MLS Weekend Preview

MLS Weekend Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 19, 2007

It all comes down to this. One more weekend to decide who goes to the playoffs and who stays home and watches. Two teams will join the playoff pack while the other two will join Toronto, Columbus and Salt Lake in the group who will be preparing a little early for the Expansion and Superdrafts of next year.

LA wasn’t able to fully get the job done last night against New York and face the biggest must win of the season against Chicago on Sunday. KC and Chicago only need a point this weekend but will they get it?

New England Revolution – at – Toronto FC

A game with probably the least meaning this weekend up in Toronto as the Reds hope to build for next season with a win over playoff bound New England. The Red’s rookie campaign has been an interesting one full of goalless streaks and backed houses at BMO Field. New England is hoping to build on towards the playoffs with a solid effort. I wonder if they will bring most of their starters or if they will rest key guys before the playoffs with New York starts next week.

Toronto has yet to score on the Revs this season, giving up 7 goals in the two games played in New England. Both were blowouts but I wouldn’t expect tomorrow’s game to be really any different. Even if New England sits out some key guys I doubt Toronto has enough offense to keep up with the Revs anyways.

I won’t lie however, I am pulling for the Reds to finish strong this season and get another win but I just doubt that will happen tomorrow. Not to mention Toronto will be missing plenty of players to injury and suspension (the story of Toronto’s season).

WVH Prediction: New England 2, Toronto 0

Columbus Crew – at – DC United

I guess you could say now that this is another meaningless game in the final weekend of the season now that we know the Crew have been eliminated from playoff contention. Too bad for the Crew really, they go to New England and go against the odds and beat the Revs last weekend to hope to stay alive in the playoff race and then only hours later learn that they were eliminated. Too little too late really.

DC on the other hand has the Supporter’s Shield Trophy for the second straight season and I have to feel that some key players will be rested in this one some as they build for a deep playoff run to reach the MLS Cup that is being played in their home stadium. They are also riding high on a season high 13-game unbeaten streak, a streak that really has gone pretty quite in the MLS world these days.

I would have liked the Crew to spoil the fun if they were still in contention tomorrow but I just don’t see that happening now that they can’t reach the playoffs. They can build for next season and knocking off DC as they parade the Supporter’s Shield trophy around would be a good way to do it.

However, its been too long (since 2003) that the Crew won at RFK and I just don’t see tomorrow being that day that the streak ends for them. I kinda see a draw though, since DC will be resting players and Columbus will be wanting to salvage a season that won’t end in the playoffs. It makes sense but I just don’t see either team winning tomorrow.

WVH Prediction: DC United 1, Columbus 1

Kansas City Wizards – at – FC Dallas

So here is where the weekend starts to become interesting. KC just needs a draw, just a single little point to be safe and in the playoffs regardless of what else goes on this weekend. Dallas needs nothing right now other than building for a playoff run against either Houston or Chivas.

For the third consecutive season, the Kansas City Wizards head into their season finale knowing they must win to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs. So is the third time a charm for the Wizards or will Dallas spoil their hopes and dreams? Interesting what happens when the media and people dog a team for so long when they are down and almost out of things, they usually end up pulling through for a win. Not really an upset in some cases but a pull through type of win I guess. KC is in that boat, they want to prove people (like me) wrong in that this late season collapse won’t happen this season and that they will reach the playoffs.

The last time these clubs faced off it was back in May. The Hoops won 2-1 thanks to some efforts from Kenny Cooper and Juan Toja. KC tried to rally late and got a late goal from rookie Michael Harrington but their effort was not enough.

This game comes down to what KC team shows up and what Dallas team shows up. Dallas should be building for the playoffs so I would be they will put their best 11 out there to get some momentum going into the playoffs. KC has to have the Wizards club show up that people raved about early in the season. They have to get a good effort from former Hoops player Eddie Johnson. EJ believes he will come through in this game since he is ‘due’ for a goal, for the Wizards to win he needs to come through on scoring.

Also, this game pits two of the worst defenses in the league against one another. So we could see some goals and with Carlos Ruiz returning for Dallas you better believe he will want to get back on the scoring path before the playoffs.

I like Dallas in this one though, as much as I think KC can pull out a draw in this one I think Dallas has enough to beat the Wizards for the second time this season. It may not knock out KC from the playoffs but it will keep them on their toes. I just hope KC doesn’t bunker in the game and try for a draw in it.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 3, KC 1

Real Salt Lake – at – Colorado Rapids

A couple weeks ago I would have easily taken Real in this game over the Rapids. Now I am not so sure. The Rapids are real close to a playoff bid and need a win to remain hopeful in reaching the playoffs. Salt Lake is playing for next season right now.

Winning the Rocky Mountain Cup for the third straight season should help the Rapids get into the playoffs if results from other stadiums this weekend go the right way. The Rapids have to be feeling lucky right now that they face their rival, a club they know they can beat on the final day of the season. However they cannot kid themselves to think that it will be a push over of a game. Real did get the best of the Rapids the last time out when these two met in Salt Lake City.

At the start of this week I was leaning on changing this pick to a draw but now I am feeling that Colorado will win this game and make things real interesting for Sunday’s meeting between the Fire and Galaxy. It doesn’t come down to Colorado having more momentum than Real, its the venue I think, I really like Colorado at home right now to win this game. Should be a good crowd on hand for this one as well to see the Rapids come close to the playoffs.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 2, RSL 1

Houston Dynamo – at – Chivas USA

Ah, the best match-up of the weekend in Carson with the winner getting the west and the loser getting FC Dallas in the opening round. I don’t know which is really better but still home field advantage is on the line for the conference finals with Houston and Chivas.

Houston needs a win to get the west as their own tomorrow night. Just a single win and with the way they are playing you have to believe they should be able to get it. The biggest problem will be how they will handle the loss of not only Ricardo Clark but the loss of Eddie Robinson to suspension. That is a big chunk of their defense and Chivas knows how to score and score in bunches.

I think really with the way Chivas has been playing as of late that they should feel a bit lucky to be where they are. I can’t say I like where they are right now to be honest, their form over the last couple weeks hasn’t been what it was a couple months ago when they were beating everyone that they played. Now they are looking a bit like a one dimensional team again like they were at the beginning of the season.

I like this game in a draw though Chivas lost their first home game of the season last weekend and they may not be able to win this one but they should get a point and be able to win the west with it, the loss of Eddie Robinson in the back hurts too much I think for Houston to win.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, Houston 1

LA Galaxy – at – Chicago Fire

The biggie is on Sunday folks. If results go the way I think they will this game will have the most meaning, just like we hoped it would. LA can still get in with a win but the Fire need just a point to get into the playoffs. Just a point like KC.

I thought LA would win last night against New York, with Beckham coming back and playing in the second half, LA looked like they could have won that game. Didn’t go that way however, and sometimes soccer is a cruel game like that but LA does live to fight another day with the draw.

Chicago has been treading water for weeks with draws after draws and a win here and there. To be where they are is interesting and I really wonder if they do reach the playoffs if they will have any gas left in their tank (same goes for LA really but more for the Fire).

If the Galaxy had won last night I would be picking them to win this game but I really think Chicago is going to be pulling it out in the end. It will be close but it will end up being one of the best game of the season I think. Blanco verus Beckham should be interesting as well. LA needs some results to go certain ways but they still have hope, I just think as of last night their hope ran out.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, LA 0