MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 31, 2007

Five games to talk about this weekend, all with some sort of playoff impact to them.

Chicago Fire – at – New York Red Bulls

Big time game in the Big Apple with these two eastern conference foes. One team is holding on to a playoff spot, while the other is creeping up into the fold. A win for the Fire could put them directly into the playoff picture but a loss would be a big set back at this point in the season.

New York blew out the Fire back in May when the clubs met in Giant Stadium. Juan Pablo Angel found the back of the net twice and the Red Bulls scored twice in the first three minutes. Don’t expect this game to turn out the same way with the way the Fire have been playing lately. Chicago has won four out of the last five while the Red Bulls are coming off a pair of losses.

This game looks tricky to predict really, as this will be the only game in a while for the Red Bulls at home. I think they will be a little bit more up for this one since it is such an important home game. But with the way the Fire have been lately it just seems like its a draw in my mind. I like Blanco to draw fairly well in the Big Apple and he may possibly score another goal himself. Figure on Angel or Alitdore to get their names in the score book as well.

WVH Prediction: New York 2, Chicago 2

DC United – at – FC Dallas

Big time game between some top clubs from the east and the west in Frisco tomorrow. A game that I am hoping to attend really. DC is one of the hottest clubs in the league, winners of five in a row and Dallas has been playing fairly well as of late too. The time off for Dallas has been key, not just signing Denilson but getting some players healthy is the most important part for the Hoops.

The last meeting was a classic really. DC looked to walk away with a 3-0 win in the Nation’s capital but Dallas found a way back into the game thanks in large to Juan Carlos Toja’s two goals to tie the game. It was one of the biggest comebacks in league history.

The injury report for Juan Toja is still questionable. He has been doing some work lately but it isn’t known if he will make the starting lineup tomorrow or not. I think for Dallas to be successful, they need Toja’s energy in the lineup. No word yet if Denilson will be in the lineup tomorrow as well, his visa was just approved in the last day or so and a roster spot should have been opened up with the news that Marcelo Saragosa was being moved to the IR thanks to season ending surgery.

With all of that I really don’t know of Dallas’s chances against the league’s hottest club. I really like their chances to walk away with three points tomorrow. As much as I am wanting Dallas to get the three points and stay a float in the west I just believe the United are the better team right now thanks in part to their lack of injuries and their current form.

Though I have been wrong plenty of times in the past….

WVH Prediction: DC 2, Dallas 1

Kansas City Wizards – at – Houston Dynamo

Boy I really have to say I don’t like KC’s chances in this game after losing so badly to Salt Lake in the midweek. Really, going from RSL to Houston is going to be a tough trip really. Houston is the best team (points wise) in the west and has played pretty well in recent games and are a total force at home.

The only way KC can be in this game is if they get Eddie Johnson the ball early and often. Getting him in space and with one defender on him can be really effective but it is something that hasn’t been happening lately.

I think in the end the three games in eight days on the road for KC have really taken a toll on them. I don’t see any way of them winning this game in Houston. Only New England and Chicago have done that this season and that was way back when the Dynamo were playing poorly to start the season.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Kansas City 0

Real Salt Lake – at – LA Galaxy

Bad time to be LA in my estimation but it could be a good time to be at home and get some points though for the Galaxy. I think with RSL coming into town it could be a great possibility, but RSL is coming off some decent games and one in the midweek where they totally dominated a decent Kansas City squad 3-1.

Maybe something is finally working for Jason Kries and his bunch. The three Argentine players seem to be working well and I have to say it has made this club worth watching again. I think more trips south to South America are in order for RSL scouts and coaches now. They have each brought a nice spark to the lineup that was definitely missing a spark. Plus they finally got a decent enough midfielder to control the play in the middle of the park. It’s paid off with recent wins against Houston and Kansas City.

LA on the other hand is beat up and looking bad. A disappointing loss in the SuperLiga final, doubled with the loss of David Beckham’s latest injury really put a damper on this club. I know the fans are upset and disappointed and I am for them as well. As a fan and a soccer supporter you want to see a club like this play well but it just isn’t happening. I think being home will help though this weekend though I don’t know if three points are in the picture yet.

I think the safest bet is a draw actually. If Landon Donovan is fit to go then possibly there could be three points for the Galaxy but as for now I am sticking with a draw until something else happens.

WVH Prediction: RSL 1, LA 1

Colorado Rapids – at – Columbus Crew

Two clubs with a lot going for them in different ways. Colorado is rolling into this game, playing very well as of late with big wins over New England and Houston, while the Crew are playing a bit so-so at the moment. The two clubs are tied in points and are locked in that final playoff spot. So a lot is at stake.

The clubs drew 0-0 back in 4th of July meeting. Not a lot in that game but expect more in this one with the playoff stakes on the line. Both want the points so there should be plenty of fire in this one. I kinda of think because of that it will end in a draw though. And maybe even another 0-0 draw with the way these two clubs play offense.

I will give them both the benefit that there will be some offense this time around but as for the result I just like a draw with these two. Colorado is playing well but all of their results have been at home. The road is another story for the Rapids this season.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Columbus 1