MLS Mid-Week Preview

MLS Mid-Week Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 22, 2007

One of those rare mid-week sets for the league tonight. Two games between four eastern clubs jockeying for position as the playoffs come closer.

Red Bull New York at DC United: This installment of the Atlantic Cup has a lot in it for once. Both currently tied in points in the east (with 33) and both hoping to catch New England for that top spot in the east. More importantly they are both trying to stake a claim in one of the final automatic bids in the eastern conference given to the top two clubs.
So far they have split their matches this season, so this rubber match will give one of these clubs the season Atlantic Cup title. Both coming off nice wins over the weekend; New York beat LA in a wild 5-4 match while DC went on the road to beat Columbus 2-0.

Many may look for Ben Olsen to have another big game against the Red Bulls. Olsen netted a hat trick back in June against the Red Bulls in the 4-2 win. Also expect another physical match between the two clubs, DC has yet to finish a game this season with New York without getting someone red carded (Boswell and Fred both were have been red carded in previous matches with New York).

New York hasn’t seen a whole lot of success in RFK Stadium over the years and I don’t think that even having a red-hot club right now will do enough to change that. Sure New York is playing well but on the road in RFK doesn’t sound too good for me in regards to their chances. I like DC to take this game, which will be close like the last one and move closer to New England in the standings.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, New York 1

Chicago Fire at Kansas City Wizards: Front end of a weird home-and-home series this week with these two clubs that has a huge meaning in the playoff picture. Chicago currently sits three points out while KC is currently in but is continuing to slide down the race.

KC is on a bit of a losing spree in recent weeks while the Fire are arguably the league’s hottest team, they haven’t lost since the All-Star break. I honestly don’t like KC’s chances in this one since midfielder Carlos Marinelli is out due to yellow card accumulation. Their previous meeting back in April saw the Fire down the Wizards 2-1.

I really believe the Wizards are peaking in the wrong direction at this time while the Fire are in the right direction. Blanco has made a great impact on this club and it is really showing even though the quality of competition hasn’t been all that great. KC will be a good test for the Fire at this point as they move closer into the playoff fold. A win tonight will put the Fire in the top eight and will knock out Columbus (Chicago has a couple games at hand).

With the midfield lacking Marinelli, I don’t see the Wizards putting up a great fight in this one, especially after what I saw on Sunday against New England. For the Wizards to do well, Eddie Johnson has to show up in this one. He didn’t on Sunday and if he wants a post season run, he has to step up against a defense that isn’t great by any means. But with Marinelli out in the midfield I doubt Johnson will get his chance.

I like the Fire in this one because of the way they are playing in recent games. Their new offense is actually fun to watch and worth taking in, even if you hate Blanco.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, KC 0