Lunch Links: MLS Previews Galore, VAR Mishaps, & D.C. United's Akeem Ward

The opening day of Major League Soccer is here — well, basically. After months of non-MLS soccer, the month of MLS action has finally arrived. And the first weekend of the season isn't starting off quietly, either. A number of high-profile clashes jump right off the page: D.C. United vs Atalanta United, of course, but also Columbus vs New York Red Bulls, LAFC vs Sporting KC, and more.

The games start tomorrow at noon CT and won't finish until past 11 PM. Yeah, I'd say that's very good! If you really want to make a day of it, you could start by watching Arsenal battle Tottenham (go Gunners) at 6:30 AM, flip to Schalke-Dusseldorf at 8:30 to watch Weston McKennie, and by that point you'll have plenty of options.

Did we mention there's a derby in Rome between Roma and Lazio? Oh, and that thing called El Clasico. 

Here's some reading to tide you over:

All The MLS Preview Content You Need For Opening Day

1. On FloFC, Captain Streff recaps Atlanta's impressive win the Concacaf Champions League, and what it means for their matchup vs D.C. United on Sunday.

2. Also on FloFC: The D.C. United midfield goes through one very, very good Argentine: Lucho Acosta.

3. The only Designated Player + MLS + LA Galaxy Twitter thread you'll ever need to read:



4. From SI.com: Top 24 Storylines, Questions, & Names to Watch Entering MLS's 24th Season. To be clear, that's 24 total things, not 24 in each category. Just in case that wasn't clear. 

5. One last from FloFC, looking at one crucial player on each Eastern Conference team. West will be tomorrow.

D.C. United Video: Akeem Ward Locks Himself Out

6. The latest from FloFC's video offering follows Akeem Ward around the day of the team's preseason matchup with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Akeem is a good kid!

7. The smart folks at American Soccer Analysis have done a lot of MLS previewing with a generous amount of graphs and charts.

To Italy We Go: I'm VAR-Y Disappointed

7. To be honest, I can't get enough of VAR and VAR scandals. I find them quite entertaining. Here's Adam Digby's latest "10 Things In Italy" column.

8. Via Di Marzio: Roma-Lazio is going to be a testy one tomorrow in Italy's capital. FloFC will have preview content for the game tomorrow as well.



That's all, folks. Enjoy the endless day of soccer (or futbol, or calcio, or football) tomorrow.

Alejandro Bedoya On What Went Wrong With USA & More

The Philadelphia Union have enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 Major League Soccer season, with the Chester outfit (at the time of writing) sitting second in the Eastern Conference. Captain Alejandro Bedoya has been crucial to their early success and so FloFC figured this would be a good time to catch up with the former Nantes and Rangers midfielder.

Houston Dynamo Fight Back To Defeat D.C. United 2-1

Despite taking a lead early in the second half, D.C. United's troubles in Houston continued on Saturday night, as the Houston Dynamo fought back for a 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. Wayne Rooney's goal 25 seconds into the second half was negated by two goals in two minutes from substitutes Memo Rodriguez and Tommy McNamara. Paul Arriola then got a red card late on, harming United's chances of grabbing a late equalizer.

D.C. United Out For Another Result On The Road Against Houston Dynamo

D.C. United are back at it on Saturday in part two of a three-game road trip following their midweek draw against Toronto FC. They face a stiff test against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in a matchup of two of the league’s best teams this year. The action is set to kick off at 8:30 PM ET, and coverage starts on FloFC at 8 PM ET for DMV viewers.

Graham Smith Answers Sporting KC's Call

After spending most of the 2018 campaign with Sporting KC’s USL affiliate, the Swope Park Rangers, center back Graham Smith has started the last two games for Sporting KC as the club fights through a number of injuries. 

DCU Face Another Talented Attack After Defensive Masterclass In Toronto

Fresh off a scoreless draw in which D.C. United were able to fend off the third most shots in MLS history (35), Ben Olsen’s men head to the Lone Star State in search of another positive result against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night. The Black-and-Red will face another stiff test at the back when they line up opposite of one of the league’s most electrifying attacks

Yoann Damet Brings A New Attitude To FC Cincinnati

A change of coaches brought about a much needed change in attitude for FC Cincinnati. 

Breaking Down D.C. United's Scoreless Draw Against Toronto FC

D.C. United probably weren't awarded any style points by the judges last night against Toronto FC, but nonetheless, the Black-and-Red left BMO Field with a point in a 0-0 draw. United, with a heavily rotated squad, surrendered 35 shots throughout the game, the third most in a single game in MLS history. But few of those shots resulted in good scoring opportunities for the Reds, which allowed D.C. to keep their seventh clean sheet of the season.

10 Things In Italy: Lazio Wins Coppa & Belotti Stuns Sassuolo

Another seven interesting days have passed in the world of Italian football, so it’s time for this week’s edition of 10 Things to help you catch up with what has been happening in and around Serie A.

Alianza de Futbol Partners With FloSports To Reach National Audience

AUSTIN, Texas – May 16, 2019 —Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and Alianza de Futbol, the leading organization in the United States dedicated to the development of amateur Hispanic soccer, announced a multi-year agreement to provide live and on-demand English language coverage of select matches airing now through November of 2021 on FloFC.com. 

Lazio Boss Simone Inzaghi Deserves Credit For Coppa Italia Triumph

Lazio clearly hadn’t read the script in Wednesday evening’s Coppa Italia final. Almost everyone who has followed Italian football this season expected Atalanta to be the ones to lift the trophy at the end of the match, however the Bergamo-based side with the ultra-attacking philosophy were stopped in their tracks as Lazio stormed to a 2-0 win.