MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 21, 2007

Got to love this time of year, plenty of action from end to end that has an impact on the post season and the seeding going into the playoffs. Only a few more weeks to go here in the MLS and this weekend is shaping up to be another important one. Only one club is off, Houston, partly because their schedule is set up nicely in a way for them to repeat in my mind and because they only have four game left.

Anyways, the usual weekend format that we are used to here, four on Saturday and two on the day of rest. Some previews are going to be short, I may be pressed for time today so I don’t know what kind of updates I can bring you (I just started a new job this week and my schedule has been a little crazier).

Columbus Crew – at – Toronto FC

The never ending streak should come to an end this weekend when the Reds host the Crew. I won’t say that Toronto’s winless streak will end though, just their scoreless streak. Columbus is in need of points and will do anything I believe at this point in the season to get those points to stay in contention. The Crew have to find a way to block out the horrible finish to last weekend’s loss at Kansas City if they even hope of winning this game.

A fairly even series between the two clubs, the Crew have won a game and tied the other. The main reason behind the four points in those two games is Schelotto. Getting him back in the lineup will surely help things out for the Crew. One has to believe that if he had been in the lineup last week that the Crew could have held on the the lead and got the important three points.

I think this one will be close but I see Toronto going up early but then losing the lead in the second half. Toronto may still be in the hunt by only being 10 points out but their hopes of the playoffs are pretty much over since they can’t seem to find the back of the net. Columbus is the more desperate team here, they are three points out of the eighth and final spot and will hope to at least get back into a tie for that spot by the end of the weekend if they can gut this one out.

I like the Crew in this one because of that desperation and because of the return of GBS. But, again, I am calling a goal for Toronto. I know it will come eventually, even if it is another 0-0 tie.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, Toronto 1

New England Revolution – at – New York Red Bull

New England is in and New York is looking to get in right now. The Red Bulls need some help and a couple W’s at this point but they are pretty comfortable right now in the playoff scene. This game is all about seeding for the two clubs and more importantly getting a leg up on the other for what should be a meeting in the first round of the playoffs.

New England has already won the season series by winning the first two games of this season by scores of 1-0 and 2-1. I think a big reason is because the Revs have found ways to shut down Juan Pablo Angel like no one else has. I think a lot of that will happen tomorrow as well. Not to mention New York has to find a way to remain consistent with their play going into these final games. I have said they have an easy schedule after this game with New England but it doesn’t mean that they can just coast from here out.

So far this season when the Red Bulls come off a draw they either win three in a row (only once and that was at the start of the season) or lose two straight. I kinda think we will see that trend continue with this game.

I like the Revs because of their midfield and their ability to slow down any attack that the Red Bulls have. Sure it is a road game but that hasn’t stopped the Revs before.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, New York 1

Colorado Rapids – at – Real Salt Lake

The third installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup has a lot to ride on. RSL is coming off a draw with the Galaxy and the Rapids are hoping to crash into the playoff scene with a win. So far these clubs have draw 1-1 and in the last meeting at Rice-Eccles the Rapids put away Real 2-0.

I see a different sort of game tomorrow in Salt Lake City. Both clubs are totally different than they were at the beginning of the season when they first met. A couple trades and deals by each club has really changed the look of what they bring to the table. Let’s face it Real totally stunk up the place the last time they met even though it was a draw. Remember that game? Both goals were own-goals. Bad TV my friends.

Anyways, like I was saying, they are both playing different soccer than they were back in May. Colorado is desperate to reach the playoffs again this season, while Real is just figuring things out for next season at this point. In other words, Real is the biggest spoiler that the MLS has right now for the playoffs picture in my mind.

I like the spoiler here, I see Real making things interesting in the west but also in the overall league table. That’s what rivalry games do, they shake things up. This one will be close but it should actually be half-way interesting for once.

WVH Prediction: RSL 1, Colorado 0

Kansas City Wizards – at – Chivas USA

Big time road test for the Wizards at the best home-side in the league to date. As I have mentioned before, Chivas has the chance of going down as the best home club in league history at the pace that they are going at. A loss would hurt and after last week’s performance by the Wizards, a big time upset could be in the making.

Now with that said, I really am not betting on the Wizards in this one. For one people are claiming Eddie Johnson to be some sort of MVP candidate this season when he is clearly not. If he is then he will have to step up and help lead his club to a big upset here. If he does then sure I may agree to some of that talk about him being a MVP candidate this season.

Also, this could be a big let down game for the Wizards after last week’s come from behind win over the Crew. KC doesn’t exactly boast a great road record this season.

But, you wanna know who was the last club to actually knock off the Goats? It was these Wizards back at the end of July by a score of 3-2. A late goal for KC was the last time the Goats saw three points slip out of their hands.

That brings us to tomorrow’s game though, a different time and a different place. I cannot go against Chivas at home right now. I like Galindo and Razov to find a way to frustrate a rather bland defense that the Wizards have. Again, if EJ steps up and shows that he is an MVP candidate that some are saying he is, this could be a tight game. Chivas hasn’t has great success against the Wizards but I think their luck will change.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 3, Kansas City 1

DC United – at – Chicago Fire

Chicago couldn’t hold on to the lead on Thursday night in Dallas and found themselves with only a single put at the beginning of a long stretch to finish out the season. But they do return home to face a side that has already punched it’s ticket to the playoffs. However I don’t see DC just sitting back and coasting to the playoffs, no, they want that Supporter’s Shield trophy for a second straight season.

I think this is going to be a tight game that will come down to Blanco in the middle for the Fire. If he comes to play and doesn’t play like the annoying hit-the-ground-every-time-the-wind-blows type of player that he has shown lately, then the Fire have a great shot at knocking off DC.

United have to do what they do best, control the midfield and find ways to get Luciano Emilio open and with the goal in sight. DC was able to control the game the last time that these clubs met in a 3-1 victory at RFK Stadium. Emilio had a two goal day and I wouldn’t be shocked if he had another on Sunday.

I like DC in this one because they know they can win the Supporter’s Shield and also they probably enjoy putting a club like Chicago in it’s place every now and then.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, Chicago 1

FC Dallas – at – LA Galaxy

Important meeting in Carson on Sunday when the Hoops travel to face the Galaxy. LA hasn’t had any success this season against the Hoops and will hope to delay their playoff clinching for another week.

The Hoops have done plenty to control the Galaxy and have even found a way to finally get a win in the Home Depot Center thanks to an early season win in Carson by a score of 2-1. The second time around was in Frisco when the Hoops handled the Galaxy 3-1, the same game that saw Kenny Cooper get injured due to a broken leg.

Not a lot has changed between the two clubs since those meetings. Sure the Galaxy have added a couple players but the big one isn’t healthy enough to play and the others haven’t made a big impact on the team. The Galaxy haven’t won a game in a while so this game does sort of scare me as a Hoops fan for some reason. More so because of that fact and because of the overall lack of success that the Hoops have had in Carson over the years.

But with that said I think Dallas knows that they need to go ahead and clinch their playoff ticket now before things get a little too dicey. If some chips fall into place (Colorado and Columbus both losing), they could clinch with a win on Sunday night.

I think this game will be close but a lot could come down to Carlos Ruiz, who has seemed to find his scoring touch with three goals in the last two games. He is the biggest factor in this game and a big reason to why I think the Hoops will win their second straight in Carson.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, LA 1