MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 22, 2007

Another weekend of soccer action is upon us. Many of you will probably be checking out the US-Mexico game Sunday. Couldn’t blame ya a bit on that as its always a good match when those two countries collide. But others will turn their attention to another weekend of MLS action. Only Chicago is off this weekend and I am sure Fire fans are a bit happy to see their team getting a breather after the week or so that they have endured.

On to the action for this weekend…plenty of good games I believe.

Saturday’s action:

Toronto FC at New England Revolution: Here is the start of a big test for the Reds. The road hasn’t been too kind to them this season but their last road outing was a draw so things are looking up for this club. I believe Mo Johnston really has is club playing at a good level these days and they will get some of their roster back from the Gold Cup, another good thing.

As for the Revs, they are sliding down at the moment. It seems like the last couple games they have just walked through and not really seemed to care as much about them. Their defense hasn’t played well at all, they are surely missing Michael Parkhurst. Their offense is still clicking and that is a good thing if you are Steve Nicol. As I said earlier this week, Adam Cristman is looking like a real solid Rookie of the Year candidate.

Last time they met at Foxboro, the Revs blanked the Reds 4-0 behind goals form Twellman, Joesph and Dorman. Tomorrow the Revs won’t have Twellman as he is still with the National team in Chicago getting ready for the Gold Cup final with Mexico.

These two clubs are much more different then last time out. Toronto was hadn’t even begun to find their way as a club and New England was starting to get on a nice roll. Today, TFC has figured themselves out and are playing well, while the Revs are coasting along. In the two games this month they were both draws at home to Columbus and Salt Lake, two clubs that aren’t nearly as good as Toronto is.
I think this will be a much more entertaining game as far as the soccer goes than last time. I think it will ultimately come down to how the Rev’s defense handles Jeff Cunningham (and Dichio if he plays). In the end I see a draw between these two clubs with plenty of goals. New England hasn’t been able to close out games at home in recent weeks and Toronto should be able to capitalize on that.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, Toronto 2

FC Dallas at Colorado Rapids: If you haven’t noticed I have put Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo on the coaching hot seats. His clubs has been playing some uninspiring soccer as of late. Then again, Dallas has been pretty up and down as well. This western conference clash should be interesting. I am eager to see the reception that the Rapids’ faithful give Dallas keeper Dario Sala.

Neither team will be missing too many players. Dallas will be of course without Kenny Cooper, but as far as international call-ups this game shouldn’t be missing a great deal of players. Carlos Ruiz is back and in gear with the Hoops. It was very good to see him make the trip (even in a losing effort) to Toronto after his Gold Cup duties had ended.

I really don’t know which way to lean in this game. For Dallas this will be their 10th road game of the season. Weird to think they only have five remaining road games at this point in the season and after this match they will be half way done in the season. A couple games ahead of every other club in the league.

Neither team has been playing all that great in recent weeks. Colorado for the most part hasn’t seen in win in over about a month (a 1-0 win over LA on May 26th). Dallas has been up and down as we all know. Winning then getting blown out in the next game has become a weird trait of this club. But when they get a few days between games they seem to play very well.

I think with Ruiz back in the lineup the Hoops play well and squeeze out a victory over the Rapids. These two clubs don’t like one another so expect a physical match. Dallas will look like a different club with Pablo Ricchetti back in the lineup. Pablo has learned just how bad the MLS refs can be over the past few games. He had to sit out the Toronto blowout thanks to yellow card accumulation.

Expect a close but physical game. Again, I am taking the Hoops.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Colorado 1

DC United at Real Salt Lake: Could this be a trap game for DC? I surely doubt it. Last year in Salt Lake, the Royals won a crazy game that saw two PKs in the final minutes of play, giving RSL the 2-1 win over the United. Will this year’s game be as crazy? Again, I surely doubt it.

DC hasn’t lost a game in eight outings while RSL still hasn’t won a game. If they do not win tomorrow, they will enter July winless and will set the par in overall suckingness in the process. Suckingness…that can’t even be a word. Whatever.

I like DC in this contest. I do think RSL will get one on the board…probably Esky, but Emilio is playing too well these days to figure anything but three points for the Black-and-Red.

WVH Prediction: DC 3, RSL 1

Columbus Crew at LA Galaxy: Columbus made me look like a total jackass in the midweek but now they will attempt to do it again on Saturday in LA. While the Galaxy will enter the game with a fresh face or two. It looks as though Alexi Lalas is turning into the worst GM in the league as he may be making more deals in the coming days. I doubt we will recognize this club by the time David Beckham laces up the boots and makes his debut next month (29 days by the way).

LA did play decent soccer last weekend in a 3-2 victory over RSL. Somehow though Columbus has had some success against the Galaxy. Double in the factor that the Crew won’t have to face Landon Donovan again in LA, and they could be staring at another three points.

I actually see a draw in this contest. If it were in Columbus I would easily go for the three points for the Crew but in the Toolbox, you have to give a little favor to the home side.  Columbus looked real good against Kansas City on Wednesday and will look to continue that style of play. I think this will be a game Sigi will really want to win against his old club. But a draw is where I go.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, LA 1

Sunday’s contest: Houston Dynamo at Kansas City Wizards: Well last night wasn’t a trap game at all for the Dynamo. They didn’t fall into the same horrible play that the Wizards got on Wednesday. The offense was surely there for the Dynamo and now they get a couple of their main players back in Pat Onstad and Dewayne De Rosario. That is good because the Wizards may have one of the best midfields in the league and Houston will need their best to compact it.

Kansas City has been stellar at home this season so far, only giving up four goals and losing once in a 2-1 game against Dallas back in May. Houston hasn’t been too stellar on the road though, three losses and those have come against the eastern conference.

So what gives in this game? Does Houston break its streak against eastern conference foes and get another win in the column against them. Or does the Wizards continue their form at home.

I think it comes down to if the Wizards can find a way to score against the Dynamo defense, which has looked very good in recent weeks.

I see this shaping up to be another draw though. Even if the Wizards had Eddie Johnson in the lineup I would probably still lean this way, for now until I am proven otherwise. Its a safe bet but it still should be a solid game.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 1, Houston 1