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MLS Week 3 Preview: FC Cincinnati hosts Sounders, Atlanta visits Charlotte FC, and more


There are three inter-conference showdowns in Week 3 of the Major League Soccer season, and the most intriguing will come from Cincinnati as two of the top attacking fronts square off.

FC Cincinnati hosts the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night in the third-ever meeting between the two clubs. Pat Noonan’s squad have claimed four points out of a possible six so far and will be fighting to find the back of the net after being held goal-less at Orlando City. The Sounders remain perfect with two victories, six goals scored, and zero goals conceded through their opening 180 minutes of league play. Jordan Morris and Brandon Vazquez headline the top attackers in this meeting.

Saturday’s early match comes from Bank of America Stadium as Charlotte FC welcomes Atlanta United to town. Charlotte FC could desperately use a victory this weekend, especially after being outscored 4-1 through its opening two matches. Atlanta United took a step back in Week 2 after tying Toronto FC 1-1, but has a strong chance with Thiago Almada on its side.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles FC hosts the New England Revolution while St. Louis CITY SC makes the lengthy trip to face the Portland Timbers.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s MLS action:

FC Cincinnati vs. Sounders

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Apple TV

FC Cincinnati has yet to defeat the Seattle Sounders in MLS play and Saturday’s showdown won’t be easy with Brian Schmetzer’s squad riding a strong start to the regular season.

The Sounders have earned clean sheets in each of their first two matches, rolling past the Colorado Rapids before also defeating Real Salt Lake at Lumen Field. Seattle now heads on the road for the first time with Jordan Morris and Heber combining for five of the team’s six league goals so far. Stefan Frei remains key in between the posts while Alex Roldan leads the team with two assists.

FC Cincinnati took a major step forward in 2022 and 2023 should be another crucial year in the club’s history. Pat Noonan still has several deadly attackers to call on with Brandon Vazquez, Brenner, and Luciano Acosta all staying with the club this past offseason. However, all three are still searching for their first goals of the season and will start to feel some pressure if they cannot do so against the in-form Sounders on Saturday.

Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United

Saturday, 12 p.m., FOX, Apple TV

The first of two head-to-head meetings between Charlotte FC and Atlanta United comes your way weekend at Bank of America Stadium.

Christian Lattanzio’s squad have struggled in the early going, being held to one goal through 180 minutes of action. Enzo Copetti’s first MLS goal boosted Charlotte FC in front last week at St. Louis CITY SC, but the expansion side battled back to earn a 3-1 victory. There is plenty of attacking talent in Charlotte FC’s roster and Saturday would be a great time for Copetti, Karol Swiderski, and Kamil Jozwiak to start clicking in the final third.

Atlanta United fought back to earn one point in Week 2 vs. Toronto FC and Saturday’s trip to Charlotte provides Gonzalo Pineda’s squad with their first chance to impress on the road. Thiago Almada remains key to the Five Stripes attack after scoring two stellar goals on opening weekend, but the Argentine will need help from others if Atlanta United wants to be a force in the East. Luiz Araujo, Miguel Berry, and Caleb Wiley have all started along with Almada in the attacking front.

LAFC vs. Revolution

Sunday, 10:30 p.m., Apple TV

The New England Revolution have impressed through their opening two matches of 2023, but Sunday’s trip to Los Angeles FC will provide a good measuring stick on how much further Bruce Arena’s needs to improve.

The Revs shutout both Charlotte FC and the Houston Dynamo in their opening two matches, using goals from four different players to pick up wins. Bobby Wood and Latif Blessing have already made instant impacts with their new clubs while a strong defensive group led by Dave Romney and Henry Kessler have contributed to the cause. Djordje Petrovic has two clean sheets so far and very well could be important if the Revs steal a result at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC rolled out to a 3-0 lead against the Portland Timbers in Week 2, but ultimately might be a bit disappointed with the final scoreline of 3-2. Steve Cherundolo’s squad will still be lead by several key contributors from last season’s MLS Cup-winning campaign, including Carlos Vela and Giorgio Chiellini, who both scored last week. John McCarthy continues to stand in goal for the suspended Maxime Crepeau.

Timbers vs. St. Louis CITY SC

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. Apple TV

St. Louis CITY SC has punched above its weight through the opening two weeks of the 2023 campaign, but Saturday’s trip to Providence Park might be a different animal for Bradley Carnell’s squad.

After picking up a 3-2 road win over Austin FC in Week 1, St. Louis kickstarted life at CITYPARK by defeating Charlotte FC 3-1. Joao Klauss leads the way with two goals while Eduard Lowen has also been a key arrival in the squad. Tim Parker’s veteran presence has been helpful in the backline and the centerback also has one goal to his name this season.

The Portland Timbers suffered their first loss of the 2023 campaign in Los Angeles and will now have to be wary of a confident St. Louis CITY SC bunch. Giovanni Savarese’s squad fell down early and never recovered against LAFC, a theme that Timbers fans will hope is a distant memory this weekend. Evander and Juan Mosquera both scored their first MLS goals in the defeat and will be two of the key guys for St. Louis to stop at Providence Park.

Here is the rest of the Week 3 MLS Schedule:

Saturday (all times ET)

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas – 5:00 p.m.

Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew – 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire – 7:30 p.m.

New York City FC vs. Inter Miami – 7:30 p.m.

D.C. United vs. Orlando City – 7:30 p.m.

Nashville SC vs. CF Montreal – 8:30 p.m.

Minnesota United vs. New York Red Bulls – 8:30 p.m.

Sporting KC vs. L.A. Galaxy – 8:30 p.m.

Real Salt Lake vs. Austin FC – 9:30 p.m.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids – 10:30 p.m.


  1. Caleb Wiley turning into a heck of a Left Winger now. 2 goals and 1 assist today for Atlanta. His LB days may be over or is he going to be our Alphonso Davies?

    • There’s no way ATL releases him for U20 WC. Sigh……. How do they not see it’s literally millions of transfer dollars their giving away not showcasing him?

  2. Some tips for AppleTV viewers:
    1. To turn off scores on the menu. Go to Settings button (gears icon), scroll most of the way down to “Show sports scores” and click it to off. This turns it off on “Past Match” bar too.
    2. To watch full match replays. Scroll to past matches at the bottom of the MLS season pass screen. Click the match you want. Scroll to the bottom of that match screen, press and hold the icon that says “season pass”, then it will ask if you want recap or 90 min.
    Free matches on Apple TV
    Sea vs Cin
    MTL vs Nash
    SJ vs Col
    RSL vs Aus
    STL vs Por
    I bought the pass so not sure exactly how it works but I think you just need the free app. And no I don’t work for Apple.

    • So even if you pay for Apple TV there is an extra charge for the MLS games?
      And thanks for the info. I’m about to watch Cincy vs Seattle. I really don’t want to buy another ridiculous app for soccer. Already have ESPN+ and Paramount.

      • Yes, just like Sunday Ticket for NFL or League Pass for NBA. Before ESPN+ I think it was MLS Direct Kick. You can do it by the month so watch the free games until CL is over then cut Paramount+ till fall it would be about the same (it’s cheaper per month if you have AppleTV but you don’t need it to subscribe to season pass) Not much on ESPN+ in the summer either if you don’t have it bundled with Hulu and Disney so you could cut until fall. Otherwise just enjoy the free matches each week. 6 nationwide matches a week is probably more than previous years. I’m a Crew fan so I want to be sure to see them. So if its $80 a season then that like 2.50 a match. Usually I’ll watch at least one more match each week so now I’m at like $1.00 a match add in Leagues Cup and I feel it’s worth it value wise. There’s a little midweek stuff so I can see match previews and some training notes that I wouldn’t see not living in Ohio. I think for its first year it’s priced too high, but Apple has added a lot of value to the production. It was practically free on ESPN+ but ESPN put nothing into.

    • Thanks Johnyrazor.
      I can see how this works on the app, but viewing and getting to settings is different using ROKU. I’m not at home now, but will play around to see if the appropriate settings show up there, but am not hopeful regarding a “press and hold” feature with ROKU to get the choice for streaming past games.
      My complaints to Apple remain unanswered.

      • Also apparently there is not an app for android and using the browser version. The settings choices do not seem to exist, much less the ability to stream past matches. I will have to see if I can get the apple dongle work for my TV setup. Not the seamless thing I was hoping for.

  3. Looking forward to watching The Sounders come away with another win on Saturday.

    Other games I’m interested in:

    NE v LAFC: continue to watch Noel Buck

    San Jose v Colorado: very interested to watch Yapi and Cowell continue to play and get more fit for the hopeful u20 WC roster,

    KC v LA: See if Neal gets more minutes for LA

    Union v Fire: Interested to watch and see if Mcglynn and Sullivan continue to get minutes for the Union and Gutierrez for the Fire.

    Pretty much interested in games that have American youth players getting minutes.

    • Not sure if we’ll see much of the Union youngsters since they both started Tuesday.
      Yapi is intriguing especially since the U20s were without a true striker. Do the Rapids release their starting CF though?
      I’m hoping Diego Luna gets some more time for RSL.
      Josh Wydner (rumored to be heading to Benfica on USL record 1.5 million transfer this summer) opens at Orange County. I saw him in person last summer, super smooth.

      • Yeah he has the tools. Fully expect to see him on the u20 team this summer.

        Also have to say Halliday RB for Orlando has been very good to start this season. More than likely the starting RB for the u20’s.

        A lot of these guys are becoming key pieces for the MLS teams makes you wonder how reluctant these MLS teams may be to release these days for youth tournaments. At the youth level teams do not have to release players not even for the youth WC’s.

      • Apparently Lou City is wrapping Wydner in bubble wrap and not playing him to protect their investment.

      • Not much from the guys you were looking forward too. Philly boys were on for the goal, but no Gutierrez. Brady was pretty good in goal until he wasn’t. Yapi and Cowell were pretty quiet. Didn’t really see much of Galaxy but good Neal got the start I suppose. I’m more excited to see the U20 camp roster for March. It should give us an idea of who they think will be released.

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