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What you need to know

Nashville SC name B.J. Callaghan head coach

Nashville SC have hired B.J. Callaghan as their next head coach, the club announced Wednesday. Callaghan, an assistant to U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter who led the USMNT to a Concacaf Nations League title in 2023 as interim manager, will officially join the club on July 22 and make his debut nine days later when Nashville kick off their 2024 Leagues Cup campaign.

St. Louis CITY sign DP midfielder Hartel

St. Louis CITY SC have signed midfielder Marcel Hartel as a Designated Player. Hartel is under contract through June 2028 with an option for the remainder of 2028. To acquire Hartel, St. Louis sent the Columbus Crew $350,000 in General Allocation Money for his Discovery Rights. The 28-year-old last played for FC St. Pauli, helping them earn promotion to the German Bundesliga after totaling 17g/13a in 33 matches. Hartel has made additional stops at 1. FC Köln, Union Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld in his native Germany.

Real Salt Lake transfer Barajas to Chivas Guadalajara

Real Salt Lake have transferred midfielder Fidel Barajas to Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara effective immediately. The 18-year-old initially arrived to RSL in early January after starting his professional career with USL Championship side Charleston Battery, where he was named the USL Championship’s Young Player of the Year, and also garnered All-League Second Team honors.

We the people in order to form a more perfect Watchgridometer

All MLS games are worth watching. Some are worth watching more. The Watchgridometer is here to help you plan your weekend by giving each game a potential watchability score. A 50/50 game has “best game of all time” potential. Games are ranked in order relative to their time slot.

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

LA Galaxy vs. LAFC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Thursday, 10:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 50/50

50 out of 50, folks. This isn’t a drill. It’s the kind of measure you have to take when the league’s most chaotic rivalry heads to the country’s most iconic stadium for a matchup between the West’s top two teams in the standings. Get your fireworks done early or just ignore them entirely. There are more important things to worry about on Thursday.

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.

Charlotte FC vs. Inter Miami CF
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 39/50

This a great test for a Charlotte side that no one has been fully convinced by yet. It’s also another great test for a short-handed Inter Miami side that’s done more than rise up and meet the challenge of life without Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.

Charlotte will keep this from being a wide open game and the crowd will be noisy as always, but will that be enough to slow down a Heron attack led by… um… Ian Fray?

Columbus Crew vs. Nashville SC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 6:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 34/50

The Crew are rounding into post-CCC Final form and looking as terrifying as ever. Sean Zawadski has stepped into Aidan Morris’ role in midfield and looks like a capable replacement. That’s all the Crew need him to be until reinforcements arrive later this month. They’ve won three of four since the final and have scored nine goals in their last two games.

Basically, Nashville have their hands full. Watching the Crew try and break down their block will be fun though.

New York City FC vs. CF Montréal
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 31/50

Montréal have started to look a little more like themselves in attack. Well, at least what we imagined them to look like before the season started. They’re beginning to control the ball a little more and they’re coming off a huge 4-2 win over Philadelphia that has them on the edge of the playoff line.

They’re still missing folks throughout their starting XI. That’s not ideal for slowing down a dynamic New York City FC attack that’s thrived at home this season.

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

It took a while for me but, personally, I’m all the way out on this D.C. United side regardless of what the underlying numbers say. They just don’t have the quality. I can’t keep living my life like this…

…That being said, Christian Benteke should be a heckuva challenge for FC Cincinnati’s makeshift back line. Dealing with his physical skillset is tough even at full strength. There’s an opportunity here for D.C. to pull off an upset.

…THAT being said, I’m realizing now Benteke is out for this one due to yellow card accumulation. Maybe it’s best if we just skip this one and move on.

Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 37/50

RSL got an off week after their loss to the Galaxy. Hopefully some rest got Chicho Arango back to full health after he took a knock that required multiple stitches. Either way, this should be a fun one. Both teams have a wonder goal or two in them at any moment and both want to be on the ball. It very well may be a playoff preview.

Houston’s attack has been excellent lately, by the way. The Dynamo have scored 14 times over their last six games.

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.

New England Revolution vs. Atlanta United
WATCH: Apple TV - Free, FS1 | Wednesday, 7:45 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

The Revs came back down to Earth against Columbus in a 5-1 loss on Saturday, but they have a chance to get back on track in this one. Atlanta will be without Thiago Almada as he prepares to move to Botafogo and will be without Saturday’s tip-toeing hero, Jamal Thiaré, due to injury. Things are going to be a bit makeshift in Atlanta for a while. The play on the field will probably reflect that.

Toronto FC vs. Orlando City SC
WATCH: Apple TV - Free | Wednesday, 7:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 23/50

Toronto are nosediving and Orlando have been on a steady decline all season. This is a game I’ll politely describe as a battle for a potential Wild Card spot.

Minnesota United FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 25/50

The Loons are withering away on the struggle bus in the middle of a four-game losing streak. There’s an opportunity to get things sorted out against a Vancouver side that’s been frustratingly mid all year. What could have been an exciting game feels like the kind of run-of-the-mill battle between mediocre Western Conference teams we get at this time of year.

Chicago Fire FC vs. Philadelphia Union
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 20/50

If Philadelphia can’t get back on track against the last-place Fire, will Philadelphia ever get back on track again?

Ok, that’s mean. Sorry, Chicago. I should point out they’re only in last place by a point. There’s technically a timeline this week where Philadelphia drop to last in the conference and Chicago get back to the edge of the playoff line.

St. Louis CITY SC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Wednesday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 18/50

An interim manager fight between two teams who already feel out of the playoff race in the West. In the West.

FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Thursday, 8:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 28/50

The Timbers are worth checking in on if you haven’t lately. Every game feels a lot like their late 3-2 win over Minnesota last weekend and they’re getting high-level contributions from all three of their DP attackers. Despite a shaky defense, those attackers have the Timbers up to fifth in the West and only a point out of a home playoff spot.

Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting KC
WATCH: Apple TV - MLS Season Pass | Thursday, 9:30 pm ET
Watchability Score: 23/50

This should be a manageable day out for the Rapids, but Sporting KC did ambush Austin a few days ago. So. You never know.

Other things

Vote now to decide the 2024 MLS All-Star captain: Who will captain the 2024 MLS All-Stars when they meet LIGA MX's best on July 24 at Field, home of the Columbus Crew? Have your say in the 2024 MLS All-Star Captain Fan Vote presented by Captain Morgan. There can only be one winner from the four finalists.

Rosters announced for 2024 MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate: MLS NEXT has announced player selections, details and broadcast information for the third annual MLS NEXT All-Star Game presented by Allstate. The match will see North America's top young players showcase their talents in an East vs. West format. The 44 players were selected following the conclusion of the 2024 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and Showcase.

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Good luck out there. Go out on a high note.