- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 18, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Week 17, Weekend Previews
If this weekend is anything like last night’s contest in Columbus, we could be in for a real treat of a weekend. Four games on the menu this weekend for us all to enjoy (plus some SuperLiga for those who still care).
Three of the four are interconference battles. Can the west start to make up some ground against the east? Or will the east flex their muscles yet again? Only one conference battle out west this weekend up in Frisco, TX.
As for some quick thoughts on last night’s game in Columbus. Easily one of the more interesting and entertaining contests on MLS Primetime Thurday that we’ve seen all season. Loads of end to end action, probably a good tie for Kansas City considering how they had a two-goal lead and then lived up to the cliche that it’s the easiest lead in the world to lose. Columbus responded with three straight goals, thanks largely to Schelotto.
Most of the goals were set up very well by all involved. Like I said, lots of end to end action in this one and it didn’t come up short for the league on ESPN for a change.
Okay, let’s move on and get to the weekend action here.
San Jose Earthquakes – at – Toronto FC: The cure for the road blues is going home and facing an expansion club right? That should be the case for Toronto FC tomorrow afternoon. Both clubs looking for three points here as the Reds are winless in their last two, while the Quakes are in a six-game winless run here.
SO a streak will have to end right? I think so, but mostly I believe Toronto needs this home game to get back on track in the east. San Jose will have a couple new faces up top but I don’t see them making an impact right away, especially on the turf at BMO FIeld.
Both clubs will be without key defensive players, both Nick Garcia and Maurice Edu are suspended for this one due to yellow card accumulation. The loss of Garcia hurts the Quakes a bit more than the loss of Edu for Toronto. The Reds have enough in the middle of the park to make up for the absence of Edu and it will be something they will need to get use to in the coming weeks with Edu going to the Olympics.
I like Toronto in this one, mainly because I think we will finally see Jeff Cunningham score his 100th career MLS goal this weekend. San Jose seems like a perfect club to get that goal for Cunningham.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 2, San Jose 0
LA Galaxy – at – New York Red Bulls: Two clubs looking to get back in gear as the second half of the season gets underway. Last year when they met in New York we saw a nine goal match, a scoreline that didn’t surprise many at the time and probably could happen again this weekend.
What do we make of the new faces for New York? Well, we should find out tomorrow night just how good (or bad) a couple of them are. I’m curious to see exactly how well they have come together with the current players for New York. Either they’ve gelled already or they are just starting those dreaded growing pains.
LA needs a win big time here. After leading the west for the majority of the first half of the season, they’ve fallen off track a bit in recent weeks. That has allowed clubs like Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA to get in the lead out west. A win this weekend would easily put this club back on track to win the west.
I think we should see plenty of goals again in this one, even with the new faces. The Red Bulls were able to steal one a couple months back in Carson but I think LA will return the favor tomorrow night in Giants Stadium. Defense will still be called into question on this one but I see Landon Donovan stepping up and scoring a couple to lead the Galaxy.
WVH Prediction: LA 4, New York 2
Real Salt Lake – at – Chicago Fire: For RSL being on top of their conference is a first for them. How they respond to the new pressures of being a top dog in this league will remain to be seen this weekend. Tough to go on the road though for your first game since taking over the conference but that is the card that has been handed down to this club.
This is a start to a big test for Real, who will be going on the road for a while in the coming weeks. Seven games away from home in the coming weeks. And so far RSL has only seen one road victory. To be taken serious by the rest of the league they will need to get it done tomorrow night in Chicago, a place they’ve yet to win at.
I think the Fire are going to come out on top in this one. As good as RSL has been in recent weeks I still have not seen quality play on the road out of them. I said there was something missing about them and its their play on the road. If they can show me that they can win in a big way, at a place like Chicago, then I will change my mind about them.
The Fire put the winless streak out last weekend against Toronto, and now can inch closer to the top of the overall table with another win. I think Blanco and company do just that. It will be a tight, low scoring game as both defenses give up very little. The difference will be this game is on grass and not on nasty turf.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, RSL 0
Colorado Rapids – at – FC Dallas: A game I am going to try to make, if everything works out that way for me this weekend. Dallas has had some time off to regroup here, even with the discussion and rumors of some players being looked at by some clubs from Europe. Hopefully for Dallas fans they’ve regrouped in a positive way.
They face a Colorado team that continues to be the most inconsistent club I’ve ever seen. Dallas is inconsistent at time but Colorado takes the cake in that category because they have yet to put two solid games in a row together this season.
The Rapids haven’t seen much success in Dallas over the years and I think that trend will continue. Colorado hasn’t won in the Big D since 2000. Plus its that inconsistent play that I talked about from the Rapids, it just doesn’t give me any sort of confidence to pick them.
Let’s be real honest though, this game won’t be pretty. Neither club plays a real sexy style of soccer, and both go on and off too much for my liking during a match. I think the difference is Dallas has a true goal scorer in Kenny Cooper and Colorado doesn’t. They have a solid play maker in Christian Gomez but we haven’t really seen someone step up to be that main goal scorer for the Rapids this season.
Cooper leads the Hoops in an ugly one.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Colorado 1