The Weekender: Lining up the perfect threesome

To get the job done right, you need a pack of three

Watching four consecutive hours of LeBron James coverage killed the Weekender’s brain Thursday night. But just before we blacked out and hit the floor, the realization hit: threesomes. That, evidently, is how to get it done these days.

LeBron has D-Wade and Chris Bosh. Arjen Robben has Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder. Conor Casey has Omar Cummings and Mehdi Ballouchy. Even the perfect summer weekend drink has just three ingredients, if done the right way.

Face it. Maybe all that LeBron overkill was worth it.

Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC (Saturday, 12 pm ET, MLS Direct Kick, Matchday Live)

Is there a more underrated team in MLS than the Rapids? With all the hype surrounding the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, most people living at sea level have forgotten about Gary Smith’s crew, who are quietly on a six-game unbeaten streak. The Conor Casey-Omar Cummings duo has combined for 10 of the team’s 16 goals this season, and Casey is starting to find the form that eluded him for much of the spring. Mehdi Ballouchy, meanwhile, is one of the better creative midfielders out west, and his play has added an extra offensive element to a club that has traditionally grinded out results the hard way. A strong result in Toronto would add to the Rapids’ already impressive résumé, but will people start to notice? They will soon enough.

D.C. United at New York Red Bulls (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MLS Direct Kick, Matchday Live)

Sure, the Red Bulls’ summer resurrection has a lot to do with Juan Pablo Ángel. But the team’s defensive group has put the clamps down in the last few weeks, thanks to the unlikely combination of Chris Albright, Tim Ream and Carlos Mendes. Albright and Ream are Red Bulls regulars, but Mendes is a recent insertion into the backline, and he’s drawing solid reviews from RBNY coach Hans Backe. He locked down Casey in a 1-1 draw against the Rapids on July 4, and should have a relatively easy day against a D.C. team still looking to build some real momentum.

Netherlands vs. Spain, FIFA World Cup final (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

Remember all the talk about European football tumbling into the sea? Italy, France, England, all swept aside while CONCACAF fans dreamed and South Americans drooled. In the end, however, we’re left with a second consecutive all-Euro final and the seventh in World Cup history. Robben, Kuyt and Sneijder have lived up to the pre-tournament hype that made Holland the sexiest pick among pundits, and Spain’s own threesome of David Villa, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi make this final one of the most star-studded affairs in recent memory. Like we had to tell you to watch it anyway.

Bartender: The Perfect Sangria

Sangria would be an ideal summer drink even if Spain weren’t in the final on Sunday. But the fact that they are just gives you another reason to try your hand at making a drink that too many bartenders too often botch. Rule of thumb: Don’t skimp on the wine. An $8 bottle of wine tastes like an $8 bottle of wine, and leaves you with a priceless hangover. So be willing to shell out a few more ducats for a little better vintage. Slice up the fruit (oranges, pineapple, limes, lemons, strawberries, etc.) and let it all marinate in the wine overnight on Saturday. On Sunday, drop two cups of seltzer water and its time to kick off.

Listen Up: Male Bonding, Nothing Hurts

Power trios were all the rage in the 90s (Green Day, Sublime, Blink 182), but none was bigger than Nirvana. Male Bonding, a fuzzy, rocking Brit threesome, are at times cut from a similar cloth, but they’re certainly not as polished or poetic as Kurt & Co. And maybe that’s the point in an era when sounding lo-fi pays the bills just the same, and draws a legion of indie-rock fist pumpers and shoe-gazers alike. Male Bonding certainly aren’t doing anything revolutionary here, but scrappy knock-off bands are a dime a dozen, and these guys look like they’ll at least have some staying power this summer.

At the Theater: Despicable Me

Soccer dads will almost surely enjoy Universal’s well-received latest attempt to keep up with Pixar, where a trio of orphan girls change the life of super-villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell). The film is loaded with stars (Jason Segal, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand), and seems to be holding up its end of the bargain after a carpet-bombing marketing campaign. What’s it about? Well, evidently Gru is out to steal the moon before the girls arrive and general wackiness ensues, but who cares? It’s in 3D, and these days we’ll watch anything in 3D. We’ll also watch anything with Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), both of whom are featured.