What you need to know

Olivier Giroud signs for LAFC, reunites with Hugo Lloris

There's a new superstar striker in MLS, with LAFC officially signing Olivier Giroud to a Designated Player deal through the 2025 season with an option for 2026. He will join the club this summer as a free agent from Italian Serie A side AC Milan and will be eligible to debut once the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 18.

Marsch named Canada coach as Copa América, World Cup loom

Jesse Marsch has been named head coach of the Canadian men’s national team. Marsch, who previously led MLS sides CF Montréal and New York Red Bulls, has taken over with immediate effect. The appointment comes at a pivotal time, with Canada set to open the 2024 Copa América on June 20 against Inter Miami CF superstar Lionel Messi and Argentina. They’ll also co-host the expanded 2026 FIFA World Cup alongside the United States and Mexico (all three countries auto-qualify).

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A Watchgridometer is just like any other Watchgridometer even if it's a Watchgridometer on a Tuesday

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.

Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 40/50

Orlando City have needed a jump start. The beginning of the season has been a slog and it feels kind of remarkable at this point they’ve been able to put together 12 points on the year. But maybe they - and DP striker Luis Muriel - finally found some confidence in last week’s 3-2 road win over Philadelphia. It at least gave them something to hold onto as they head into a revenge/rivalry game against Inter Miami. The last time these two met, Orlando got run off the field in a 5-0 loss. Maybe anger can power them to an unexpected performance against the league’s hottest team.

Minnesota United FC vs. LA Galaxy
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 47/50

This is a huge test for Minnesota United. They’re facing one of the top teams in their conference and they have to do it at home. For most MLS teams that would inspire confidence, but the Loons still need to turn the corner on earning three points at home. If they can pull it off here, they’ll have three home wins in six tries and there will be nothing left to worry about with this group. They’ll have firmly cemented themselves as true contenders in the West.

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.

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 38/50

We know better than to put a Demolition Derby (pronounce it the weird and incorrect English way) up too high on the Watchgridometer. It’s never as fun as it sounds in theory. But this one has a lot of intrigue beyond the car crashiness of it all. Mainly because D.C. United are out Red Bullsing Red Bulls at this point. Former Red Bulls manager Troy Lesesne has turned D.C. into one of the most direct teams in the league. It’s paid off so far, and could get even better if they’ve finally figured out how to hold onto a lead after last week’s win in Atlanta.

FC Cincinnati vs. Atlanta United
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 35/50

FC Cincinnati might be the one true challenger left. After a slow start to the season, the Garys have found a groove and won four consecutive games, including last weekend’s impressive Hell is Real win in Columbus. They’re sitting three points behind Inter Miami in the Shield race with a game in hand and they’re pulling out one-goal wins like it’s 2023 all over again. And they just added a new U22 striker, Kevin Kelsy, to the mix.

They’ll have a chance to keep pace with Miami against an Atlanta United side that arrives in desperate need of a win. The pressure is growing in Atlanta after a six-game winless skid. Maybe Cincinnati can return the favor and kick off a winning streak for the Five Stripes the same way the Five Stripes did for them a few weeks ago?

CF Montréal vs. Columbus Crew
WATCH: Apple TV - Free; TSN 5, RDS | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 30/50

Former Columbus Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois is up against his old team here. Both teams are going to want as much of the ball as possible, which kind of makes this the bizarro version of D.C.-New York. This should be prettier than that matchup, even if the teams aren’t quite at the same level. Montréal are struggling with injuries, and the Crew have rightfully been focused on bigger games so far this season. But it is time for Columbus to start earning points in MLS again while they have a break from Concacaf. Ask Seattle. It can be tough to recover after a run to the final. And the Crew haven’t won in MLS since March 16.

St. Louis CITY SC vs. LAFC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 30/50

Are LAFC going to start stringing results together? Or are we going to be looking at their 3-0 beatdown against Vancouver over the weekend as another false start? For St. Louis’ sake, they better hope it’s the latter. Maybe LAFC will keep trying to work on holding the ball a little more and St. Louis’ press can capitalize.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 39/50

Seattle earned a critical win over Portland on Sunday. They’ve kept their season afloat for now. But there’s every chance the good feelings could disappear quickly when they travel to face RSL and Chicho Arango. RSL are on top of the West right now and Arango is your runaway (non-Messi) MVP. If Seattle can slow him down, they have a chance. But, uh, good luck.

Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 33/50

Both teams come into this one with 18 points and reputations as good-but-not-yet-great Western Conference sides that are probably a piece or two away from truly contending. Still, that’s closer than most teams get.

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 35/50

Over/under 5.5 goals. No, wait, 6.5. Yeah, 6.5. I’m…I’m tempted to hit the over here.

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.

Austin FC vs. Houston Dynamo FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 29/50

We’ve gotten so much Texas the last few weeks and pretty much all of the results have felt like they were drawn out of an oversized hat. I have no idea what’s going to happen here. But at least Houston finally remembered how to score last week.

Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

The Union have lost three consecutive home games after losing four times at home over the last three seasons. It’s as out of sorts as we’ve seen this team since 2018. It’s making me uncomfortable, to be honest. I don’t like change. But it seems like something has changed for the worse. And it’s not going to get any easier against a New York City FC side that’s starting to put it together in attack. They aren’t a perfect team by any means, but they are at least creating chances in a way they never have in Nick Cushing’s tenure.

Chicago Fire FC vs. Charlotte FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Free | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 20/50

Chicago are technically not in last place yet. Good for them.

Nashville SC vs. Toronto FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 22/50

A loss for Nashville here could make things… look, they’d be below one point per game 12 games into the season. That’s not ideal.

What is ideal for Toronto is they should have Lorenzo Insigne available for an extended period of time in this one.

Other Things

D.C. United's Benteke named Player of the Matchday: Following his second hat trick of the 2024 season, D.C. United striker Christian Benteke has been named MLS Player of the Matchday for Matchday 13. The Belgian star scored all three of his team's goals in a 3-2 victory at Atlanta United, leaving him tied with Inter Miami CF's Luis Suárez and Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango atop the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi leaderboard with 11 tallies.

The Reading Rainbow
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Good luck out there. Give people something to look forward to.