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What you need to know

Philadelphia Union vs. Red Bulls Leagues Cup match to be played tonight

As a result of forecasted thunderstorms, the Leagues Cup Round of 16 match originally scheduled for Monday, August 7 between the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls has been rescheduled for tonight, August 8 at 8 pm ET (MLS Season Pass).

LA Galaxy midfielder Brugman out for season with knee injury

LA Galaxy midfielder Gastón Brugman has been ruled out for the rest of the 2023 season after undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

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Your Leagues Cup Kickoff

A two-minute disaster! An upset up north! And that’s kind of it. There were only two games but still, let’s Leagues Cup.

The Recap
J. Gómez (46') | E. Bajraktarevic (78')

What happened?: Querétaro did enough to earn a penalty shootout, and goalkeeper Fernando Tapia saved two kicks to send Querétaro into the quarterfinal. They’ll face the winner of Philadelphia and New York.

So, did we learn anything?: Even if New England had advanced in this one, I think it’s fair to say the vibes were off. They probably weren’t going to get much further. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Revs.

On the opposite side, it’s been an impressive run for Querétaro. They were one of the worst teams in Liga MX last year, and now they’re one of the few Liga MX teams left in the tournament.

P. Agyemang (80'), Micael (81' OG) | C. Baird (10')

What happened?: Houston took an early lead, seemed to be in relative control of the situation and then suddenly were absolutely not in control of the situation at all. Patrick Agyemang, a 22-year-old SuperDraft pick with one career start, broke through in the 80th minute. Immediately following the goal, Houston straight-up kicked it in their own net. Like. That’s not even a bit. Go check the tweet at the bottom of the newsletter. Houston turned around and, under no serious pressure, sent the ball backward and sent themselves out of the tournament. Humidity does remarkable things to people.

Charlotte will take on Inter Miami on Friday with a spot in the semifinal on the line. 

So, did we learn anything?: Houston just wilted here. Rough night. 

As for Charlotte, full credit to them for swimming through the Houston air and making it out alive. They’ve had a remarkable tournament so far and should be proud of a quarterfinal run. Pride doesn’t stop Lionel Messi, though. Good luck to them.

About tonight

This is the best night of the tournament so far. Maybe the best night of soccer for the year so far? Every game is outstanding in its own special way. And we got a bonus game thrown in for good measure. Let’s talk it out with some help with our world-famous watchability meter, The Plusometer ©*.

(*The closer to 50 the more likely the game is to be extremely entertaining)

Club América vs. Nashville SC | 8:00 pm ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Plusometer score: 44/50

The biggest club on the continent heads to Nashville looking awful vulnerable. Then again, Nashville haven’t exactly been at their sharpest lately either. They did just take down FC Cincinnati, though, and they definitely have enough juice to take down an América side that got blown up by Columbus in the group stage and barely snuck past Chicago in the Round of 32.

Things might get especially interesting if new DP forward Sam Surridge makes his debut tonight. Gary Smith has said Surridge will be involved. If he really is a fit for Nashville the way they seem to think he can be, he should provide a major boost. There’s some skepticism though. Surridge’s goal-scoring record in England isn’t the kind of tally you typically see from DP-level guys. Still, they think they’ve got their man. It would be a heckuva debut if he’s able to make an impact in Nashville’s biggest game of the year so far.

Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls | 8:00 pm ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Plusometer score: 35/50

Let’s try this again. The world wasn’t ready for this one last night. I get it. To review…

Oh man, the universe delivered a classic Daily Kickoff special in a single-elimination game. And by that, I mean that enjoying Philadelphia-New York games takes a very refined MLS pallet. Expect constant car crashes in midfield and somewhere around 60% pass completion for both teams. It’s the Beautiful Game… from a certain point of view. Usually, that style means one very small moment will make the difference.

Toluca vs. Minnesota United | 8 pm ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass, FS1, UniMás
Plusometer score: 39/50

Toluca have spent this entire tournament thumping whoever comes into their path. The Loons have spent this entire tournament looking a lot like the best version of themself. The one where Bebelo Reynoso deals out three assists per game and Bongokuhle Hlongwane continues to live up to his underlying numbers. This one feels like it has a ton of goals in it.

Tigres vs. Monterrey | 10 pm ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass, FS1, UniMas
Plusometer score: 48/50

Y’all ever see one of those monster movies where a second, just as big Kaiju comes in and starts throwing haymakers and destroying buildings?

LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake | 10 pm ET

WATCH ON: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Plusometer score: 42/50

Western Conference Final preview? It seems entirely plausible. These are the two best teams in the West right now (sorry, St. Louis). There’s still a long way to go of course, but it does feel like this might set the tone for something down the road.

This one also marks the return of Chicho Arango just a few months after leaving LAFC. I’d expect at least one goal.

The Reading Rainbow
Full Time

Good luck out there. Don’t question when the universe gives you something good.