Daily Kickoff - 6.19.24
What you need to know

Wednesday soccer

It’s a full midweek slate tonight. Check out the full schedule here.

Columbus acquire Jackson from St. Louis

Defending MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew have acquired midfielder Aziel Jackson from St. Louis CITY SC. In return, St. Louis receive a guaranteed $650,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) split across this season and next year. St. Louis could get another $250,000 in conditional GAM and maintain a sell-on percentage if Jackson is moved outside of MLS. Jackson is available for selection with Columbus when the Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 18.

Some teams have more to deal with than others during tournament seasons

Copa América starts tomorrow. Euro 2024 is already underway. And MLS players are scattered across both competitions, including 40 players at Copa América. Some teams have a few more than others, though. Here’s who will be most affected over the next few weeks.

Chicago Fire FC
Missing: Xherdan Shaqiri - Switzerland

I wanted to give an immediate congratulations to Chicago Fire Football Club for benefiting from a midseason international tournament more than any MLS team likely ever has.

CF Montréal
Missing: Mathieu Choinière - Canada, Ariel Lassiter - Costa Rica, Samuel Piette - Canada, Joel Waterman - Canada

Matías Cóccaro, Lassi Lappalainen, Mahala Opoku and Mason Toye are all officially healthy for the first time in months. They all came off the bench Saturday in a 0-0 draw against RSL and should continue to get increasing minutes as Laurent Courtois finally gets a chance to utilize his most effective attacking pieces…

But now he’s gotta deal with multiple absences due to international duty. Waterman, Choinière, Lassiter and Piette have all started at least 15 of Montréal’s 17 games this season. Courtois can’t catch a break in year one. Are we ever going to see this team at full strength?

FC Cincinnati
Missing: Miles Robinson - United States

Robinson has suddenly turned into a really, really big absence. Matt Miazga picked up an injury on Saturday that could keep him out long-term and now FC Cincinnati are without both of their Defender of the Year-caliber center backs. That’s not ideal in the middle of the Supporters’ Shield race, where every point is starting to feel critical.

Minnesota United FC
Missing: Tani Oluwaseyi - Canada, Dayne St. Clair - Canada, Alejandro Bran - Costa Rica, Carlos Harvey - Panama

We didn’t even know Tani Oluwaseyi before the beginning of the season and now, four months in, we’re freaking out about how much of a clear loss he is for one of the best teams in the league.

The Loons have already played two games without Oluwaseyi and Dayne St. Clair. They drew 1-1 at home against Dallas, then lost 2-0 to Seattle. That’s… not a great start. If you’re a Minnesota fan, you’re probably quietly hoping for Canada’s quick demise here. The Loons’ slim shot at a Supporters’ Shield challenge is starting to fade a bit. It could be gone by the time Oluwaseyi gets back.

Nashville SC
Missing: Jacob Shaffelburg - Canada, Aníbal Godoy - Panama, Shaq Moore - United States


Atlanta United
Missing: Luis Abram - Peru, Saba Lobjandize - Georgia, Bartosz Slisz - Poland

I’m grouping these two together in the “Hey, uh, our head coach just got dismissed and things aren’t going so great right now, so, could we maybe not do this?” category. 2024 already feels like something close to a wash for both these teams. But the pit of misery in MLS knows no bounds. It could get worse before it gets better. And missing key players isn’t exactly helping.

Toronto FC
Missing: Jonathan Osorio - Canada, Sean Johnson - United States, Richie Laryea - Canada

Toronto have started to hit some speed bumps on their redemption arc. They’ve taken two points from their last four games and spent their latest match getting boat-raced by Chicago. Things are never good when you’re getting boat-raced by Chicago. If that’s a sign of what’s to come without Johnson and Osorio around… well, things might get a little rough here. In a fight for playoff position, Toronto will have to work through some adversity.

New York Red Bulls
Missing: Lewis Morgan - Scotland, Carlos Coronel - Paraguay

Losing your leading scorer on a team that has notably struggled in attack the last few seasons is less than ideal. Losing your starting goalkeeper isn’t quite as annoying, but it’s still not fun.

The main thing here, though, is Emil Forsberg is also dealing with an injury right now. With Morgan gone and Forsberg potentially less than 100%, you have to wonder who’s going to step up and produce for New York over the next few games.

Portland Timbers
Missing: Miguel Araujo - Peru, Maxime Crépeau - Canada, Kamal Miller - Canada

One of the league’s worst defenses is losing two center backs and their starting goalkeeper. So. That’s probably not great. They probably don’t have the over/unders high enough for the next few Timbers games.

Philadelphia Union
Missing: Dániel Gazdag - Hungary, José Martínez - Venezuela, Andre Blake - Jamaica

Julián Carranza is on his way to Feyenoord and three starters are away for international duty. The Union are another team dealing with poor timing right now. That could be readily apparent tonight in Cincinnati.

Then again, it’s not like things have been going great with the entire group intact. It really does feel like we’re watching an era come to a close in Philadelphia.

Austin FC
Missing: Julio Cascante - Costa Rica, Dani Pereira - Venezuela


Orlando City SC
Missing: Wilder Cartagena - Peru, Pedro Gallese - Peru, David Brekalo - Slovenia


Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Missing: Ali Ahmed - Canada, Andrés Cubas - Paraguay

Missing multiple starters in the spine of your team is bad for winning soccer games. Austin need to right the ship as they regress to the mean. Orlando need to sort things out as they plummet toward the bottom of the East. And Vancouver need points now to have any hope of keeping up with the top four in the West. It’s all a bit inconvenient.

Inter Miami CF
Missing: Lionel Messi - Argentina, Luis Suárez - Uruguay, Matías Rojas - Paraguay

You know normally you’d be concerned about missing these guys. Still, apparently, Miami can just go out and win with nine players… so what’s the point of worrying about international absences or really anything at all? All we are is specks of dust in the wind relative to the size of the universe and nothing we say or do matters because everything is fated, and if the powers above decide you’re going to win every game regardless of “chance creation” or “expected goals” or “having your standard allotment of players on the field”, then you might as well sit back and accept what’s coming, lay back and float along the surface of destiny like it’s water in a pool.

Other Things

St. Louis transfer defender Dyhr to Randers: St. Louis CITY SC have transferred defender Nikolas Dyhr to Danish Superliga side Randers FC for an undisclosed transfer fee. Dyhr, a 22-year-old former Danish youth international, was acquired by St. Louis in January from Danish Superliga champions Midtjylland.

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Good luck out there. Wear more denim.