MLS Weekend Preview: Week 31

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 31

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 16, 2009
  • 0 Comments
  • 2009 Week 31, Ali Gerba, Brian Ching, Conor Casey, David Ferriera, Dwayne De Rosario, Jeff Cunninham, Landon Donovan, Luis Angel Landin, Omar Cummings, Robbie Findley, Robbie Rogers, Shalrie Joseph, Weekend Previews
It's do or die for Toronto FC. (Getty Images)

It's do or die for Toronto FC. (Getty Images)

Big time weekend ahead for Major League Soccer. Four clubs have punched their tickets to the post season dance with four remaining spots left open to possibly all get snatched up this weekend.

You can pretty much put a playoff implication on every game this weekend. Either a team will come closer to clinching a spot, will clinch a spot or will be eliminated from contention. Its pretty much as simple as that as we head into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Going into the weekend it is important to see where everyone stands. There will be plenty of scoreboard watching from players, coaches and fans this weekend.

Eastern Conference
1. Columbus (13-5-10, 49 pts., 2 games remaining) – X
2. Chicago (10-7-11, 41 pts., 2 games remaining)
Western Conference
T1. Chivas USA (13-9-5, 44 pts., 3 games remaining) X
T1. Houston (12-8-8, 44 pts., 2 games remaining) – X
T1. Los Angeles (11-6-11, 44 pts., 2 games remaining) X
Wild Cards
2. Seattle (10-7-11, 41 pts., 2 games remaining)
3. Colorado (10-8-10, 40 pts., 2 games remaining)
4. New England (10-10-8, 38 pts., 2 games remaining)
BOTTOM SEVEN OUT
Real Salt Lake (10-11-7, 37 pts., 2 games remaining)
FC Dallas (10-12-6, 36 pts., 2 games remaining)
D.C. United (8-8-12, 36 pts., 2 games remaining)
Toronto FC (9-10-9, 36 pts., 2 games remaining)
Kansas City (8-12-8, 32 pts., 2 games remaining)
San Jose (7-13-8, 29 pts., 2 games remaining) – Eliminated from contention
New York (4-19-6, 18 pts., 1 games remaining) – Eliminated from contention

For Colorado, Seattle and Chicago it is simple this weekend. You win and you are in. New England can do the same with a win along with a couple other items (DC, Dallas, TFC, and RSL all draw or losing their games this weekend).On the flip side for Kansas City they are all but mathematically eliminated here, they would need about 40 different things to happen to even have hope of reaching the playoffs. In other words this weekend will should put their eliminated status in for good.

Everyone is in action this weekend except for New York who played and lost again in the midweek. As always feel free to leave your score predictions and thoughts below.

Saturday:

Real Salt Lake – at – Toronto FC:

Both clubs need wins it is as simple as that. Toronto did themselves no favor last week with the draw at home against San Jose. I see nothing different happening this weekend out of this bunch as Toronto just hasn’t found a way lately to close out games at home. Even with RSL’s pathetic road record this season I just smell a draw for this game, which pretty much eliminates both sides from playoff contention this season. RSL will still have a little hope going into next week’s finale against rivals Colorado but they will need plenty of things to happen before they can rest their hopes on that game. I like Toronto getting on the board early again this week with either Ali Gerba or Dwayne De Rosario leading the way for the home-side. But look for Robbie Findley or Kyle Beckerman to lead the charge late for a draw.

WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, RSL 1

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Chicago Fire – at – New England Revolution:

The Revs need points in a bad way this weekend to fend off the likes of Dallas, DC, RSL and Toronto. They can do themselves a lot of good with a win here which would nearly kill off the chances of those below them. Thing is they are so banged up that I just don’t know how good they will be at home against one of the best road teams in the league. Chicago needs points to clinch as well as played very well against New England over the last couple years (won six out of their last eight meetings). Even without a few key guys in the midfield I still like the Fire’s attack better than the Revs. Shalrie Joseph will continue his MVP ways but I just don’t see him having enough gas in the tank to carry this club in a physical battle with the Fire.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, New England 0

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Will Robbie Rogers lead Columbus to a second straight Supporter's Shield? (Getty Images)

Will Robbie Rogers lead Columbus to a second straight Supporter's Shield? (Getty Images)

Columbus Crew – at – DC United:

The Crew have clinched home field through the eastern conference playoffs but now look to snatch up their second straight Supporter’s Shield title. The club standing in the way is the last team and the only team to win back-to-back Supporter’s Shield trophies. DC needs points in a bad way but haven’t looked like the same team at RFK Stadium that we saw go unbeaten for the first few months of the season. DC will be without too many key offensive players in this one and with the way their defense has looked at home recently I just worry about them going against a team like Columbus who rested most of their key guys last week in New England. Throw in the fact that the Crew get both Frankie Hedjuk and Robbie Rogers back this week from international duty and I think you could bank on the Crew eliminating DC from the playoffs while clinching their second straight Supporter’s Shield.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, DC 1

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Seattle Sounders FC – at – Kansas City Wizards:

Seattle can clinch with a win and a draw would pretty much get them there as well. You gotta believe Sigi Schmid just wants to make sure they get that ticket punched though with a win in KC. The Wizards as stated above aren’t officially eliminated from playoff contention yet but the question will be for Peter Vermes’ club, will they show up to spoil another club’s hopes? On the slimmer field you have to like the Wizards’ chances a little more. Seattle relies on using space and there won’t be enough in this game to get their attack going like they would like. I still like the Sounders to get the job done tomorrow night though on the road. They’ve gained some big time confidence on the road lately and that can be more than enough to get the job done.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, KC 0

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Colorado Rapids – at – FC Dallas:

Colorado would probably like to get out of this one with a draw if they could to eliminate Dallas from playoff contention. A win would certainly help their cause and should punch their ticket. Dallas on the other hand just needs to keep winning here. Which is what they’ve been doing these last couple weeks. Colorado comes into Frisco a bit banged up on defense and will be without both Medhi Ballouchy and Julien Baudet to suspension. That will be key for Dallas as Jeff Cunningham has been a man possessed lately. He along with David Ferreira have really taken things over in a big way for the Red Stripes. The Rapids need a big time game out of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. If anyone is going to score on this Dallas defense it would be those two. The thing is Dallas has given Colorado fits these last couple years and I think it does enough to keep Dallas going for another week. This one could be a shootout but I think it will remain fairly close.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Colorado 1

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San Jose Earthquakes – at – Chivas USA:

This may be the only game that doesn’t have implications on who will be going to the playoffs or who will be eliminated from contention. Both saw their fate last week as the Quakes were eliminated and Chivas punched their ticket. Look for the Quakes to frustrate Chivas a bit early in this one but I like Chivas to hold off the Quakes for a win tomorrow night. Preki’s side is starting to peak at the right time here and that is dangerous for the rest of the western conference. San Jose will also be lacking some key defensive players which spells trouble for Joe Cannon. Again, the Goats should walk with three points.

WVH Prediction: Chivas USA 3, San Jose 0

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Can Brian Ching and the Dynamo hold off LA? (Getty Images)

Can Brian Ching and the Dynamo hold off LA? (Getty Images)

Sunday:

LA Galaxy – at – Houston Dynamo:

Best game of the week right here. Expect a very large crowd in Houston for this one as well. Brian Ching will be a man to keep an eye out for this one. I think his impact along with Mexican striker Luis Angel Landin should be a big one. LA will provide a lot of problems for the Dynamo in the midfield but on set pieces I think Houston has an edge in this one. This one should be a low scoring game with the way LA plays defense on the road. Look for them to go for a goal early with Landon Donovan and if that happens you can expect them to camp on the lead. Houston is no different. The thing is I think these are two very evenly matched teams. As much as I like Houston at home in this one something tells me it will end in a draw.

WVH Prediction: Houston 1, LA 1

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