MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 28, 2007

A nice weekend of soccer is around the corner for us here. The usual setup as well with six games, four on Saturday and two more to finish up the weekend on Sunday.

Only one club is not involved in a game this weekend and that is Kansas City, who may have shot themselves in the foot last night in their 1-0 loss to the Galaxy. LA was able to take advantage of two Wizard red cards (both very good calls in my book) to get the win on the road for the first time this season. I keep saying it but the Wizards are looking like a club that will miss out on the playoffs yet again this season. Only three more games for them and two of them are on the road. When you defense is terrible like the Wizards it speaks volumes in how you will finish.

Now as far as this weekend goes, every game has some sort of meaning whether or not it is in making the playoffs or winning the Supporter’s Shield.

Toronto FC – at – DC United

This is one of those Supporter’s Shield games that I was talking about. DC has the chance to extend their league lead in points against Toronto in hopes that Chivas, New England and Houston all lose ground in the Supporter’s Shield race this weekend. Quite honestly after United’s win in the mid-week in the Copa Sudamericana over Mexico’s CD Guadajalara, United look in prime position to continue their winning ways.

Most people forget that United haven’t lost in 10 games now and are right up there to pass Houston’s season best of 11 unbeaten games this season. Toronto, as we all know finally ended their two-month scoreless drought last week against Columbus. I don’t really expect any goals on the road for the Reds this weekend against DC. Toronto has scored only six goals this season on the road, a league worst.

I also like the way DC’s head coach Tom Soehn is handling things at the moment, keeping players fresh and good to go for the playoffs. Expect a couple key players to rest some in this one but it really shouldn’t matter as DC actually has some offense on their bench, as Toronto doesn’t really have any on the field. DC should get the easy three points here.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, Toronto 0

Colorado Rapids – at – New England Revolution

Very meaningful game for the Rapids here, they are in need of three points and really are in “must-win” mode from here out. Still three points out of that eighth and final spot that Chicago currently holds, but after last weekend’s loss at Salt Lake, the Rapids are looking like a club that doesn’t stand a chance in this one.

Colorado must find some offense against a very good New England defense. If they can do that then this game could be interesting. However, I just don’t see that being the case. New England has a chance to make up some ground in the overall table and clinch home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Last month in Colorado the Rapids dominated play (for once) and walked away with three points and a 3-0 win over the Revs. Don’t expect that sort of game to happen this time around. Colorado is a terrible road club and New England is a solid home side. Plus the Rapids haven’t won in New England since 2002.

WVH Prediction: New England 3, Colorado 1

Real Salt Lake – at – New York Red Bulls

This game is a bit tricky in my opinion. Real comes in after a solid four-point week in last week’s two games. New York is treading right now in the playoff standings. They do have a chance to clinch a playoff birth this weekend but Real is starting to come around these days and spoil some teams chances. Last week they did so against Colorado and they could again this week in New York.

Real is basically playing for the slimmest of hopes right now. A loss to New York and a tie from Chicago this weekend will completely eliminate them from the playoff hunt. I actually think that is enough to motivate Real to get at least a point this weekend.

The last time these two met it was a crazy game (then again every time they met it is a crazy game). It was a 3-3 draw with Real tying the game up in the extra minutes of the game. Both clubs have come a bit of a ways since that draw back in May. Real looks hungrier these days than the Red Bulls, I don’t know if its the fact that they are playing for their playoff hopes here or if they are actually improving from earlier this season. Probably a bit of both really.

I really see this shaping up to be another wild game. Probably another draw though. Although Real hasn’t seen any success in New York before, last season they were blown out in the Meadowlands 6-0 by the Red Bulls. I doubt it will be that kind of a game but you never know. As for now I am going bold and sticking with a draw to make things interesting.

WVH Prediction: RSL 2, RBNY 2

Chicago Fire – at – Chivas USA

Very, very interesting game this weekend in Carson. Blanco and his group travel to face the Goats. A lot as been written about Blanco’s dealing with Mexico’s Chivas but this version should be just as good with the way that Chivas is playing these days.

Chivas is a couple games away from getting the best home record in the league history (at least in my opinion). Chicago can spoil that plan though as they are desperately looking for points. They do currently sit in the eighth and final spot at the moment but they are getting some help from KC as the Wizards fell last night to LA. I still think in the end the Fire will make the playoffs but not in the eighth spot.

As for this game Chivas has a chance to make up some ground with DC in the Supporter’s Shield race. And with the way that Ante Razov has been playing I wouldn’t be shocked to see more MVP type performances against his old club. I like Chivas to pull this one out in a close encounter. They can’t play like they did last week against KC in this one but I think they will have looked at that game and corrected their laziness over the week. Plus, this win for Chivas only makes things more interesting in my opinion.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 2, Chicago 1

Houston Dynamo – at – FC Dallas

Big game for the Hoops here, they most show the league that they can contend with the big guys and actually win a game against them. Houston will be a good start for that if they even think to do so. Not to mention they need to get a leg up on them for their first-round series with the Dynamo.

Dallas is in their usual end-of-season-slump while the Dynamo are the freshest club out there because of their weird schedule. Dallas can clinch this weekend with a win or a draw (and a Columbus loss or draw). The last meeting in Dallas was a 0-0 draw, while the other two meetings this season have been Houston wins in Houston.

Houston is hoping to pull forward and regain the western lead this weekend (given if Chivas loses). They only have a few left but should be able to make things close with a win against Dallas on Sunday. Houston has always played Dallas tough and has typically gotten the better of them. Only once has Dallas been able to beat the Dynamo so you know they have the mental advantage against the Hoops.

In this one I really see another draw. Houston knows how to play Dallas better than Dallas knowing how to play Houston. I think the one key will be if Dallas can find a hot Carlos Ruiz or not. Not to mention Dallas’s defense holding Houston. Either way I like a draw in this one.

WVH Prediction: FCD 2,  Houston 2

LA Galaxy – at – Columbus Crew

Somehow, someway the Galaxy are still in contention in the MLS playoff race. A big time road win last night against the Wizards are putting them in contention here. Columbus on the other hand is closer in the standings and could move back in with a win in this one.

Columbus is hoping to “black-out” the Galaxy in this one. A nice little promotion I think, very interesting to see what kind of crowd shows up for this one.

I really believe this one comes down to who’s offense can crack the other’s defense. I really don’t like that the Galaxy have two road games in one week here. Even if they finally won a road game last night, something just doesn’t feel right for me to think that the Galaxy can pull the double this week. Its a tough thing to do two road games in one week and win them both and really the Galaxy don’t have the talent for it.

But, with that said I do think they will play the Crew close and possibly get a point out of this one. Columbus should be getting some help this weekend in the standings (LA helped them out some by beating KC last night). So this could be close. In the end I like the Crew to pull this one out by a close score.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, LA 0