I, Dustin “El Jefe” Christmann, am an FC Dallas fanatic from Day One of the Dallas Burn. I’m also a hater. I used to yell mean, hateful things from the stands at the Cotton Bowl and Toyota Stadium, but now, I’m sharing my id with you to help guide you, my fellow FCD fans, in your enjoyment of Major League Soccer on TV.
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle
I’m a hater. So do you think that it’s funny to me that MLS’ original “superclub,” the first club to win five championships, is currently above the playoff line only on tiebreaker? Do you think that it’s funny to me that MLS’ first-ever winner of the CONCACAF Champions League, a team that has never in 13 years missed the playoffs, is currently below the playoff line?
No, actually, I don’t think it’s funny. I think it’s HILARIOUS. Let’s have a result that’ll put them both below the playoff line and let’s bathe in all the schadenfreude.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, and since it’s on ESPN, we’ll get the added spectacle of hearing Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman pretend that these two decidedly mediocre teams are somehow worth watching.
Red Bulls vs. Cincinnati
After their midweek trip to Atlanta, the Red Bulls return home to collect the short-term rental fee and exorbitant cleaning fees from NYCFC and get back to doing what they do best: Not winning at Red Bull Arena. I didn’t even think it was possible to win only 25% of your home games in this league, but here we are.
Let’s keep those good vibes going, and let’s enjoy the improbability of an almost-competent FC Cincinnati, which feels a lot like a TikTok of a dog walking on his two hind legs like he’s people. And if they win, they’ll be above the playoff line, which would be the real-life version of that cinematic masterpiece Air Bud: World Pup!
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Cincy, because they’re all good dogs.
DC United vs. Philadelphia
They say that Washington is “Hollywood for ugly people,” so it was an ideal location for Wayne Rooney to continue his managerial career. No, not because he’s ugly, but because he’s pretty notorious for stepping out on his missus. So Hollywood for Ugly People might be an ideal spot for him, especially since Coleen Rooney apparently doesn’t like America, won’t be joining him in DelMarVa, and will be staying in the UK, where there are people who actually care about anything she has to say, especially about Rebekah Vardy.
Meanwhile, Philly is off of a midweek loss against a plucky, young bunch of upstarts out west, so they’ll be out for blood, especially against a garbage team like DC United.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: DC United, because I want to extend Wayne Rooney’s time in America as long as possible.
Montreal vs. New England
As a hater, I LOVE watching people tumble off their pedestal. So I love the 2022 New England Revolution. After winning the 2021 Supporters Shield, it has been a joy to watch them blow lead after lead after lead as they struggle to stay above the playoff line. And it’s especially fun watching it happen to a coach who will be the first to tell you that he’s the smartest guy in the room.
That Very Smart Coach’s opponent this week is their polar opposite, a club that has collected a bunch of points in comebacks this year. The heartbreakers against the heartbreak kids, baby!
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Montreal, on a winner in second-half stoppage time, after being down 2-0, after the Revs hit every piece of woodwork in the stadium. It’s not too much to ask, honestly.
Miami vs. Toronto
There’s just something about “paying an insane amount of money for Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, hiring the best coach the United States has ever produced, and still being in 11th place” that stirs something in a hater. Writing that made my black heart go pitter-patter.
So when that team is going up against a team whose entire existence has felt like a good old-fashioned Florida land scam, you know how I’m gonna roll. Do crimes, baby. Hire your old teammate as head coach, flagrantly disregard MLS roster rules, swindle Miami-Dade County out of a municipal golf course to build a stadium, whatever works.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Miami, and hopefully, when he’s inevitably subbed off after scoring two goals, the cameras catch Gonzalo Higuaín enjoying a hot dog and a beer from the concessions stand while sitting on the bench.
Minnesota vs. Austin
This is a game between the team that’s six points ahead of FCD with games in hand and the team four points behind FCD with two games in hand.
This is the “What, Are You Stupid?” Game of the Week. I’ll save my jokes for next week with these clowns.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, because duh.
Colorado vs. Houston
The “There Are No Winners Here” Game of the Week for FCD fans. Anyone who’s been an FCD fan for more than 10 minutes knows about Colorado in the playoffs, so they should remain below the playoff line for that reason and that reason only.
And the Dynamo? Yeah, they and their fans should suffer just on general principle. And frankly, it’s also funny to watch the Dynamo continue to be crap after I suffered through Glenn Davis and Eddie Robinson slobbering all over Hector Herrera on ESPN+ when Herrera debuted against FCD last month.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, because like the title says, there are no winners here.
Salt Lake vs. Vancouver
I was trying to think of something mean and hateful to write about these teams but I was coming up short. I really have nothing against either of them.
RSL, dumb name aside, is generally inoffensive to me. I like their fans, I like Brian Dunseth, they got rid of their shitty owner, and I’ve even had fry sauce once or twice and liked it. And Vancouver? They had some horrible, horrible things happen in their organization, but I don’t make jokes about that stuff. And Vancouver’s a lovely place filled with polite people where I absolutely could not afford to live.
Then it hit me: FCD is undefeated against both teams in the playoffs. They beat RSL in 2010 and Vancouver in 2014. Great job, morons, because FCD ain’t exactly the final boss of playoff teams. The only other teams in the Western Conference who haven’t beaten FCD in the playoffs haven’t ever played FCD in the playoffs.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: A rather harmless draw in the Mostly Harmless Derby.
San Jose vs. LAFC
Bale and Chiellini weren’t on the gameday roster last weekend because of “load management.” Bale and Chiellini weren’t on the gameday roster Tuesday because of “load management.” This has the feel of “Cameron’s dad bought a classic Ferrari and never drives it” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But it didn’t matter, since LAFC got 5-0 and 1-0 wins! Will LAFC’s classic imports actually deign to get on the plane for the short flight up to SJC? Does it matter? Of course not!
Meanwhile, I’m gonna say something nice about the San Jose Earthquakes, an incompetent organization in every way, shape, and form: Thank you for hiring Luchi and allowing him to show off his gameday fits yet again. It’s heartbreaking to watch him sitting on the sideline for the USMNT, wearing the same Nike warmups as everyone else on Berhalter’s staff.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: San Jose, because they temporarily saved Luchi Gonzalez from a bleak future of bland gameday fits.
Columbus vs. Atlanta
As someone who is addicted to schadenfreude, I love Atlanta United FC. Mostly, I love the fact that they’re crap now. They’re the Nas of MLS clubs: Great debut, then years of mediocrity. They should invite him out for their goofy “hammering the spike” pregame ceremony since I’m sure that not even Jermaine Dupri wants anything to do with them anymore.
They’re playing MLS’ First Team, a team whose fans have been around from the jump, a team whose fans fought back against the Rachel Phelps of Major League Soccer, a team whose fans named the Columbus Crew 2-FC Cincinnati 2 rivalry “Heck Is Plausible.” I am a hater, but I will give love to the people who were down when no one else was down.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Columbus, because you know that half of Atlanta’s season ticket base wrote some variation of “soccer sucks” or “MLS sucks” on a message board 10 years ago.
Chicago vs. NYCFC
When I first saw this game on the schedule, I had all sorts of jokes teed up about Soldier Field. After all, didn’t the Fire rather loudly move out of SeatGeek Stadium back to Soldier Field a couple of years ago? Yep, they sure did. But guess where this game is taking place? That’s right! SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview! Is it because of the Bears? Nope. (Though the Bears are the reason for the other two Fire home dates in Bridgeview later this season.) It is because they have been kicked out for… a Bad Bunny concert. I don’t care how insanely popular Bad Bunny is. There is nothing meaner that I can write about the Fire than that.
And they’re playing NYCFC, who literally invented MLS couch-surfing. I’m shocked that MLS didn’t put this game during Rivalry Week and call it the “Nowhere Is Home Derby.”
And those last two sentences are literally the only jokes that I had to come up with by myself for this game.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, because they both deserve something for making me not have to write jokes.
Charlotte vs. Orlando
If 2022 Me were to tell 2002 Me that 20 years later, MLS would have 28 teams and that that 28-team MLS would have teams in Charlotte and Orlando, but not Rochester, 2002 Me would tell 2022 Me, “Drugs are bad, m’kay,” because, in 2002, South Park references were still fresh. But 2002 Me might have a point because I look at the standings and I see CLT FC just below the playoff line, having just beaten NYCFC, and I swear that I’m on the good stuff. This team has done dumb stuff from the word go and they’re just below the playoff line. It makes me nostalgic for that bygone year of 2019, when FC Cincinnati did all sorts of dumb stuff, got lit up like a Christmas tree, and we all had laughs aplenty.
I can’t even do that with this group of jackasses who seem committed to grinding out results with some small modicum of competence, even after they fired their coach two months into the season. And I want them to provide me with more jokes because I otherwise have to go to the cheap-and-easy “CLT… huhhuhhuh” well.
And that’s all I’ll say about this match because my rooting interests as an FCD fan were always a foregone conclusion.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Orlando City, because Papi.
Kansas City vs. Portland
I hate Peter Vermes. I hate his goon squad of a club. I love, love, love that they’re the worst team in the West in 2022. I love watching opponents pound their brains in, and I hate that FCD has not done that yet this year. I love watching Vermes yell and scream and gesticulate about every single call against his team, only to eventually give up, sit on the bench, and stew in resignation yet again.
Meanwhile in Portland, Gio Savarese is a clown on the sideline, even if he’ll always come in second to that dope in Kansas City. And they’ve got a rather hateable owner who is a little too online. And they spent the last year or so trying to cover domestic violence by a former player. And they still pay real American money to Diego Chará to engage in thuggery and shithousery.
I hate both of these teams for different reasons, I wish nothing but bad things for them, I love that they’re both below the playoff line, and I love that FS1 is gonna be broadcasting this bumfight on Sunday night.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Draw, obviously, but in a contentious match filled with questionable calls and VAR reviews that cause both managers’ heads to explode on national TV.
Nashville vs. FC Dallas
I still can’t believe that any city whose entire economy is based on hickpop, bachelorette parties, and pedal bar pub crawls has an NFL team, an NHL team, and an MLS team. OK, sure, they’re also the state capital of Tennessee, but given that the largest industries in the great expanse between Nashville and Memphis are “outlaw possum fights” and “selling homemade jelly by the side of the road,” I can’t imagine that state government is too big of a player either.
In the hopefully distant future in which Dolly Parton, America’s patron saint, has passed, we’ll find out that she was propping up the whole thing the entire time.
Aside from that, I hate that FCD has to inflict pain and suffering on a player that I enjoyed watching when I was growing up in the ’80s, but hey, it’s nothing personal, Dax.