Paintsil for a near-$9 million fee, continuing top-end roster spending this winter. Previously, Pec reportedly signed for a $10 million transfer fee plus incentives (club-record fee) from Brazilian Série A side Vasco da Gama.

Columbus sign Farsi to contract extension

The Columbus Crew have signed defender Mohamed Farsi to a contract extension through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028. Farsi, 24, emerged as Columbus’ first-choice right wingback as they won MLS Cup 2023. The former Canadian youth international has 0g/6a in 38 matches for the club.

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MLS is Back and Concacaf Champions Cup keeps rolling. Let’s talk it out.

Inter Miami CF - 2 | Real Salt Lake - 0
Taylor (39’), Gómez (83’)

Robert Taylor (because of course it was Robert Taylor) scored the first goal of the 2024 MLS season after slipping a shot under RSL ‘keeper Zac MacMath. MacMath probably wants that back, but there’s just no stopping (?) Taylor (??) in big moments (???). He has a remarkable ability to pop up and execute when all eyes are on Miami.

Anyway, the Herons were in control through the entirety of the first half. The second half… well, let’s say Miami didn’t beat any of the preseason allegations last night. They faded. Hard. There’s no real way around it; they started to run out of gas. And RSL found a handful of chances that could have easily flipped the game on its head if they had executed at a midseason level. 

Instead, they came up wanting. You can only do that for so long against this team. One Lionel Messi-to-Luis Suárez-to-Diego Gómez moment against the run of play later, and the Herons were up 2-0. The whole ethos of Inter Miami this season feels very “You come at the king, you best not miss.” RSL missed (two shots on target out of 16 total shots) and got burned. 

All that said, let’s do our best to keep from overreacting from a Matchday 1 game. RSL should get sharper, Miami should have a better ability to put in a complete performance over 90 minutes as time goes on. Things will change. A lot. Even if it is really fun right now to point to micro-moments from last night that confirmed preseason biases about both teams.

CA Independiente - 0 | New England Revolution - 1 (Concacaf Champions Cup)
Chancalay (54’)

DP winger Tomás Chancalay picked up right where left off in 2023 when he picked up a flicked-on header from Giacomo Vrioni and slotted it home. The Revs are taking a 1-0 lead back to Foxborough.

Cavalry FC - 0 | Orlando City SC - 3 (Concacaf Champions Cup)
McGuire (21’), Torres (38’, 75’)

Orlando were heavily favored to advance coming into this one and are still heavily favored coming out of the first leg. Cavalry were a bit overmatched here, but we still may have learned a bit of intriguing info about the Lions. 

DP attacker Martín Ojeda started in a central attacking position in this one. Not new signing Nico Lodeiro. We’ll see if we just got a clear answer as to how Oscar Pareja plans to set up his team this year. If we did, Ojeda is one of the single most fascinating (and pivotal) players in the league this season.


Moca FC vs. Nashville SC - 7 pm ET (Concacaf Champions Cup)

Cavalier FC vs. FC Cincinnati - 9 pm ET (Concacaf Champions Cup)

We’ll be quick here. Both MLS sides should take care of business. We’ll see if anyone learned their lesson from 2023 Austin FC, though. You can’t take these games for granted.

If you decide to check in on Nashville tonight, keep an eye on new winger Tyler Boyd and new midfielder Dru Yearwood. There’s a chance both could be upgrades for the club. 

If you decide to check in on FC Cincinnati, you have a few new folks to keep an eye on. New center back Miles Robinson, new midfielder Pavel Bucha and new striker Corey Baird could all make debuts for their new club tonight. You may also want to keep an eye on what they do at wingback. Starting left wingback Alvaro Barreal is reportedly off to Brazil and his replacement, Luca Orellano, isn’t officially with the team yet.

Other Things

Charlotte sign midfielder Urso: Charlotte FC have signed midfielder Júnior Urso through the 2024 MLS season with an option for 2025. As part of the deal, Charlotte acquired Urso’s right of first refusal from Orlando City SC in exchange for $50,000 General Allocation Money (GAM) in 2025.

San Jose sign defender Ricketts: The San Jose Earthquakes have signed defender Jamar Ricketts through the 2024 MLS season with options through 2025-27. Ricketts was previously picked No. 13 overall (first round) by San Jose in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft after starring at California State University, Northridge.

The Reading Rainbow
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Good luck out there. Welcome to Miami.