MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 14, 2007

After Chivas won their first ever season series with the LA Galaxy last night the weekend games in the MLS shape up to be just as big as last night’s SuperClasico. We have a new leader in the west now in Chivas and teams like Dallas and Houston will have to play catch-up and hope that the Goats drop a game somewhere along the way.

Six games this weekend, the usual four on Saturday and two on Sunday. Everyone but DC is playing this weekend. United had their game in the mid-week when they downed RSL 2-1.

Real Salt Lake – at – Toronto FC

Speaking of Real, they travel north for the first time to face the Reds by the lake in Toronto. Toronto is coming into this game without a goal in their last billion games…kidding just the last six games. Only one draw in this current funk and many wonder if an end is in sight.

I think this weekend is the perfect game for Toronto to come alive and finally score another goal. I am pretty much going to throw this out until Toronto finally scores again I think. But in all seriousness, Real doesn’t have the best of defenses in the league and it is a home game. Toronto has been far better at home this season and could be able to at least muster a draw in this one.

Real is looking for points just as any club is at this point but they aren’t the road side that they could be. This will turn into a midfield battle between these two clubs and really I think the strength lies in the midfield for Real against the Reds. It could be a close one but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a few goals in this one. Both teams will want to prove that this is a game that will impact the playoff race, even though it really won’t.

WVH Prediction: Real Salt Lake 3, Toronto FC 2

FC Dallas – at – New England Revolution

Big game for two clubs that still have some hope of winning the Supporter’s Shield trophy this season. Also, they both want to get a leg up on the other before their US Open Cup final meeting in a couple weeks. The playoffs are in their hands but the seeding is not, three points will easily help each of them out and anything less would probably be a tough thing to handle.

I think really that New England needs three points more than Dallas at this point. I think the Hoops will have no problem staying in the playoff race and their seed almost doesn’t matter because I think they will be facing Houston in the first round regardless now and being the two or three seed really doesn’t make a difference in my mind. New England needs points to hold off New York and hope to catch DC. I think either way the Revs will be facing New York in the first round anyways but you never know.

I actually see a solid match in this one. Expect to see a lot of midfield play between the two clubs. New England won the earlier meeting this season and will look to use that to their advantage. I think Dallas was a different club then but still have some questions in the back to hold off Taylor Twellman, who has been a thorn in their side for years now. I honestly am hoping for a draw in this one for Dallas but probably won’t be able to get that much on the road.

Dallas needs their defense to hold off the Revs and if they do so they have a good shot at this one. New England has to find ways to get Twellman and others open in the offensive side to exploit the weakness in the back for Dallas. I think New England wins this one close but Dallas will put up a good fight in it.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, Dallas 1

Columbus Crew – at – Kansas City Wizards

Two clubs that desperately need points at the moment. In my mind Columbus knows how to beat the Wizards more than the Wizards know how to beat the Crew. But finding ways to do it without Schelotto will be the key. GBS is out on suspension for yellow cards, so the Crew will have problems finding ways to score in this one.

Kansas City still can’t sit back and coast to a win here. They have to play their style of soccer and find Eddie Johnson all day in this one. EJ also has to show that he wants to lead this club to the playoffs. At times I don’t think that is the case with him or with the Wizards. They also need to prove that this won’t be the year that they fall into a slump at the end of the season and fall out of the playoff race. Right now they are in but are very close to falling out.

A loss won’t put the Wizards out of the playoffs yet but will make an impact on the rest of the season. I think the Wizards have to win this one to even have a thought of reaching the playoffs this season. A draw is no good either. Columbus needs to show heart and find a way in this one but without some key players, they will have too much trouble holding off the Wizards.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 2, Columbus 0

New York Red Bulls – at – Chicago Fire

Big eastern conference showdown on Saturday night. I have to say this is probably one of the games this weekend that I look forward to the most. New York is probably the safest of the two clubs in regards to the playoff scene but still needs points to hold off everyone else below them. A win would only help out their possible seeding.

Chicago though still needs to keep winning here with Columbus and Colorado on their tail. I think the Fire have every reason to win this game on Sunday night with the way the Red Bulls play on the road this year. I also think the Fire defense will find some way to slow down Juan Pablo Angel enough to win this one too. Blanco many be the biggest difference maker in this one. Claudio Reyna slowed him down a couple weeks ago in New York but I think he will find a way to return the favor.

Chicago needs the points and will fight for them. I see the Fire winning this one and inching closer to a higher seeding.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, New York 1

Chivas USA – at – Colorado Rapids

Chivas is one of the hottest teams going against a club that desperately needs points in Colorado. If this game were in LA I would have no problem picking Chivas but since it is on the road in a tough place like the Dick Sporting Goods Park, it will make this pick a little tougher.

Colorado needs points to stay alive in the playoff race right now; while Chivas is hoping to inch closer to their first Supporter’s Shield trophy in club history. Also they aren’t too far away from clinching a playoff birth as it is I believe. So lots of motivation for the two clubs.

The difference will be if Chivas can find a way to win on the road. They haven’t been the best road side in the league this season but have found ways to win when they need to. If they can keep up their hot streak from their home play, like last night’s win over rival LA, then they should have no problem winning this game. Colorado could put a damper on that though with some strong midfield and defensive play. Slowing down Galindo and Razov is no easy task but Colorado does have the defense at home to do it in my mind.

I think in the end this is a draw in my mind. Colorado isn’t good enough to win this one but they are decent enough to get the draw at home. I think Chivas will gladly take the draw too on the road in a tough place.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Chivas 1

Houston Dynamo – at – LA Galaxy

Houston lost out on the top of the west crown last night to Chivas but could be able to get it back with a win over the Galaxy in Carson on Sunday night. Houston has been in a bit of a slump as far as overall play is concerned as of late. Sure they have won some games but they haven’t been the stellar defensive efforts that we got used to this summer.

LA as we all know need the points as they are in the middle of a brutal month of play. At least they have had a couple games at home to get some rest before they hit the road again for a while. Any points, even a draw would be helpful for their moral at this point in my mind after last night’s loss to rival Chivas. Losing a derby for the first time can really be tough for a club that is so used to winning.

The midfield will be the battle in this one. Houston has the better players and may the fresher legs but as we all know the Home Depot Center is a tough place to play. Houston hasn’t had too many good games in Carson since the club was actually in San Jose.

I think this game will end up a draw with a few goals to speak of. Houston needs to find some mojo in the back and up front, while LA just needs some mojo period.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, LA 2