There's not much anyone can do about it now, since the games are scheduled and the TV contracts are set, but don't you think ESPN is wishing they could get tonight's game (Houston @ Toronto) for their nationally televised Thursday night match?
It's not that Dallas @ Chicago is going to be a bad game. It should be a good, exciting match — with the Toronto's explosion over the weekend, the fantastic support they're getting at BMO, and the number of Houston players with links to Canada tonight's match looks like the kind of event that would help grab casual fans and help get them hooked on the beautiful game.
Having games hidden away on package channels that only a fan will be subscribed to just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Spreading the (relatively few) games throughout the week doesn't make too much sense either. Wouldn't it be great if there were two games tomorrow night, and ESPN could choose which one to televise based on the current setting rather than preseason expectations?