Weekend Preview: Western Sides Clash; NY at LA; and Chivas on the Rebound

Weekend Preview: Western Sides Clash; NY at LA; and Chivas on the Rebound

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 9, 2008

A lighter weekend for Major League Soccer here in week seven. Only five games unlike the normal six that we’ve been accustom to so far this season. Both KC and Toronto have the weekend off to regroup or whatever they both need to do in a week off.

The usual game format for the weekend stands with the majority of games on Saturday and one on Sunday. I still wish that when the league puts a game on a Spanish outlet like TeleFutra, that they would at least provide a Direct Kick or something of that game for us non-Spanish speaking folk. Not that I don’t mind those lovely Spanish announcers, I would just love to be able to watch the game without all the yelling.

Anyways, let’s get down to business here.

Colorado Rapids – at – Houston Dynamo: We all know by now that the Houston Dynamo are winless in the first six games of the season. But what I still think people keep forgetting is that they’ve only lost two games this year. Both on the road at New England and Columbus. The main problem as we all know by now is still the scoring issues.

Colorado comes into this game as maybe the most confused team in MLS right now. One week they look great and the next not so much. I think we could see that again this week. Last week at home they got just what the doctor had ordered for them, a visit from DC United. This week a road trip to Houston, a place they’ve never won in.

I expect some goals in this one as these two typically pile on the goals against one another. As much as I like both club’s defenses, I think it could be a week where they both get on the board. I really say that in terms of the home team here. I keep waiting around for the men in orange to flip the switch as I put it on the season. Last week wasn’t the case at home against Chivas but after watching that game I know the chances were there for the taking. I see that happening this weekend against Colorado.

It may be a close game and Houston may end up not winning again but I do see Houston scoring some for once. I’m going with the home side in this one though, I just think they will finally break free of whatever funk that they are in right now.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Colorado 1


FC Dallas – at – Real Salt Lake: A pretty vital game in the early going here for both sides. While Dallas has played pretty well this season, they really need a road win and some goals. As for RSL, they gotta bounce back from dropping points at home to LA last week. It was a game they should have won but ended up with a draw instead.

These two sides typically play pretty wild games, most resulting in game-winning goals in the final minutes of the game. Last year we saw late tying goals or winning goals in the final 10 minutes in all three matches. Hell, two of the matches saw goals in the final seconds of the game. So don’t expect something different out of them this time around.

RSL hasn’t beaten the Hoops in four meetings, a streak that has the potential of continuing here this weekend if they don’t get on the board early. Teams that score first this season have not lost a single game and only seven of them have ended in draws. Folks, scoring first is huge now more than ever in MLS.

I really want to see RSL get Robbie Findley involved in this one early. So far this season he hasn’t quite found the scoring touch that he saw last year. Dallas should have defenders all over the strikers of RSL in this one but if Findley can sneak out and score one it would be huge for him and his confidence.

Dallas on the other hand has to get Kenny Cooper involved as much as possible. I think they will go out with a different formation in this one to change things up on the offensive side of the ball. Putting Juan Toja and Andre Rocha on the wings may be a smart thing to do for Steve Morrow. Then sticking Ricardinho up top as a target striker with Cooper and Arturo Alvarez may work out nicely like it did against Chivas a couple weeks back.

I think this could be a wild one, especially on that nasty turf. It will be close but there will be goals. I like the road side to steal some points in this one thanks to a late goal by Abe Thompson.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, RSL 1


Columbus Crew – at – San Jose Earthquakes: So we get to see Columbus take its show on the road here to San Jose. I think this could be a very important game for the Crew. Sure they’ve been on the road a couple times this season but they need to pick up some more steam on the road and San Jose would be a great place for them to do so.

The Quakes haven’t found the offensive touch just yet this season. Last week they played well at home but still couldn’t find solid chances on goal. Against a solid defense like Columbus their chances may be tougher to get.

I look at what San Jose has done in the shots on goal department so far this season. The LA game they had two; Chicago they had seven in the return to the Bay; in the win over Colorado they had six, but in the last two games against New York and Dallas they’ve only mustered five. The fact remains, just as it does for anyone really, quality chances on goal leads to goals. Its a simple fact of the game that San Jose just hasn’t figured out very well this season.

Columbus on the other hand knows how to make the most of their chances. Alejandro Moreno should be able to find the back on the net in this one. How Moreno is guarded in the back by the Quakes is a big thing to look after. San Jose has done well against quality goal scorers this season but they will again have to contend with a quality midfield that Columbus has.

I just like what the Crew have better than San Jose does right now. Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in top form and will be tough to stop. Columbus wins but only by a small margin. The Quakes will still struggle to find the back of the net.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, San Jose 0


New York Red Bulls – at – LA Galaxy: A game that I’ve been getting a lot of emails about this week from various media outlets wanting the cheap plug on here. I bet I wasn’t the only one getting those emails too, but anyways, this has the making to be another stellar game. I felt it was the game of the year in some ways last year when these two met in Giants Stadium in the late part of the summer. Remember that 5-4 clash? I do, and it was awesome even though the defending was terrible.

This game has the making of being just as crazy as the ones from a year ago. David Beckham is healthy and ready to go. Landon Donovan is scoring goals like they are going out of style this season. And the LA defense is letting in goals like they are going to Vegas and betting the over on each game.

That bodes well and bad at the same time for New York I suppose. The health of their two strikers Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore still remains in question. Both aren’t 100% right now, though I think New York may be sitting Jozy for fatigue reasons rather than an injury.

New York’s defense is going to get put to the test in this one and I think we see more of what I’ve been talking about this year on their defense. LA loves to play balls over the top and in long passes, both aren’t easily defended by this New York team. Plus LA has the speed to burn a defense that I don’t see as one of the fastest in the league right now.

On the flip side, LA has to come into this game and get a shutout I think for people to really start taking them serious. New York has a good enough attack, even with injuries to put the ball in the back of the net against this LA defense.

Its going to be wild so I think the safe bet is going with a draw. But there should be plenty of goals.

WVH Prediction: LA 3, NY 3


New England Revolution – at – Chivas USA: To say that both of these clubs need a win right now may be putting it lightly. New England is one of those bouncy ball clubs, while Chivas just isn’t the Chivas of a year ago right now.

Consistency is the biggest problem facing these two clubs right now. One is just inconsistent from week to week, while the other has just been consistently bad this season for the most part. Chivas has a decent enough team as a whole to get the job done but I think what we are seeing is they didn’t do enough in the offseason to improve this roster.

New England did improve their roster but they just aren’t scoring due to injuries they’ve gone through this season. Getting Steve Ralston back in the line up on Sunday could really be what they have missed over the past month. As long as he is good to go, the Revs should have no problem walking out of the Home Depot Center with three points.

This one should be fairly open in the midfield. How Chivas handles Shalrie Joesph and how New England handles Sasha Kljestan are the big keys in this one. Who steps up for their club will be the difference maker here but I see the return of Ralston helping out Joesph more than Kljestan.

Chivas’s attack just hasn’t shown me enough to get behind them here this season. So the visitors walk out with the points in my mind.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, Chivas 0


JD Rollins
  • May 9 2008
Yea, I just don't see the quakes being able to put it past Hesmer.
JD Rollins
  • May 9 2008
Yea, I just don't see the quakes being able to put it past Hesmer.