MLS Cup Preview

MLS Cup Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 17, 2007

Some people have released their predictions and previews a week before the game as actually been played. I thought it was better to wait it out until the day before like normal for me here. I just wanted to make sure I got all the expansion talk out of the way this week before I even attended a MLS Cup preview.

For the first time in MLS history, the same two teams will meet in the MLS Cup Final in successive years. Last year, Houston Dynamo prevailed in a penalty kick shootout against the New England Revolution at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas after the teams battled to a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes. Taylor Twellman and Brian Ching added the game’s two goals 78 seconds apart from one another.

New England is trying not to become the Buffalo Bills of the MLS. This is their forth attempt at the league crown in five seasons. The previous three times they have lost the chance to win the Cup to the LA Galaxy (twice) and to Houston. A win in tomorrow’s Cup would only add to the already stunning year of professional sports in the New England area.

Houston is hoping to do what only DC has done before, repeat as MLS Cup champions. United were able to do it back in 1996 and 1997, but no team has been able to capture that magic since. I’ve felt all year long that Houston would be able to repeat as champions and here they are with the chance to prove me right.

Some may hate seeing a repeat of last year’s Cup but I honestly love it. Its a solid matchup left and right and all over the pitch really. These two clubs are very evenly matched, though right now I may give a slight advantage to New England due to some injuries and suspensions that the Dynamo are dealing with.

The Revolution held the season edge in the regular season series between the clubs, winning the first game before the teams played to a draw in the second. The Revs won thanks to a Shalrie Joseph goal in Houston. The game in New England was a wild 3-3 draw that saw the Dynamo’s record breaking shutout streak end.

Neither team found RFK Stadium very hospitable this season. In their one visit to Washington, Houston lost 2-1 to D.C. United, while the Revolution had a draw and a loss in their two regular season meetings against United on East Capitol Street.

The biggest match up will come in the middle of the park. Dewayne De Rosario versus Joesph. Brad Davis versus Steve Ralston. The winner there may prove to be the difference maker in my mind.

However, if you’re a Dynamo fan you have to be worried about the potential loss of Brian Ching. No Ching could mean no repeat.

That is the biggest part I worry about for Houston against New England. You can pretty much expect goals in this one with the way they played each other this season. Big thing to note, Houston has never beat New England in regulation, all their wins have come against the Revs in extra time, including last year’s Cup.

I will stick with my pre-season prediction and the pre-playoff prediction of Houston. No need to back off of them now before the big game after picking them so long ago. It will be tight early on but I think Houston will find a way to get it done in regular time for once. New England will put up a better fight this year I think. However if New England gets on the board first you can pretty much bet they will pull it out I think. They have a lot of confidence going right now and I think that is in large part due to their US Open Cup title win.

Still, Houston is what I am sticking with. I hope you all enjoy the game too. Feel free to post your predictions here as well.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, New England 1