Weekend Preview: Nearly Half Way Home

Weekend Preview: Nearly Half Way Home

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 27, 2008
  • 2 Comments
  • Week 14, Weekend Previews

Hard to believe we are nearly half way home in this season here. Hell a couple clubs after this weekend will have already played half of their 2008 slate. Then you have New England who are in that yearly boat of playing two or three more games earlier than everyone else. Weird how the schedule works out sometimes like that.

I know its mostly due to their light schedule next month during SuperLiga.

Anyways, week 14 folks, week 14. I look at the five games this weekend and just see one thing across the board for most of these clubs. This is a statement kind of weekend. Nearly every match-up has a “statement” kind of feel to it for me. Either one club is in need of making a push or one club is looking to continue their current form.

As we near that actual half way point this season, these kind of weekends will only help know just a little bit more as we go along here. Half way home will easily give us the clearest of pictures this year of who is a contender and who is not.

Now to the games…the usual kind of set up but thankfully, oh thankfully we are saved from Telefutra on Sunday as ABC is doing a wonderful double-header with the Euro 2008 Final. They got a good one too to lead off that coverage.

Colorado Rapids – at – Columbus Crew: First of two meetings this year between these two sides. Columbus has shown in recent weeks that they never say die in any game. Last week really proved that to us. Colorado on the other hand still lacks any sort of consistent play this season. They hope a trip to Columbus will help them find it.

Its been a couple years (nearly four) since the last Rapid win in Columbus. The Crew have held their own at home in recent years against the Rapids. I think that will continue this year as well. Colorado hasn’t shown me much on the road this year other than a lucky road win in New England back in April.

Columbus has bounced back from a rocky patch a few weeks ago to play some pretty good soccer away from Crew Stadium. I think a return home can only improve their chances of playing even better after that double come from behind draw against LA last weekend.

The Crew have slowly worked themselves back into decent health here and with no international call-ups for this one I would have to think Sigi Schmid will pull out the big guns in this one. They’ve only lost twice at home all year and I just don’t see Colorado being that third club to make a dent in the Black and Gold home slate.

Too much Robbie Rogers and Guillermo Barros Schelotto in this one to control the pace of the game for Columbus.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, Colorado 1

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Toronto FC – at – New England Revolution: Something will have to give this weekend. Will Toronto be able to get over the hump against a good team (hell against anyone really) on the road? Or will New England figure out it isn’t so bad to be in first place at this point in the year and to get another three points at home would be wise?

After last week, I’m not so sure which will happen. The Revs are still number one in the league standings and in most power rankings. Though they slipped a bit in some minds after their 2-1 loss against Real Salt Lake. I can see that and understand it though. Its almost like the curse of being number one this year. Its knocked down quite a few clubs actually. New England is trying not to be another one.

Toronto, uh…let’s face it they have to show us something here. They must get a road win if we really, truly want to believe they are a contender this season. Toronto has yet to win in New England (and in most places) so one has to believe a win against a club like New England would ease the minds of some doubters. It know it would for me.

Both clubs should be relative full strength. No international call-ups to deal with for either side should make this an entertaining game.

Toronto should have some confidence going into this one though based off of their recent home play. Sure its different to go on the road, especially to a place that you’ve never won in or scored a goal in. But I think this Toronto club is a bit different than last year’s. Does that mean they will win this one? I don’t know.

To me with the way the Revs played last week and with how Toronto is on the road I just can’t see this going anywhere. More than likely each get on the board and that’s about it. It may come down to which keeper comes up bigger. If that is the case, then bet on New England in this one due to Matt Reis. But I still think it will end in a draw.

WVH Prediction: New England 1, Toronto 1

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Real Salt Lake – at – Kansas City Wizards: One club needs a home coming (and not in a 3-0 loss home coming kind of way) and the other needs to continue it’s impressive run. Hard to believe RSL is on a nice streak right now and are a game away from their first winning record in club history. Yeah.

KC is hoping this home coming is better than the one two weeks ago when they got pounded by the Crew. First as foremost they have to figure out how to score. That’s something RSL is doing pretty well these days. It seems like they’ve found a decent balance between Robbie Findley and a couple others.

RSL has yet to win in KC though. Three meetings in their short history in KC have not gone well with two losses and one draw.

I think this game could go either way really. KC looks like they could use this game to get out of their current funk and RSL could blow this game wide open based on their recent form. I just don’t know how sold I am on RSL yet though. I don’t know if another road win will do it in a place like KC. Thing is, I’m not sold on KC getting the job done at home right now.

So what’s a guy left to do. Go with the hot hand. Pick the mild upset if you will with RSL on the road. Kyle Beckerman seems to be in good enough form to get one by an aging Kevin Hartman and that young KC defense.

WVH Prediction: RSL 1, KC 0

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San Jose Earthquakes – at – Chicago Fire: Most will view this game as a pair of clubs that deperately need a win right now. San Jose needs a win because they are an expansion club and wins are just too damn hard to come by. Chicago needs a win because they’ve lost that luster that they had early on in the season.

The two side met earlier in the year, seeing a 1-0 Chicago victory. Not the best of games but certainly not the worst for the Fire in that one.

The Fire should have it in them to bounce back from some shaky play as of late. But this also means the Quakes are in good position to get their third road win of the year if Chicago isn’t careful. San Jose has a weird way of winning against clubs that start with a ‘C’ (Colorado and Columbus), just so you know.

I’d have to think Chicago will win this one. A game against San Jose seems like the time to get back in form after the way the Quakes have played on the road as of late. Their game in DC last week did not give me any hope for them on the road anytime soon. And that reason alone is why I am going with the home side in this one. I’m nearly leaning towards the Quakes in the upset but something tells me Blanco, Chad Barrett, Chris Rolfe and Justin Mapp are going to come out on all cylinders in this one.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, San Jose 0

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New York Red Bulls – at Chivas USA: It has to be kinda weird to play two different Chivas clubs in one week if I am New York. Sure they got the nice (meaningless) win against the Mexican flavor last night in Phoenix but will that translate into more road success in Carson against the US version?

These two faced off just a couple weeks ago on MLS Primetime Thursday in a 1-0 Red Bull win. It wasn’t the best of games out of either side but the late Juan Pablo Angel goal proved to be the difference. New York needs some Angel magic on the road this time around. He should be able to go if he makes the trip (he didn’t travel to Phoenix with the club yesterday).

That’s the thing right now for New York. Their two DPs (Angel and Claudio Reyna) are almost nowhere to be seen but in the training room and not on the field (that is unless the field is in Chinatown, but more on that in a bit).

Chivas is about to start a nice little home stretch here in league play and SuperLiga. I think New York is a good kickoff for that.

The big thing with Chivas right now is they are finally getting healthy again. That’s been their issue all season, they just haven’t been fully healthy enough as a team to play consistently. Kind of similar to New York (but I felt they had other issues) but now things are turning around. Last week’s win against Chicago seemed to prove that.

I think the Goats get some revenge for that 1-0 loss from a couple weeks ago. I think Ante Razov nets one against his former side in the win.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, New York 0

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LA Galaxy – at – DC United: Yeah I think everyone is looking forward to this one now. Both clubs are playing at a pretty high level right now, mostly on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively this could be kind of ugly. Both are at the bottom of the league in goals allowed this season (DC last and LA second to last).

I think this will be a good game on a day that a lot of people should be watching soccer because of the Euro 2008 Final between Germany and Spain. That should give the league some quality exposure with David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Marcello Gallardo and Luciano Emilio.

This game could very well end up like the LA-NY clash from a year ago. Lots of goals and little defense. The Galaxy do hold a winning record against the Black-and-Red so they possibly could walk with the three points due to the way their offense scores.

I honestly don’t know which club to pick from here. I think DC for the reasons that they’ve been home for a while and I’ve never been too sold with LA on the road over the last couple years.

Emilio should continue his push towards Donovan’s scoring mark here and really heat up that Golden Boot race. Though Edson Buddle could have a word in that one as well for the Galaxy.

I think in the end it will be a draw after a lot of wild goals. It should be a very entertaining game.

WVH Prediction: LA 3, DC 3

  • Cannon Girl

    Once again, I beg to differ Drew. I think my Joe and his Quakes are going to win this one. I hope you enjoy your vacation and when you do go on your honeymoon, I hope you and the Lady Hooligan conceive sextuplets who will grow up San Jose fans — GO QUAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cannon Girl

    Once again, I beg to differ Drew. I think my Joe and his Quakes are going to win this one. I hope you enjoy your vacation and when you do go on your honeymoon, I hope you and the Lady Hooligan conceive sextuplets who will grow up San Jose fans — GO QUAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!