- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 11, 2008
- 4 Comments
Week three of the MLS has already begun and this weekend’s games should be just as exciting as the midweek game in KC. All parties are involved this weekend as there are seven games on the menu (six tomorrow and one Sunday) for us to enjoy, most of which are on MLStv for those who are like me and bought the season pass.
I plan on being at the FC Dallas – New York game, so if you are going to be in Frisco be sure to let me know. I will actually be on hand with the Hooligan mother, as she is in town for a week of vacation from the good ol’ WV.
So, we have plenty of good stories to keep an eye on this weekend. The return of the Quakes to San Jose tomorrow. Can Chivas overtake KC for the top spot in the power rankings? Can KC bounce back from their midweek game? Will we see RSL stun DC at home? What will we get out of the return of Amado Guevara as he joins Toronto this weekend in LA to face the Galaxy?
Chicago Fire – at – San Jose Earthquakes: Ah yes, the return of the Quakes to San Jose. It should be a nice return for the Quakes but going against a hungry Fire club won’t help their cause any here.
The Quakes looked like an expansion club in their first game against the Galaxy last week. They never really got any chances forward and their defense was weaker than expected. Going against the Fire’s stellar attack with Blanco and company that could spell big trouble for the Quakes, who many believe they may over take Toronto for the record of consecutive minutes without a goal streak here to start out the season.
I didn’t think the Fire looked all that great on the road in week one, so they must come out early like they did against New England tomorrow to make me feel a bit more confident about their road play.
The Fire do have some injury concerns but none that should worry their fans against the Quakes. As for San Jose they are as healthy as one club can be, no injuries to report which is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the MLS before from a club.
As hyped up as the Quakes will be to return to San Jose I just don’t think they have the offense to stay with the Fire for 90 minutes. I do think the Fire’s defense is a little bit prone to an attack on the wings and could give up shots up in the middle but as we saw last week, the Quakes don’t put a lot of shots on goal. I think this may be the easiest game to figure out this weekend.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 3, San Jose 0
Chivas USA – at – Columbus Crew: The Crew looked great at home and terrible on the road so far to begin this season. Chivas looked a little down on the road in week one due to injuries but in week two they turned up the heat against RSL and played really well at home. So what gives in week three for these two? I think most are expecting a Chivas win tomorrow and I am one of them.
Columbus has to come out strong early on, unlike how they did last week in New York. We saw just how valuable the play of Schelotto is for the Crew as he was pretty much useless out there last week. Columbus has never beat the Goats in their own building so they have to come out strong and put the pressure on Chivas early. If they can get up early it will be interesting to see if Chivas can climb back and win the game. That’s something they’ve never done in their history, win a come-from-behind game.
I think you have to go with Chivas in this one after last week. Both clubs looked to be headed in opposite directions and the Red-and-White are getting healthier by the game here. Columbus still needs to find their go-to striker here if they want any shot at winning this. Chivas has the stronger midfield and that will be the difference as they will be able to shutdown Schelotto and thus providing more chances on goal.
Take the Goats here, but not by much.
WVH Prediction: Chivas 2, Columbus 1
Colorado Rapids – at – New England Revolution: Even without Steve Ralston, Taylor Twellman and other supporting cast, the Revs looked really good on Wednesday in KC. Colorado is coming off their first loss of the season to the Wizards in a game that they came back from two goals down to tie but then gave up a late goal and walked away with nothing to show for in the standings. So going on the basis of the last games for each club, since they played the same oppoenet last, does New England have the edge?
I think the answer to that is yes. After the way they played Wednesday night and now that Jeff Larentowicz is coming back from suspension I think its fair to say that the Revs should have the edge in this one.
Its nothing against the Rapids, who I think are a much better side than a year ago, its just I don’t know if they can hold out against quality clubs on the road. Plus I look to history here that tells me that no road side has won a game in this series since 2002.
Colorado has to play to through the midfield, especially on the wings to win this game. Getting guys like Colin Clarke involved early could be enough to beat New England.
This should be one of the better games of the weekend, if not the best when it comes to match-up and everything. I like two midfields and defenses. The offensive edge still has to go to New England with the recent play of Sainey Nyassi. He is the difference maker in this game and I think his play will again lead New England to three points. Also, I look for Mauricio Castro to set up another couple goals on set peices.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, Colorado 1
Houston Dynamo – at – Kansas City Wizards: Both teams coming off not-so-good performances in recent games. Houston gave up three to in-state rival Dallas but was able to come back thanks to a late Geoff Cameron goal. KC looked pretty bad against the Revs in the midweek, so do they have anything left for tomorrow?
Houston will finally get back Ricardo Clark tomorrow, who had been on a long suspension from last season when he kicked Carlos Ruiz. I think the Dynamo will look much better in the midfield and in defense with Rico there. His toughness is something that has been lacking in recent games for the Orange. His comeback couldn’t have come at a better time too with recent injuries to Eddie Robinson and keeper Pat Onstad.
It will be interesting to see just how KC responds after losing their first game of the season here. This will be the last home game for the Wizards as they will set out on a two month road trip after tomorrow (oh the joys of sharing a baseball stadium). I think they will have to get three points here to stay afloat in the east with the way things going now that New England, Chicago, and DC are playing well…and maybe even throw in New York too.
KC hasn’t beat the Orange at home since the club was actually playing in San Jose. The Wizards have to explore play on the wings tomorrow to beat the Dynamo. Also, sending balls through the midfield to Claudio Lopez to run on (same goes for Scott Sealy) should create more chances.
I think Houston has some momentum going into this game thanks to Cameron’s late goal against Dallas. However, KC should be able to step up in this one and try to knock out the three points. I see a draw in the end though, both seem to match-up fairly well with one another. Houston could expose KC’s defense just as New England did on Wednesday but that is only if they get Brian Ching involved early. I still see a draw either way right no.
WVH Prediction: Houston 1, KC 1
New York Red Bulls – at – FC Dallas: Two middle of the pack type of teams square off in Frisco tomorrow night. Honestly I am excited to see the Red Bulls because I am not totally sold on them just yet like some people are. I think they get a better buzz around them since they are from New York. They beat a Columbus team last week without any great play. Dallas is coming off two games in which they should have won but gave up late goals instead to settle for a draw.
I think the pressure is surely on Dallas to win this one after the first two games of the season. New York has a slight advantage in my book because of that pressure on Dallas. The two clubs seem a bit even, but if Dallas’s group of Toja, Cooper, Alvarez and Rocha come to play you can bet Dallas will walk away with three points. This club just has to learn how to close games out here. Then again any sports team in Dallas has to learn that but we can discuss that on another day.
We know both clubs can score and will put the ball in the back of the net, its just a matter of which club’s defense steps up more tomorrow night. The match-up of Pablo Ricchetti against Claudio Reyna should be a good one to watch. Ricchetti has no problem getting physical with anyone and if he can knock Reyna off his game then that can only mean trouble for New York’s back three.
This one is kind of tough to slice but I am going with Dallas to cover come their first two games with a win in this one. I think the midfield of Dallas has just an edge over New York and that is something I cannot shy away from here. Plus the play of Dario Sala has been pretty solid all season so far, I don’t know if Jon Conway has really been tested much so far this year. Cooper and Toja should be able to test him well.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, New York 1
DC United – at – Real Salt Lake: Both teams coming in after different results in the previous week. DC hammered Toronto at home and RSL fell on the road to Chivas.
United have not played well in Salt Lake City since RSL joined the league in 2005. Only one victory in that expansion season for the men in Black-and-Red. They even gave RSL their first victory last season in June when they visted the Wasatch Front.
As I said last week, RSL has to prove to everyone that they have improved here this season. They didn’t do it last week against Chivas but if they can do it this week against DC they may win over some of their critics.
I think RSL will give DC a run for their money in this one but DC just has more offensive weapons here with Luciano Emilio, Fred, and others. RSL has to have a striker step up here as they only have one goal on the season that wasn’t an own goal.
WVH Prediction: DC 3, RSL 1
Toronto FC – at – LA Galaxy: I think this game has some real interest now that the Reds have signed midfielder Amado Guevara. I’m curious to see if John Carver works him into the lineup just yet or if he holds him out for a full week of training with club. LA should be good to go here after last week’s win over San Jose. Both Landon Donovan and David Beckham looked good in the win over the in-state rivals.
Toronto should have a couple starters return to the lineup in defense which should also help out a great deal. Their defense has been very weak so far this season, which is why they have already given up six goals in their first two games. Rookie Julius James and veteran Todd Dunivant should be back for the Reds and that will be key in this one as they will definitely need both against Donovan and Beckham.
Both clubs have a weak defense and at times a weak goalkeeper. I don’t think either Steve Cronin or Greg Sutton are first class starters in this league but they are good enough for now. At times both look like quality keepers but when they give up goals it isn’t just the defense allowing in play, its typically them being way to out of position to stop anything.
Even if Guevara plays I don’t see Toronto winning this one. Historically LA is too tough to beat at the HDC and Toronto is no quality road side here yet. This may be another one of those easy games to pick this weekend.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, Toronto 1