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What you need to know

Philadelphia Union host Seattle tonight

The Union and Seattle will resume their previously postponed game tonight. The match will start with the same lineups and begin at the six-minute mark. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm ET.

Crew head to Monterrey tomorrow

The Columbus Crew enter Leg 2 of their Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal series with CF Monterrey holding a 2-1 aggregate lead, looking to eliminate another Liga MX powerhouse Wednesday night at Estadio BBVA. Kickoff is set for 10:15 pm ET on FS1 and TUDN. Whoever comes out on top will face the winner of tonight’s Club America-Pachuca matchup.

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A little extra MLS tonight

We’ve been gifted a little extra MLS tonight. As a treat.

Philadelphia host Seattle. They’re resuming a postponed game from March 9. They got about six minutes into the March edition of this game before the weather took over. We were all so much younger then. So much more naive. Stuck dangling by withering threads of presumed truths like “Seattle are a clear contender at the top of the West.”

We’ve grown a lot. But it still feels like there might be a few things to learn about both of these teams.

It’s gone under the radar, but Philadelphia’s undefeated record to start the season masked some issues. They’ve picked up more draws than wins, they’re allowing more goals than normal and they’re experiencing out-of-character moments like Saturday’s home loss to RSL and their implosion in Concacaf Champions Cup against Pachuca. In short: The vibes have been off.

Now, keep in mind, Philly’s standards are different than your average MLS side. The Union have put together 50-point seasons every year since 2018. Well, technically, they missed that mark in 2020, but they had 47 points in 23 games, so let’s assume they would have gotten there in a normal year. No team has earned more points since the start of the 2018 season. If anything feels slightly askew it’s going to be noticeable.

But when you get past the vibe check and the shock of the Union losing a home game, the signs are actually positive. Compared to the other Philly sides since 2018, the 2024 Union’s underlying numbers are better than all but the 2019 Union team on a per-game basis. They’re as prepared as ever to knock out another 50-plus point season, even if the concerns about their ability to beat the best of the best when it matters are going to linger.

That’s a future problem, though. The only actual concern for this group right now is that Andre Blake hasn’t been up to his normal shot-stopping standards. Injuries and a small sample size are playing a role in that, but it’s clear he hasn’t been at his best.

Besides that? Well, seriously, it was super weird to see them lose at home on Saturday. But their unbeaten run at Subaru Park couldn’t last forever, I guess. I’d imagine they’ll be eager to start a new one tonight. Considering who they’re facing, there’s a good chance they do.

What a wild thing to say about Seattle, right? Do we even need to explain why we said it at this point? They have two more points than red cards this season. Now we’re even seeing strange off-field issues thrown into the mix. Seattle held Nouhou out of the lineup against D.C. United after he showed up late to a team meeting earlier in the week. That’s not the end of the world, but it is another thing to throw onto the Sounders’ pile of problems. And it’s already a big pile.

They have a chance to recover tonight. The Union may not be at full strength and the circumstances are weird enough that a road point or three feels up for the taking. If Seattle can pull out a result tonight it will help erase the bad feelings from their loss to D.C. over the weekend and maybe help them start the process of turning a corner. That’s optimistic, but they…well, they need to get around that corner in a hurry.

After tonight, they have LA, Portland, RSL, Vancouver, St. Louis, RSL again and Columbus lined up. It’s their toughest stretch of the season and it comes at the worst possible time. It’s hard to call a random makeup game in April a must-have for any MLS team on the road, but tonight is something close.

Other things

Inter Miami CF's Messi named Player of the Matchday: After scoring twice and delivering an assist against New England, Lionel Messi has won Player of the Matchday honors for the second time this year.

Philadelphia Union sign homegrown midfielder Vazquez: The Philadelphia Union have signed US youth international midfielder David Vazquez as a homegrown player. The 18-year-old's contract runs through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028. Philadelphia previously acquired Vazquez’s homegrown priority from LAFC and the LA Galaxy.

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Good luck out there. Make big plans.