The MLS has finally reached the All-Star break after it was pushed back to August because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the late start to the 2021 season.
On Wednesday night in Los Angeles, the MLS All-Stars will face the Liga MX All-Stars from Mexico.
The annual event usually sees the MLS All-Star side pitted against a European club touring the United States for their pre-season, but with Europe's leagues now well underway, it simply wasn't possible.
Heading into the break, Inter Miami will be happy with their progress after another win this weekend, while New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders retained their top spots in the two conferences, the latter inflicting a defeat to defending champions, Columbus Crew.
Inter Miami continue their comeback
Phil Neville's side is finally firing on all cylinders after initially struggling to score or create chances early in the season. With players back from injury, including Gonzalo Higuain and Robbie Robinson, plus summer transfers added, the Herons are flying up the table.
On Saturday, they beat Toronto FC 3-1 to complete back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The win also marked the first time in franchise history they have won by more than one goal. Better yet, the Herons have just one loss in their last seven games and are now only five points away from the final play-off spot in the Eastern Conference.
Mexican international Rodolfo Pizarro scored a brace against Toronto to build on his injury-time winner against Chicago last week, and has continued to forge a strong striking partnership with Higuain.
Robinson also scoring on Saturday means the 22-year-old American takes his tally for the season up to four, with three coming since July 25.
Miami have also improved at the other end of the field, and Nick Marsman looked set to keep a clean sheet before his own defender Kieran Gibbs put one past the Miami keeper in the 62nd minute.
Despite the own goal, Gibbs has played a big part in Miami's improved defence, as has Marsman. The duo both joined in the summer and have brought a mass of experience and confidence to the Miami squad.
After the All-Star break, Inter Miami will be back in action against Florida rivals Orlando City SC on Friday night. With no players in Wednesday's game, the Heron's should be well rested for the trip.
New York derby postponed
The much anticipated New York derby, also known as the Hudson River derby, was postponed on Saturday due to Tropical Storm Henri. The New York Red Bulls were set to host NYCFC in Harrison, New Jersey, in the rivalry's first scheduled meeting of 2021.
With fans in attendance, the game was first delayed for two hours, then delayed again with lightning in the area. Players came onto the waterlogged pitch about 10.45pm but on-site officials deemed the surface unplayable and the game was postponed.
After the break, the Red Bulls face another home clash as they host Chicago Fire on Saturday.
LA Galaxy lose twice before break
With Chicharito still recovering from a calf injury, the Los Angeles Galaxy were beaten 2-1 by both Colorado Rapids and San Jose this week. The first clash saw the Galaxy give up an early penalty, tie the game before half-time and ultimately lose to Andre Shinyashiki's strike in the 73rd minute.
Against San Jose, they entered half-time goalless, but went behind in the 52nd minute, equalised through Victor Vasquez and then lost through Niko Hamalainen's own goal 20 nminutes from time.
Colorado's 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake puts them into third place in the Western Conference.
Striker Kevin Cabral, who had scored in two straight games, was a late scratch on Friday, leaving the Galaxy without a first-team striker. Chicharito has been out since late June and likely will not participate in the All-Star Game, despite being selected last month.
The Galaxy head across town for El Trafico on Saturday where a win will prevent rivals LAFC from entering the play-off positions.