MLS Weekend Previews

MLS Weekend Previews

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 4, 2008
  • 8 Comments

After last night’s two games I think it is safe to say that anything is possible this weekend to happen in the MLS. I don’t think anyone had Chicago downing New England by a score of 4-0, sure some may have had the Fire winning but not by that kind of knockout punch. The LA win over San Jose wasn’t as surprising but still it proved that anything can happen in this league in some regards, I mean Beckham scored a goal that was very un-Beckham like.

Anyways, the rest of the league is in action this weekend. Five games, the typical four on Saturday and one on Sunday. It seems to me that Dallas has nearly half of their games this season on Sunday afternoon, either home or away. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not but I found it interesting when looking through their media guide last week at how many Sunday games that they do have.

As always, feel free to pipe in your own picks below.

Colorado Rapids – at – Kansas City Wizards: This should be the best match-up of the weekend. Both clubs got off to a great start in week one and will look to continue that tomorrow in KC. The Wizards downed a solid DC squad thanks to two goals by newcomers Claudio Lopez and Ivan Trujillo. Colorado routed LA 4-0 thanks to some stellar work by the player of the week Terry Cooke.

An interesting match-up to watch in the midfield tomorrow night will have to be Terry Cooke on the wings against youngsters Michael Harrington or Jonathan Leathers. If those guys can frustrate Cooke on the wings than you can expect less service in the box for the Rapids. I think Cooke may be too much for either youngster though with his experience and with how well he played in week one.

Also take note of how the Rapids watch Carlos Marinelli. Last week Marinelli was able to break down DC in the midfield better than I thought he would. I expect the Rapids to pressure him more in hopes of getting turnovers in the midfield thus leading to offensive chances on their own end. Marinelli is be a key factor again in this match in how the Wizards present their attack. If the Rapids shut him down then you can expect a Rapids win in this one.

As for the Wizards they have to do a good job of shutting down Christian Gomez in the middle. If he is free to make passes I think it will be a long evening for the men in blue.

Last year these two clubs played twice with draws in each. After last week I think both clubs will come out firing in this one but end up drawing again. The smaller field will play a part in that as well, meaning both midfields will have to be able to control the ball better. The team who controls the pace of the game will win but I think this will end up in a draw.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, KC 1

Toronto FC – at – DC United: Both clubs looking for their first win of the season after losing their first game 2-0 on the road last week. DC had to play a midweek game in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, so a wonder about fatigue could be in place for the Black-and-Red.

If last night is any indication of how crazy this weekend could be one would say to pick Toronto in this one. The thing is Toronto never beat DC in their first year and I don’t see them beating DC just yet. I kind of expect DC to come out with a little more fire power and a little more determination to win this game and not get in a two game hole in the east already this early in the season.

Even in the loss last week DC didn’t look all that bad, more tired than anything I believe. Toronto on the other hand didn’t look all that good in a losing effort to the Crew. A missed PK should tell you a lot of how poorly they played on the road.

Toronto has to find a way to put shots on goal. They didn’t do a good job of that last week against the Crew and you can bet against a better defense like DC it will be tougher to do. I’d love to see more Danny Dichio out there instead of Colin Samuel though. The Samuel-Jeff Cunningham duo still and will continue to not work for me until I see results from it.

I like DC at home in this one, not big but enough to walk away with three points.

WVH Prediction: DC 2, Toronto 0

Columbus Crew – at – New York Red Bulls: New York finally gets to kick off their season this weekend with the visiting Crew. Columbus played well in the season opener against Toronto and came away with a convincing three points in their effort. The surprise from the Crew was the play of Adam Moffat. A goal and a critical goal-line clear off a missed PK from Moffat against the Reds.

Interesting thing to keep an eye on is Jozy Alitdore for New York. Reports came out today that he was hurt with a knee injury of some sort. Later reports then said it was nothing major and that we would still play tomorrow. As weird as it all sounds I think its still something to keep an eye on here.

New York enters the season with a decently healthy squad though, just injuries to Hunter Freeman and Dane Richards are ones to be concerned over at this point if you are a Red Bulls fan. A healthy Richards would be a good spark for the Red Bulls to have in this game so look for Columbus to take note of that missing element in the Red Bull’s midfield. Richards normally would be able to run all up and down the sideline and without him their wing play could be interesting to see.

Columbus hasn’t won in New York since 2003 but has always played the Red Bulls close. They split their season series last year and I think they could probably do so again this year. I still think the Red Bulls spent too much of the offseason doing a bunch of nothing and didn’t improve their roster enough for this season.

New York will look to come out strong in this one but I think a draw is on line here for these two clubs. Nothing really excites me about this match-up as I think Columbus will be able to do enough to slow down the Red Bull attack to get the draw in this one.

Claudio Reyna is the key player to watch in this one. If he shows up at all this season for the Red Bulls they will have a good shot at keeping pace in the east. However I still question whether or not he will show up this year and play a full season healthy. Again, I think Columbus does enough to slow him and the rest of the Red Bulls down in this one and go back to Ohio with a draw.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, New York 1

Real Salt Lake – at – Chivas USA: A clash of the expansion buddies of 2005. Chivas dominated this series last year and I think if RSL even thinks for a second that they are getting close to moving up in the MLS world then they must get a win on the road in this one.

Both sides looked good in week one, getting draws in two different manners. Chivas faught back on the road and scored a late goal against Dallas in a game that they controlled for the most part. RSL controlled their game with Chicago but gave up two points on a late Blanco goal in stoppage time. Same result in different manners; one good and one not so good.

Again, for RSL they have to show that they can win on the road. Its not that I don’t think they can beat a quality side like Chivas, its I don’t know yet if they can do it on the road. It was just like this for Chivas a year ago. Great at home but terrible on the road. Then somehow things clicked for the Goats and they started making things happen on the road and really made a name for themselves. Jason Kries’s club has to do that tomorrow in LA against Chivas. Make a name for themselves on the road, against a quality team like Chivas.

Still the thing is I think Chivas is the better side in this one. Maykel Galindo didn’t look 100% against Dallas but you can bet with another week down he will be more fit and more ready to go in this one. Same goes for Ante Razov, who I thought looked really good in the first half of play against Dallas. If he and Galindo can get on the same page for their time on the field together you can’t bet against this club for a second.

I think RSL puts up a fight and shows they can compete better on the road but look for Chivas to go away with the three points in this one. I like Sasha Kljestan and Razov to net a pair in the win.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 2, RSL 1

FC Dallas – at – Houston Dynamo: Both clubs looked so-so in week one, for different reason as well. Dallas is still playing without a majority of their club being healthy and Houston is probably more concerned over the CONCACAF Champions Cup at this point.

Houston has practically owned Dallas in the last two years in this new rivalry, and even more so down in Houston. I think for the Dynamo this game comes at the right time of the year for them already because they need an intense game to get them going here this season. They didn’t look at all into the game last weekend in New England but I can bet a game with Dallas will pick them up since it is a rivalry.

Dallas does need to learn to win in Houston though and this could be the right time to do so. I think having Arturo Alvarez in the starting lineup will help too. He should give Kenny Cooper the lift that he didn’t have last week against Chivas. Also, having Dax McCarty on the wings should be better for Dallas this weekend, and it should provide a life on set pieces.

I think in the end with where both clubs are right now this one finishes in a draw. Both clubs are still trying to figure themselves out right now at this point in the season and even as meaningful as this game is I cannot see it going in the favor of either club at this point.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, Houston 1

  • George Shook

    KC vs Colorado.<br />
    <br />
    You wrote &quot;The smaller field will play a part in that as well…&quot;. You do realize that this field at CAB is actually Bigger than what was played at Arrowhead right? It is 110 by 70. Arrowhead was 105(or so) by like 65 (or so). It's an illusion when you see it on TV.

  • drew.epperley

    george, i meant that in terms of comparing CAB to Dicks Sporting Goods field in Denver…that's one of the widest in the league…I guess I should have wrote that out a little more…

  • KC vs Colorado.

    You wrote “The smaller field will play a part in that as well…”. You do realize that this field at CAB is actually Bigger than what was played at Arrowhead right? It is 110 by 70. Arrowhead was 105(or so) by like 65 (or so). It’s an illusion when you see it on TV.

  • george, i meant that in terms of comparing CAB to Dicks Sporting Goods field in Denver…that’s one of the widest in the league…I guess I should have wrote that out a little more…

  • CG

    Um….the field at CAB in KC is actually bigger than the field at Arrowhead. Check with the FO if you have doubts. It only looks smaller because of the setup.

  • CG

    Disregard….didn't see George's comment before typing mine. Oops! Delete both of my comments…….

  • CG

    Um….the field at CAB in KC is actually bigger than the field at Arrowhead. Check with the FO if you have doubts. It only looks smaller because of the setup.

  • CG

    Disregard….didn’t see George’s comment before typing mine. Oops! Delete both of my comments…….