MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 5, 2007

The playoff races are tightening up more with every game that ends. Last night’s game between New York and Toronto did just that. The Red Bulls had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win over the cellar-dwellers north of the border in Toronto. However Rookie of the Year candidate Maurice Edu thought otherwise with his goal. It was the first win for Toronto in months and now things look mighty interesting in the playoff race with how things are shaping up.

The usual six game weekend starts a little early as one game is tonight; three games on Saturday and the typical two on Sunday close out the weekend.

DC United – at – Kansas City Wizards

The Wizards are hoping for a little lagging legs from DC tonight in hopes to catch the league leaders while they are down after their loss during the week in Copa Sudamericana to Chivas. Sure I expect DC to be a little tired from their trip to Mexico but the way things have been I am not so sure if tired legs will matter in this one.

KC can clinch this weekend with a win (and a LA and Columbus loss) in this game but with two key players out on suspension, it will make that all the tougher against a quality side like DC. United are hoping to stay on track to repeat as the league’s Supporter’s Shield champions, a feat that hasn’t been done in the league’s history. A win tonight would put clear distance between them and New England who is only four points behind them.

DC will be tired to some degree but I don’t see them losing this one with the Supporter’s Shield so close to their grasp. KC has been stumbling down the stretch like they have in the past two seasons and I think it will continue tonight. The suspensions to Jimmy Conrad and Davy Arnaud will really be too much, especially losing Conrad to a defense that is one of the league’s worst going against the league’s best offense.

KC has to catch DC early in this one if they want a shot at winning this. So far these clubs have split their matches this season, KC won the first match way back in May 4-2 in a game that saw them jump on a United club early with two goals in the first 10 mintues; the second match was a DC win on the 4th of July, Luciano Emilio scored the lone goal. I like DC to win the season series in this one. Too much fire power up top for DC against a poor defense of KC.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, KC 1

FC Dallas – at – Columbus Crew

What is said to be the Crew’s most important game of the season, may turn out to be Dallas’s most important as well. Columbus’s last home game of the season comes at a time where they could easily get three points against a Dallas club that has been slipping for weeks now and is coming off a tough loss in the mid-week in the US Open Cup to New England. Columbus needs points to stay alive while Dallas just needs a draw to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

Luckily for the Crew, Dallas has never won at Crew Stadium. The Crew will hope to pull off the last game between these clubs as motivation, Dallas was able to squeeze out three points with a last second goal from Clarence Goodson in the 3-2 win back in August.

Columbus has a real shot here with the way Dallas has been playing; not to mention the fact that Dallas will be without their main target up top in Carlos Ruiz who is out with a red card suspension. Dallas will be getting some play from returning Kenny Cooper but it isn’t known how much on an impact he will make just yet for the Hoops.

I think in the end Dallas will do what they can to squeeze a draw out of this one. They don’t need much but they do need a point here to clinch and get a headache over with. Columbus will make this match interesting and can probably win this one but I see a draw in the end. Too many things balance out between these clubs, it should have been a draw last time when they met but it will happen this time around.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Columbus 2

New England Revolution – at – Chicago Fire

Chicago will hope to catch the Revs off guard in this one after New England won their first club trophy in the mid-week in the US Open Cup. A lot is one the line in this one as both teams still have plenty to play for.

The Fire are sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot right now and a win could move them up in a tie with KC when this weekend is all said and done. New England is still four points back of DC for the Supporter’s Shield and they hope that DC will slip up tonight in KC.

As tough as the Fire’s schedule is here in the final weeks, I keep sticking with my guns on this and calling it a draw between the two clubs. I honestly think the Fire will get draws in each of their remaining games and still make the playoffs. These clubs haven’t met since May and a lot has changed since the beginning of the season.

Again, I like a tough match between these two rivals and a draw.

WVH Prediction: New England 1, Chicago 1

Chivas USA – at – Real Salt Lake

Even though Real has little to play for these days I still see this as a tricky game for Chivas. They need points to stay alive in the Supporter’s Shield race and more importantly they need points to stay afloat in the top of the western standings with Houston. Both clubs are coming in fairly hot as Chivas hasn’t lost a game in nine outings while Real haven’t lost in the last four.

This is a tricky one because of the way Real is playing these days. Normally I would write this one up as a Chivas win just when I see the two clubs in the field for the game, but no so much right now with the way Jason Kreis’s club is playing. Also Chivas will be without Maykel Galindo for this one, who is out on yellow card accumulation, I am interested to see how that works out for Chivas. The Goats have yet to win a game in Salt Lake City as well.

This is the lone match of the season in Salt Lake between these two clubs. Chivas has had their way with Real this season winning two games and out scoring Real 5-0 in the process.

I hate to call another draw for this weekend but it looks like the case between these two. Real is playing for pride and are hoping to show that they can stand up to the big boys again like they have before this season. Not to mention I am sure they saw Toronto beat New York last night and thought that they don’t want to be in a tie for last in the league again with the Reds.

No Galindo sounds iffy for the Goats and their offense even though they have an MVP candidate in Ante Razov out there. A lot has changed since their last meeting in August and that’s why a draw just sounds reasonable between the two clubs.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, Real 1

LA Galaxy – at – Houston Dynamo 

Here is a chance for Houston to bring LA back down to reality after they have won three straight. Houston looked solid in their last outing against Dallas after a short layoff. Not to mention you have to think that the Dynamo think they are still within reach of the Supporter’s Shield trophy right now.

The big question is how Houston handles playing without Ricardo Clark for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. His suspension came down last night from the league offices, saying he will be out for nine games starting this weekend through the playoffs and into next season if needed. I think the Dynamo will be fine for the time being but in the playoffs will be another story.

For this game Houston matches up well with LA and should be able to stop any sort of attack that the Galaxy have left in them. Last month’s game between these two clubs wasn’t even close and I expect a game similar to that one. Not to mention that Houston’s offense has really looked solid in recent games.

WVH Prediction: Houston 3, LA 0

Toronto FC – at – Colorado Rapids

Interesting game right now. Colorado is desperate to stay alive but you wouldn’t know it with the way that they play. Lots of people like myself have said that if the Rapids fail to reach the playoffs this season a big reason will be because of their poor play at home. A new stadium should have created a better home field advantage for the Rapids this season but it hasn’t. Now they host a Toronto club that has broke free of their losing streak as of last night.

I don’t like that the Reds have to travel for this one, I think the fact that they have only one win on the road this season means they probably won’t leave Denver with three points. However it isn’t all possibly that they won’t leave with a point though.

Toronto may have found a way to win at the right time. They are going against a Rapids club that just doesn’t know how to play these days. Also, the Reds have success against the Rapids this season, back in June they down the Rapids 2-1. That was a game where Toronto dominated most of the play, however it was also a game that saw a lot of their players healthy.

I think this is another draw (I know I’ve predicted a lot of draws this weekend…shoot me), one club is stumbling and the other isn’t a great road side. It makes sense.

WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, Colorado 1