- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 25, 2008
- 8 Comments
Another weekend of play in Major League Soccer. Back to the traditional five-game Saturday and the weekend finale on Sunday. This weekend is already shaping up to be one that could see some road sides get victories after last night’s New England victory in Dallas.
The biggest match-up of the weekend is out in LA as the LA derby kicks off this weekend with the Galaxy and Chivas USA. That may be the one and only headline match of the weekend. Not to say that there isn’t any other quality matches this weekend in play but none with the fire power of a Clasico.
Kansas City Wizards – at – Toronto FC: The Reds continue their home stand and the Wizards continue their two month journey through the league. KC wants to extend their lead in the standings and Toronto wants to continue their winning ways and move to over .500 for the first time in club history. So which will it be this weekend in BMO Field?
This one really has the makings of being an entertaining game and could very well be the best match-up of the weekend outside of LA. KC showed that they can get it done on the road in tough environments last week as they down the Fire in Bridgeview. I recall the match between these two sides last year in Toronto. Very hotly contested and it saw a late Eddie Johnson goal to seal the victory for the roadside.
The Reds come into this game with full health and that could be the difference in this one. KC isn’t fully fit as they could see Carlos Marinelli miss time along with guys that aren’t even making the trip like Davy Arnaud and Ryan Pore.
As much as I know the Wizards can get it done on the road I think Toronto will put up a good match and finally go over .500 here. This game very well could end in a draw but I am going to go out on a limb and say that the homeside picks up the win thanks to some of the recent additions and a stellar effort out of Maurice Edu.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, KC 0
Houston Dynamo – at – Columbus Crew: Both clubs coming into this game in opposite directions. Columbus is off to one of its best starts in club history, while the Dynamo are still searching for their first win of the young season.
Columbus is undefeated at home this season, which was a top priority going into the season for the Crew. I have really enjoyed the Crew’s play as of late. The loss to New York almost seems like ages ago here as they’ve beaten two very solid clubs in the last two weeks (Chivas and DC on the road).
I’m still waiting on the Dynamo to “turn it on” this season. Just as a year ago, the Orange haven’t been able to hit their stride here yet. It was the same way last year when they started out slow. I don’t know if this will be the game for them to do that since the Crew have been playing very well at home this season.
One guy not names Schelotto to keep an eye out for tomorrow is Alejandro Moreno, who is a former Dynamo so I have to think he will want to make sure this former clubs knows that with another goal. Moreno has looked in top form this season with three goals so far. He’s finally linking up with Schelotto and the rest of the Columbus midfield. If he scores, I have a feeling that the Crew will win.
Houston has to come out early, get on the board and get their confidence up. I think that’s the one thing this club is lacking this season is confidence to get the job done. The scoring really isn’t a problem, nor is the defense. Its all about their confidence to get the job done right now.
I think this game could get crazy and go either way really. I want to go with the Dynamo and their first win but I know Columbus has played really good soccer at home this season. So, I am left with a draw here. I think that’s a fair prediction.
WVH Prediction: Houston 1, Columbus 1
Real Salt Lake – at – DC United: Two teams coming off of losses in week four will look to get back on the right course here. The last meeting between these sides saw a 4-0 thrashing in Salt Lake City by the homeside.
DC is just like Houston right now. They are a club starting in a hole and it keeps getting bigger each week as I am waiting for them to just flip a switch and turn it on this season. Their start is looking an awful lot like last years start that ended in the Supporter’s Shield title for the second straight season. So, so starts aren’t always the worst thing in the world.
The thing with DC is their offense isn’t clicking like it was a year ago. The midfield is a bit of a mess and their defense is not nearly as good as advertised. Two weeks ago RSL took full advantage of that mess in the midfield and were able to shut down an offense that wasn’t doing much shooting anyways.
Right now both clubs have their share of injuries so its not all lopsided to one team going into this game as far as health goes.
As much as I want to weigh that week two RSL win into this prediction I can’t. I haven’t seen RSL be a strong side on the road yet and until they prove to me that they can win on the road, I have to go with whom ever they are playing against here. That just happens to be DC, a club that is very tough to beat at home. Columbus was able to do it last week and I have a feeling the last week or so Tom Soehn has been pushing the Black-and-Red in practice to not let a slip up like that happen again.
That result two weeks ago was great for RSL but it was at home and not on the road. They want to be talked about with the big boys of the league and this weekend is their chance to do so. They have to get a win in a building that they’ve never one in. That’s a mental part of the game that they have to overcome here this weekend. I just don’t see it happening yet here with this club.
WVH Prediction: DC 2, RSL 1
Colorado Rapids – at – Chicago Fire: A very interesting match-up here in Bridgeview. Two clubs that had some hype early in the season and now it seems like that hype has faded away some after last week’s home loss by each club. Colorado’s fall from grace may have been worse than Chicago’s but the Fire proved last weekend just how bad Chad Barrett and that offense can be.
The Rapids can move back into first place in the west with a win tomorrow and the Fire to possible move into a tie for first in the east if KC loses and Columbus ties or loses. So there is a bit on the line here tomorrow night in the Windy City for these two clubs. They both will want to get back on the horse and get back up in the standings.
The Fire have pretty much dominated this series over the years. Last year the two sides drew both meetings, only scoring a goal a piece. The Rapids haven’t won in Chicago since 2004, so a bit of history is going against the Rapids tomorrow night.
After last week I think it’s fair to say that the Rapids still have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of things. I’ve been saying for a couple weeks now that I am waiting for a true go-to scorer to step up on this side and lead this team. So far that hasn’t happened. I think that will continue to be a problem for Fernando Clavijo’s bunch here tomorrow as well.
Chicago has been pretty good on defense so far this season. As long as Blanco is in the middle of the field creating chances for this club, they have a good shot at winning this game. The match-up in the midfield between Blanco and Pablo Mastroeni will be an interesting one.
I think the Fire will bounce back from a week ago in this one and get the three points. Tomasz Frankowski will net another goal here and lead the Fire to victory.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, Colorado 0
Chivas USA – at – LA Galaxy: Ah, the SuperClasico. I love a good derby and this is definitely one in MLS that is a must see. The two clubs desperately need wins in this one and would love nothing more than to knock the other off and move on with the three points.
After last year, we can safely say that LA will no longer dominate this series like they did in the opening two years of the Clasico. Chivas won the season series a year ago and will want nothing more than to continue that trend this season.
The Goats are coming off two straight losses, one recently at home to FC Dallas. In that game they were missing some key elements to their midfield, which was definitely noticeable. No Sasha Kljestan was the biggest reason for the open space for Dallas in the midfield, which lead to the two goals scored in the loss.
Kljestan is a guy you must keep an eye out for in this one as I really think the match-up of him against David Beckham will be one to see. Who out classes who will be definitely worth watching.
I think the Chivas midfield will be a lot better against the Galaxy tomorrow night. And not like they had been over the last two weeks. This game will get ugly and physical, that much I can bet on. I don’t think the Galaxy will win this one but they will make it interesting with Landon Donovan, who’s been on an absolute rampage this season with five goals to start the season.
Again, expect some crazy fouls, some nice goals and a very entertaining match. Don’t expect a winner out of this one though. I would go with Chivas in this one but I think LA will make it interesting enough and get a draw out of it.
WVH Prediction: Chivas 2, LA 2
San Jose Earthquakes – at – New York Red Bulls: The Quakes come into this game after their first win of their new campaign. Getting a win on the road sure said a lot to me and other people out there about Frank Yallop’s club. New York should have won their game last week against the Revs, but even a man up they were unable to do so.
So you have an offense that really isn’t known for their scoring going up against a defense that gives up too much in space.
No Juan Pablo Angel for New York as he is expect to miss Sunday’s game. That could be the difference in this one. New York’s offense hasn’t looked all that great this season so far and mainly its due to the absence of Angel. Jozy Altidore and John Wolyniec have to be better up top in this one and the Red Bull midfield will need to control the pace of the game to keep a pesky San Jose off the board.
Maybe we were totally wrong about the Quakes but last week they showed that their midfield, when it comes to play, can be dangerous on the ball. Throw in the addition of Jean-Philippe Peguero and this club could surprise the Red Bulls on Sunday. Peguero is a former Red Bull so he may want to show his former side a thing or two.
Injuries have slowed down this New York side so far this season and really I think they’d almost be in this same boat if those guys were 100% right now. Their defense worries me even against the worst of offenses. They looked good in their opener against Columbus but that game didn’t do nearly enough to impress me.
Here’s another I am going out on a limb for and will probably fall flat on my face but I am I going with the Quakes to win their second straight here. Something just feels right about picking them right now over New York. Had they not won on the road last week I probably wouldn’t be doing this but why the hell not huh?
WVH Prediction: San Jose 1, New York 0