Daily Kickoff - 2.21.24
What you need to know

MLS is Back tonight

The regular season begins in earnest as Inter Miami CF host Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is set for 8 pm ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

CCC continues

New England Revolution face CA Independiente and Orlando City SC travel to Cavalry FC as 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup action continues.

Miami use buyout on Jean

Inter Miami CF have used their offseason buyout on attacker Corentin Jean, ensuring the Frenchman won't occupy an international roster slot or count against their 2024 salary budget.

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Two back-and-forth CCC matches provided a great opening act for the return of MLS's regular season tonight.

St. Louis CITY SC - 2 | Houston Dynamo FC - 1 (Concacaf Champions Cup)
Parker (61’), Kijima (90’) | Kowalczyk (72’)

St. Louis aren’t done having magic moments. In their first-ever Concacaf Champions Cup (FKA CCL) match, Hosei Kijima found a late winner in front of an outstanding home crowd. Kijima, a 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick, officially signed with St. Louis Tuesday morning. It’s not often an MLS player wearing No. 85 makes an impact in a Concacaf game, but St. Louis found a way. They’ll take a 2-1 lead into the second leg.

Meanwhile, Houston had a painful, painful start to the year. The loss would be enough of a bummer by itself, but the universe had a little extra in store. DP forward Sebastián Ferreira left the match after just 25 minutes with a non-contact injury. With Héctor Herrera already injured to begin the season, the Dynamo seemed set to lean on a Ferreira redemption arc to help guide the way early on. That arc may have collapsed before it even got started.

Saprissa - 2 | Philadelphia Union - 3 (Concacaf Champions Cup)
Glesnes (28’ OG), Taylor (90’) | Carranza (55’, 75’, 79’)

The next time a Philadelphia crowd yells “SHOOOOOT” when Jakob Glesnes gets the ball, it’s going to hit a little different. Glesnes opened the Union’s CCC campaign with an all-timer of an own goal that came when he booted the ball back toward Andre Blake from about as conceivably far away as you could accidentally score an own goal.

Fortunately for the Union (and Glesnes), Julián Carranza had a much better sense of which goal to shoot toward. His hat trick led the way for a Union side that woke up and began to look a lot like the group that made a run to the semifinals of last year’s competition… and then that momentum kind of disappeared at the end. Probably because I wrote the part about looking like the group that made a run before the game ended. My bad, y’all. They’re still in control, but it’s going to take a little more work for Philly to advance in the second leg.


The MLS regular season is finally here! As are two more CCC matchups. We prayed for times like this.

Inter Miami CF vs. Real Salt Lake

Finally, we get a real look at this Inter Miami team without them going up against a team loaded with DP-caliber players or a team they traveled around the world to face, or both.

That doesn’t mean RSL will be an easy three points, though. They’ll be up for the fight from the jump. That’s their M.O. in general, but it will be ratcheted up a notch for the MLS season opener against the most followed MLS team in the world.

That’s just the reality for Miami this year. They’re going to get everyone’s best shot. We’ll see if that’s enough on opening night for an RSL side that won’t quite have the same talent level on the field.

Other Things

Orlando sign midfielder Kocevski: Orlando City SC have signed midfielder Jeorgio Kocevski through the 2024 MLS season with options for 2025-27. Kocevski, 21, was selected No. 21 overall (first round) by Orlando in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft out of Syracuse University.

St. Louis sign SuperDraft selection Kijima: St. Louis CITY SC have signed MLS SuperDraft pick Hosei Kijima through the 2024 season with options for 2025-2027. Kijima, a Japan-born midfielder, was picked No. 17 overall (first round) out of Wake Forest. Additionally, forward and SuperDraft pick Brendan McSorley has joined St. Louis' MLS NEXT Pro team after being picked No. 79 overall (third round) out of Providence College.

Charlotte sign forward Tavares from MLS NEXT Pro: Charlotte FC have signed forward Iuri Tavares from their MLS NEXT Pro team, Crown Legacy FC. The 22-year-old Cape Verde international is under contract through the 2026 MLS season with an option for 2027. He occupies an international roster spot.

Toronto acquire defender Long from Birmingham City: Toronto FC have acquired center back Kevin Long from English Championship side Birmingham City. His contract lasts through 2024 with a 2025 option. The 33-year-old former Irish international is Toronto’s third offseason signing, joining Honduran international midfielder Deybi Flores and No. 1 SuperDraft pick Tyrese Spicer.

Nashville sign defender Gaines: Nashville SC have signed defender Julian Gaines through the 2024 MLS season with options for 2025-26. Gaines, 21, last played for LAFC. He is also the brother of Nashville forward McKinze Gaines.

The Reading Rainbow
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Good luck out there. It's go time.