We have a mixed opinion of all these mid-season exhibitions going on right now in MLS. They definitely help pay the bills and probably help boost the league’s international profile, but as competitive games, they leave a bit to be desired.
No MLS team wants to risk injury to a key player in exhibitions like these, so stars are subbed out after 45 minutes, and the reserves are not usually up to playing with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid. That, to a large extent, is how you wind up with unflattering scorelines like the 4-1 results New England and Los Angeles got against those two powerhouses. (The other part of it is … well, that the opponents are Real Madrid and Manchester United.)
The games do provide some interesting matchups, though, and the chance to see some of the best players in the world show their stuff in U.S. venues.
And tonight, there are five of them—all against Premier League opponents. (Only one, Seattle vs Manchester United, is part of the World Football Challenge; the other four are friendlies.)
On top of that, there are five MLS regular season games.
Here are the matchups, with TV info where applicable (all times ET):
Seattle Sounders FC vs Manchester United (10:00, Fox Soccer Channel)
Philadelphia Union vs Everton (7:30)
Houston Dynamo vs Bolton Wanderers (8:30)
Sporting Kansas City vs Newcastle United (8:30)
Portland Timbers vs West Bromwich Albion (11:00, streaming live on PortlandTimbers.com)
D.C. United vs New England (7:30, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live)
Toronto FC vs FC Dallas (8:00, TSN, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live)
Colorado vs New York (9:30, MSG, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live)
Los Angeles vs Columbus (10:30, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live)
San Jose vs Vancouver (10:30, TSN, MLS DirectKick, MatchDay Live)
There’s also a World Football Challenge match between CD Guadalajara and Real Madrid at 11:00 (ESPN2/Deportes)—and a Copa America semifinal between Paraguay and Venezuela (8:30, Univision).