- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 18, 2008
- 2 Comments
A nice slate of games this weekend, six in all for our viewing pleasure. I like how the schedule breaks down this weekend as we get four games tomorrow and two on Sunday.
As crazy as the first couple of weeks have been in this season, we should know that anything is possible here this week. Last week we saw the first crop of road wins and this weekend looks good for that to continue. And if last night can tell us anything with Columbus winning on the road in DC, we should almost throw the book out on some clubs already and just start over.
Real Salt Lake – at – Toronto FC: The Reds get their home debut this weekend against a club that is kind of confusing to figure out here so far this season. This is one of those games on the menu this weekend that I look at and really wonder about. Both clubs come in off of nice wins in week three but neither look like they are set to start taking over things here.
The new additions for Toronto have really made a difference in how they play on offense and hopefully that means their defense will start to get better as well now that there is less pressure on them.
RSL is interesting as well here as their offense was clicking last week as they handled DC United 4-0 at home. The thing is their defense is still an iffy thing and on the road in an environment like BMO Field, you have to think it won’t be an easy trip north for them.
A big match-up to watch is Kyle Beckerman against Amado Guevara. The winner in that battle will probably yield the winner in this match. I think, however, I have to go with the home side in this one. Its the Reds home opener and I just cannot count against them in a home opener, especially now that their offense is starting to really click.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 2, RSL 1
New England Revolution – at- New York Red Bulls: A slightly less confusing game to me I think. Both clubs are coming off losses in week three, New York’s on the road to Dallas and New England’s tough home loss to Colorado.
New York should have Juan Pablo Angel back, which can only mean their finishing on offense will be better than it was a week earlier. But if their defense is anything at all like last week in Dallas this game could easily go to the way of the visitors.
New England is coming into this game after a week where they couldn’t hit the back of the net after out shotting Colorado 17-4 in their 1-0 loss. I have to think that the way things have gone this season for the Revs, this weekend will be another win for the club. Its been that kind of a season where they win and then lose and then win again.
This I-95 rivalry has been pretty even over the years, though the Revs did get the better of the series last year during the regular season and in the playoffs.
New England has to attack the wings with the Gambians Nyassi and Mansally to be successful in this game. New York has to find Altidore and let him be creative (same for Angel if he does play). I like the midfield match-up in favor of the Revs and I’m sure they will use the template that Dallas used last week to beat the Red Bulls.
I’m going to take the visitors in this game, though, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a draw either here.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, New York 0
San Jose Earthquakes – at – Colorado Rapids: Some may find this to be the easiest game to predict this weekend but you just never know really how things could go with either team in this one. Colorado could turn into what we’ve seen with Fernando Clavijo’s clubs in recent years and act like they don’t know how to play or San Jose could somehow find a go-to goal scorer here. Again, anything is possible.
But, I think this one will go like many of us believe it will. San Jose looked better last week but was still unable to score a goal. Colorado has looked very well overall this season, even in their one loss to Kansas City.
I think for San Jose to win or draw this game they will have to win the battle in the midfield, which won’t be easy. Colorado has one of the better midfields in the league and I have to think they will be able to control the pace in this game in the middle of the field and on the wings.
I like the Rapids at home, and probably big too.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 3, San Jose 0
Houston Dynamo – at – LA Galaxy: Here are two clubs that certainly in a mess in terms of on the field play as of late. LA, as we all know by now, is a total circus. Houston is probably the most confusing club in this league right now with how they play. Neither one look like a strong side in the west and for Houston that isn’t good since they are expected to possibly defend their title this year.
One thing is clear this season, Landon Donovan has come to play. Three goals already this season and it looks like he may be trying to carry this club on his back with all of the surrounding Beckham-circus. His play has been stellar (even with some world class misses against Toronto last week).
Houston is in a world of hurt right now in terms of injury and now suspensions. They haven’t had that one break out game that we look at and remember why they’ve been so good over the last two years. Also, they haven’t had one single player stand out and try to carry this club on their backs just yet.
It sort of reminds me of the Dynamo from this time last year. Poor play early on and then some moves were made and guys stood up then things got going. This could be a good game for that to happen. In other words, Dwayne De Rosario has to be the guy that steps up and brings it home for the Orange tomorrow night. He’s been a Galaxy killer before and I think he can do it again.
I’m going out on a limb in this one, though I know anything can really go here and anything probably will go. But I am going with the Dynamo in a close, but, wild game.
WVH Prediction: Houston 4, LA 2
Kansas City – at – Chicago Fire: A very nice match-up in the east on Sunday afternoon. The Fire and the Wizards are atop the leader board right now in the overall standings and after this game we should have a better understanding of the two.
I’ve been pretty down on the Wizards as of late for their defense (and even their offense). They have to impress me on the road Sunday if they want to even think of moving back up in my rankings and more than likely the rankings of a lot of people. They had a nice start but it’s quickly faded away with their last two games.
Chicago is another interesting club. I don’t really know how to read them as they dominated New England at home a couple weeks ago but their two road games were both fairly lucky results in some eyes, including mine. I think an impressive showing will justify my ranking of them as the top club right now in the league. I think if someone is going to jump out there it could be the Fire.
The big match-up will be how KC handles Blanco in the middle. From what I’ve seen out of the Wizards so far is that if anyone has some play-making ability in the middle, the Wizards are in trouble. And from what I’ve seen out of Blanco this season, he will probably have a field day with the Wizards unless they get physical with him.
I think this could be a close one but I think the home side will come through with the three points.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, KC 1
FC Dallas – at – Chivas USA: A match-up I’m sure Steve Morrow and Dallas want right now. Things didn’t go so well for the Hoops in week one when they hosted the Goats. A 1-0 lead was evened up with a late goal and Dallas finished the season opener with a single point instead of the two points that they very well should have had.
Chivas is one of those clubs that should be breaking away from the pack. Last week they got bumped on that path to start breaking away in Columbus when the lost a wild game to the Crew 4-3. The tough part wasn’t just the loss but the red cards to key players (Francisco Mendoza and Sasha Kljestan) and then some injuries.
The injury report for the Red-and-White is kind of crazy at the moment. Key players like Lawson Vaughn, Ante Razov and Raphel Wicky are questionable; Maykel Galindo is probable; and others like Alecko Eskardarian and are out. Throw in the two red card suspensions above and Chivas could be missing a bulk of their starting line-up for this one.
Dallas is looking okay injury wise going into this game. I’m curious to see Pablo Ricchetti’s status on Sunday as he’s been iffy all week due to a groin problem. If that is bothering him, I think the wise move would be to sit him if I were Steve Morrow. You never want to mess with a groin problem, especially this early in the season.
Before all the cards and injuries, I would have easily written off Dallas for this game but with the last two games out of the Hoops, I have to give them a better due. Their recent win over the Red Bulls was nice. We know this club has the offense to put up the numbers but will they do it in the HDC? That’s a venue that hasn’t been too kind to them over the years.
I think this will be another close one with some Chivas players having to step up. The loss of Kljestan is a big one to Chivas but I think this may be the one draw of the weekend. I like Dallas to score but I just think there is a mental hump against some quality sides that they have to overcome here this season. That draw a couple weeks ago still stings, and I’m sure it will continue to do so.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, Chivas 1