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D.C. United goalkeeper Miller out with shoulder surgery

D.C. United will be without goalkeeper Tyler Miller for the remainder of the 2023 MLS season. The club announced Monday he will soon undergo shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and be placed on their Season-Ending Injury List.

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Since you missed MLS so much during the international break, MLS decided to give you a Wednesday slate full to the brim with critical games. The Watchgridometer, armed with the Plusometer and the Playofficity rater, is here to help you sort through it.

The Plusometer is a scientific way to quantify the potential watchability of any given game on Apple TV - MLS Season Pass, but can and will also be used for all other channels. Using the elements of "Potential for very good/entertainingly bad soccer," "Chances created," "Narrative," "Aesthetics" and "Totally subjective bonus points," I assign each element a score out of 10 and each game a score out of 50. Twenty-five is average potential. Fifty is greatest game of all-time potential. Yes, I do calculate each game. No, I don't know why.

We also add a “Playoffocity” value to each game. The closer to 50, the closer it is to a winner gets in/loser goes home game on Decision Day. The closer a game's total score is to 100, the closer it is to being basically last year’s MLS Cup.

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.

Inter Miami CF vs. Toronto FC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 33/50 | Playoffocity: 14/50

It’s a bit weird to see an Inter Miami game in Tier I, but it’s not even entirely clear if Lionel Messi will play or if he even needs to against the worst team in the East. That being said, Inter Miami absolutely have to win this game. If they don’t get three points here there’s a genuine chance they’re looking at having to close a 10-point gap with six games remaining. For now, it’s just a seven-point gap with seven games remaining, but it could get daunting quickly if they aren’t careful.

NYCFC vs. Orlando City SC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 24/50 | Playoffocity: 30/50

Orlando are a lot of fun right now, but NYCFC are coming to the party with half a bag of stale potato chips and demands the music be changed to deep cuts from The Smiths so everyone can understand how they feel. Still, NYCFC aren’t totally out of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs picture. Only mostly out of it. Maybe they’ll surprise us.

New York Red Bulls vs. Austin FC

WATCH: Apple TV - Free | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 20/50 | Playoffocity: 20/50

Someone has to get points here. I’ve checked, one of these teams will either come away with one or three points. So. In a way, things are looking up for at least one of them?

Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 9:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 22/50 | Playoffocity: 20/50

I’m still team “Seattle will figure this out especially now that Cristian Roldan is back” but, man, if they lose to Colorado, I might slowly backtrack on that and see if anyone notices. To be fair to the Rapids, they did take out the Revs last weekend. Seattle won’t be able to just waltz in and swipe three points. Probably.

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.

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire FC

WATCH: **Apple TV - Free** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 25/50 | Playoffocity: 39/50

A weird and kind of objectively funny thing has happened with the media perception of Chicago. They’re still very much in the playoff race and have a game in hand on ninth-place D.C. United. They’re just two points below the line. But as soon as they dropped below the line they dropped like a stone in our weekly Power Rankings votes. They aren’t even that bad, I think it’s just a reflex from folks who follow the league. Whatever the opposite of earning the benefit of the doubt is, Chicago have done that over the last decade-plus of riding the struggle bus.

On a related note, Columbus are heavy favorites here. They need to take care of business if they want to stay in contention for a top-four spot in the East.

Charlotte FC vs. Philadelphia Union

WATCH: **Apple TV - Free** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 28/50 | Playoffocity: 39/50

This game essentially has the exact same stakes as Columbus-Chicago. Philly are fighting for a top-four spot and Charlotte are three points behind D.C. with two games in hand. The Union will have their hands full here with a Charlotte side that haven’t lost in their four games since Leagues Cup despite facing LAFC, Orlando, Nashville and D.C. United.

D.C. United vs. Atlanta United

WATCH: **Apple TV - Free** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 29/50 | Playoffocity: 38/50

D.C. United have tended to be a thorn in Atlanta’s side since the Five Stripes came into the league. They really need to be one again tomorrow as they try to hold onto one of the East’s final playoff spots. There are far too many teams breathing down their neck for them to feel comfortable.

That will be a tall task though. Atlanta are playing their best ball since 2019.

CF Montréal vs. FC Cincinnati

WATCH: **Apple TV - Free** | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 30/50 | Playoffocity: 20/50

Montréal are kind of quietly hanging onto the eighth spot in the East. That’s despite a terrible road record and a -12 goal differential. They’ve been excellent at home, though, and Cincy won’t be able to take this one off. Have you looked at the standings lately? There’s an eight-point gap between them and Orlando with six games to go. Weirder things have happened, right? The Garys need to be careful.

Sporting KC vs. Nashville SC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 31/50 | Playoffocity: 40/50

Nashville are kind of floating in a strange space where they shouldn’t feel too threatened by the teams behind them and don’t have a great chance of catching up to the teams in front of them. The stakes just don’t feel all that high for this group right now. SKC will be really, really, really hoping they can take advantage of that because pretty much every game from here on out is do or die. They have five games left to pull off a pretty spectacular second-half run to the playoffs.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

WATCH: **Apple TV - Free** | Wednesday, 9:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 23/50 | Playoffocity: 35/50

This needs to be a course-correcting game for someone. Neither team is trending in the right direction. Dallas especially can’t really afford to drop points.

LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 10:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 32/50 | Playoffocity: 27/50

The Galaxy might be dead if they can’t put together three points. The bad news is that Road Minnesota are one of the best teams in the league. A way better team than Home Minnesota.

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 10:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 26/50 | Playoffocity: 42/50

Portland are quickly becoming one of the league’s most fascinating stories down the stretch. Despite parting ways with head coach Gio Savarese, they’ve found another gear in the last few weeks and have put together good enough results to climb back into a playoff spot. A win would put them one point behind seventh-place San Jose and could even put them within three points of a home playoff spot. The West is neat.

Tier Three: The satisfaction of expectations being met
Sometimes you want the best and you get it.

Houston Dynamo FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 39/50 | Playoffocity: 46/50

It feels like we’re getting a little mini-playoff preview in the 8:30 pm ET slot. Houston and Vancouver are two of the very few Western teams playing quality soccer right now and are separated by one point in the standings. With Vancouver in fourth and Houston in fifth, this should have serious consequences for the top-four spots in the West. Can the Dynamo slow down Ryan Gauld and Brian White? Can Vancouver stifle Héctor Herrera?

St. Louis CITY SC vs. LAFC

WATCH: **Apple TV - MLS Season Pass** | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Plusometer Score: 45/50 | Playoffocity: 37/50

LAFC still have a path to finishing on top of the West. A win here would put them three points behind St. Louis with a game in hand. A St. Louis win would essentially seal the top spot. CITYPARK is going to be insane for this one. It’s an easy choice for the best game of the match day.

Other Things

Orlando City's Enrique named Player of the Matchday: Orlando City SC forward Ramiro Enrique provided the dramatics in Matchday 32, impressing enough to earn Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire honors. The Argentine forward scored his first career brace and added an assist in Orlando’s 4-3 comeback victory over the Columbus Crew, scoring both the game-tying and game-winning goal for Orlando after the 85th minute.

MLS terminates Miljevic's contract with CF Montréal: Major League Soccer has terminated the contract of CF Montréal midfielder Matko Miljevic for engaging in conduct detrimental to the league and violating his Standard Player Agreement.

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