MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 7, 2007

A lot going on right now in the world of the MLS. I meant to post yesterday about the Fire being sold but never got to it. I made a prediction at the beginning of the season saying that AEG would sell the rights to one of it’s teams this season, I said it would be Houston and it ended up being the Fire. I wasn’t too far off I think.

Anyways, plenty of good games this weekend. Six to be exact really, four tomorrow and two on Sunday. Both games on Sunday really have a lot of interest in my mind and could very well shape up a lot in the playoff picture. I love just how meaningful each game is at this point. In recent years there hasn’t been as much value to the regular season until now. Every game will have some sort of impact on the playoff race and I think finally, the MLS got something right in their playoff structure.

Chicago Fire – at – Columbus Crew

Saturday starts off with two eastern clubs that are, for lack of better terms, desperate. Two points separate the clubs, so there should be plenty of passion in this game. Recent play sort of tells me that this could easily be another draw between the two clubs.

Columbus hasn’t played particularly well in recent games and then again the Fire haven’t been as hot as they were back in the middle of last month. I think the difference in this game comes in the middle of the park. It really all comes down to two guys for me in this one in figuring out who could win this game and that is Blanco for the Fire and Schelotto for the Crew. Speaking of GBS, he has been relatively quite for the last few games, so I am really hoping to see his name in the stat column again this week.

Whichever of those two guys helps control things for his club will probably stand a good chance at winning this game. But for the time being I think it is a safe pick to go with another draw here. As much as they want the three points they will both be splitting the points after this one is over.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, Chicago 1

Toronto FC – at – FC Dallas

Battle of some ‘FC’ clubs in this one. Toronto comes in goalless in their last however many games. I honestly forgot what it was like to see this club score a goal. Dallas comes in with a couple losses but they were able to get a nice mid-week win in the US Open cup on the road in Seattle.

I think Toronto is as dangerous as they can be right now with their current scoreless streak going really. They will be a desperate club out on the pitch tomorrow night and I can bet that they will do anything they can to get on the board. But with that being said I doubt they have the defense to keep up with a club like Dallas. Sure Ruiz hasn’t been Ruiz this season and Denilson is still getting to know his new teammates, I still think Dallas has too much firepower in this one for Toronto to be able to hold them off and get three points.

Now does the goalless streak end this weekend? Yes, I think it does but it will come in a losing effort. Dallas’s defense is a bit banged up and that may be just enough for Toronto to get something out of it. It won’t be like the game that was in Toronto back in the summer, where the Reds put a beating on the Hoops, but it should be a game that Dallas wins and helps put the Hoops back in the thick of the playoff race in the west.

Denilson gets his first assist in this one some how I think.

WVH Prediction: FC Dallas 3, Toronto FC 1

Real Salt Lake – at – Houston Dynamo

Now here is a real interesting game. RSL comes in with two straight wins for the first time this season and are playing with a lot of confidence, while Houston has kinda limped into where they are at right now. Houston did not look that good against Kansas City last weekend and really haven’t been themselves for a few games now. In a way it all dates back to the 1-0 loss in Rice-Eccles Stadium a few weeks ago for the Dynamo.

Houston should be able to bounce back at home though with this one. Amazing to think that the Dynamo only have five games left after this one. So they will definitely need three points in this one as their schedule begins to slow down in the coming weeks.

RSL on the other hand is playing for pride and playing with pride at the moment. I love the moves that they finally made and they are working out very nicely. They still are ten points out at this point of a playoff spot, so their chances are still very tiny but they do have some games in hand.

I thin this game all comes down to the play of Dewayne De Rosario. If he shows up and plays like the DeRo we all know and love then expect the Dynamo to pull away from this one very easily at home. If he doesn’t put his best out there then this one could be close and could end up at least as a draw. I think RSL is a dangerous team to be facing right now if I am Houston. I was cautious last time when they met and I am again. But I think the home-field advantage is going to be too much.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, RSL 1

Colorado Rapids – at – LA Galaxy

Boy, bad time to be the Galaxy. Haven’t won in forever, haven’t gotten points in a while either and are playing rather poorly. Not to mention the schedule is only going to be tougher from here on for them. Games and games and then some stupid exhibition games that have no meaning and were to show off Beckham who is now hurt…just a bad time to be LA.

But it is a good time for the Rapids. This should be a game that they can get into the eight and final playoff spot for the time being with. With Columbus and Chicago facing one another this weekend this game for the Rapids is a must win and should be a win. I like the emerging play of Conor Casey for the Rapids, finally he is showing off why a few clubs wanted him in the off season.

LA needs some sort of luck since they won’t have Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and possibly a slew of other key players. The injury list for the Galaxy is massive as the hole that they are in at the moment. At the moment it doesn’t even seem like they are playing for pride because they still think they are in it in regards to the playoff hunt.

Colorado is just too hot right now for LA to handle with so many missing. I like the Rapids to handle the Galaxy just as Chivas did a week before.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 3, LA 0

New England Revolution – at – DC United

Probably the biggest game on the slate this weekend. This one will really determine who could win the east and possibly the league’s Supporter’s Shield. The winner will definitely get a leg up on the other as they are both only separated by a single point at the moment.

DC is as hot as it comes right now, even after last night’s 2-2 draw against Chivas. I still think Luciano Emilio will score 20 goals this season and he could very well get one in this game. New England has to find a way to shut him down as well as the midfield of United.

This game really boils down to the midfield of both clubs. Whoever wins the battle, should win the game. But I think things will turn up like they did the last time these clubs met in RFK Stadium. The goals will come but I think these clubs are so evenly matched at the moment that it is going to be too hard to guess.

I want to go with DC because of the home field advantage but I also like New England being a little fresher than United at the moment. The two games in four days is a tough turnaround, especially after going from LA to DC in that span.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, New England 2

New York Red Bulls – at – Chivas USA

Chivas remains perfect after their come from behind draw against DC last night. Another eastern club travels west to face the them in Carson on Sunday night. This one has a lot in it as well I think. I am honestly just as excited about this one as I am the DC-New England game.

I don’t think that New York can catch DC or New England at this point but a win in Carson would easily change my mind about that. But I still think Chivas has the chance of remaining perfect at home this season. Lets not forget just how hard they are at home to face, only four goals given up this season at home (seven if you could games against LA). New York isn’t exactly the best road club in the league either.

I really like Chivas in this one because of how they play at home. There is a greater sense of dominance of how Chivas plays at home that I just cannot ignore at the moment and go against. Razov and Galindo are going to be too much for New York’s backline, which has given up 21 goals on the road this season.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 2, New York 0