I’m Dustin “El Jefe” Christmann and I 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.
I’m back from vacation, but MLS decided to mostly take a break this week because this is the September international break, so there’s still not much to talk about this week. I need to time my vacations better as Buzz does.
There are only two league games before MLS returns to a full schedule next weekend.
FC Dallas qualified for the playoffs. Nothing else matters. Of course, in typical FC Dallas fashion, they did so in an unconvincing fashion, getting a draw in San Jose while having other results go their way.
And now that that task is done, we can start stressing about whether they’ll finish in the top four and get a playoff game in the friendly confines of Toyota Stadium.
San Jose vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN+, 9:00)
This is MLS’ original West Coast rivalry, as old as the league itself. The Quakes and their fans are as hyped as always for this game. They’ve even moved it from PayPal Park to Stanford Stadium!
The league? Not so much. They’re putting it in the middle of the international break on ESPN+ when folks are justafiably more interested in the… (checks notes) UEFA Nations League.
Oh sure, the USMNT also has a couple of pre-World Cup friendlies in Europe, but you can’t pay me to be more interested in those than I am in the garbage 3rd game of the NFL preseason.
And speaking of garbage, the San Jose Earthquakes are a reason why you might want to find better things to do with your time than watch this game.
But the Galaxy are still mathematically in striking distance of our heroes, they’re currently in the playoffs, and they’ve got players worth watching that aren’t in MLS as a means to get paid to tour all of Southern California’s finest golf courses.
Seriously, though, I regret to inform y’all that the Galaxy are likely gonna get into the playoffs. Am I happy about this? Not really.
They have been the platonic ideal of Dan Hunt’s notion that you just need to get into the playoffs, then the magic happens. Two of their championships came in seasons where they were kind of “meh” in the regular season, finished in the middle of the Western Conference, made the playoffs, fooled around, and won MLS Cup.
It’s infuriating, to be honest.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: San Jose, in a match where they realize that they literally have nothing to lose, play out of their minds, and give hope to all of fans in attendance hope that better things are around the corner in 2023 under Luchi Gonzalez.
Seattle vs. Cincinnati (ESPN+, 9:00)
This game was originally scheduled for April 9, but since the Sounders made it to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, MLS was nice enough to reschedule it to September 27, when the Sounders would surely already have a playoff spot wrapped up again and Cincinnati would be safely out of the playoffs again.
If you had told me that Cincinnati would be in playoff position with three games to go and that Seattle wouldn’t be, I would’ve used that as evidence supporting old potheads’ assertion that the weed today is so much stronger than it was back in the days when they’d put the Eagles in the 8-track player and light one up.
Mind you, neither team’s fate is decided yet, so in a month, neither thing might be true.
But today, it is true.
And let’s keep that buzz going, play Widespread Panic on Spotify, contemplate how purple tastes, and dream about a future in which Seattle misses the playoffs for once.
And let’s face it: The “win CONCACAF Champions League, miss the MLS Cup playoffs” combo is far funnier than most Seth Rogan films. You don’t even have to smoke the good shit to appreciate it!
Let me also give a special shoutout to FC Cincinnati, who rolled into Rio Tinto Stadium, got the win, which enabled FCD to qualify for the playoffs with their draw in San Jose.
I still don’t know how to deal with the sudden emergence of competence in Cincinnati this season, but I’m grateful for it at least for one night. And then they followed it up by beating Chivas in something called the Leagues Cup Showcase this past Tuesday.
Jefe the Hater’s rooting pick: Cincinnati, and it’s long past time that we as a people acknowledge that pot is no more dangerous to the human body than a Skyline Chili 5-Way.