Playoff Preview: Weekend Action

Playoff Preview: Weekend Action

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 6, 2009
  • 2 Comments
  • 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs

Landon Donovan leads the Galaxy against rivals Chivas. (Getty Images)

One more weekend of action and we will be in the conference finals here. One club is already in and three others will move on this weekend. After last weekend’s play the pressure is on a couple home teams to rebound while one just has to keep on doing what they do best in front of their fans.

The eastern conference will finish tomorrow night as Sunday sees the two western conference games. As always feel free to pipe in your score predictions below.

Saturday:

New England – at – Chicago Fire:

Going down 2-1 on the road is never a good way to start a series and against a tough defensive squad like New England it really puts the pressure on the Fire. Chicago hasn’t been the best squad at home this season which may worry home fans even more, now throw in the news that defender Gonzalo Segares is out for this game and you really need to worry. New England just has to keep the defense strong enough for one more game here and they are through to the conference finals. I think the Revs getting over the hump again against Chicago really speaks to how well coached they are by Steve Nicol. Not having a big time offense and getting two goals on the Fire is never easy.

But will it last? The amount of injuries are still a major concern for Nicol’s team but the strong play from Shalrie Joseph last week should carry over on the road. The Revs will also have to rely on two rookies in the back (Kevin Alston and Darrius Barnes) and the sometimes suspect Emmanuel Osei. If Chicago can use their wing play and the toughness of Brian McBride to frustrate Osei early they could get back into this series.

I think Chicago will find a way to tie things up in the series and win on penalty kicks at the end. Its a close call but I just see this going to kicks.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, New England 0 (Fire advance after PKs)

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Sunday:

Seattle Sounders FC – at – Houston Dynamo:

I think had Seattle got a goal at home against Houston last week they’d win this series but now on the road and it is still a nil-nil draw I really don’t know if the expansion club can get it done in one of the hardest venues in all of Major League Soccer. There is no love between these two sides as well as the fans, expect a sea of Orange on Sunday at Robertson Stadium. Just too bad this one isn’t on ESPN2 again for the national spotlight.

This one comes down to tough defenses and offenses that need to find their way around the net again. Stuart Holden has to control things in the middle of the park and find a way to slow down the likes of Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero. On the flip side a lot of pressure will be on Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and James Riley to slow down the Dynamo attack from Brad Davis and Brian Ching.

No doubt this one will remain as physical as the first game was. Expect more cards and more fouls in this one. I think Houston will find a way to grab a goal early in this one and sit on it for the rest of the game. Pressure is mostly on Seattle to score in this one but I just think Houston will be the stronger team at home here.

WVH Prediction: Houston 1, Seattle 0 (Houston advances)

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Chivas USA – at – LA Galaxy:

So both scored two goals in the first game, just throw that out because it doesn’t mean a thing now since the series is still tied. Expect even more for this one as both know what is on the line here.

Chivas has to find a way to slow down Landon Donovan and the Galaxy attack. For once they were able to match the Galaxy goal for goal but you can’t count on that for two games in a row. I’d imagine Chivas will go a little more defensive in this game while the Galaxy offense will be in all out attack mode to get a goal, especially early on in this one.

If LA gets up early then look out, I’d imagine Bruce Arena will get his side to camp on any lead they get. Preki will do the same if the tables turn his way but they have their work cut out for them if they have to trail in this game. I like the Galaxy to advance mainly because of Donovan. I think when you have the best player on the field you are more likely to advance here.This one will remain close but the Galaxy will come out on top in the end.

WVH Prediction: LA 2, Chivas 1

  • Rave Green

    "On the flip side a lot of pressure will be on Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and James Riley to slow down the Dynamo attack from Brad Davis and Brian Ching." Lol. Slow down Brad Davis and Brian Ching?!?! They're already slow, old men.

  • Rave Green

    "On the flip side a lot of pressure will be on Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and James Riley to slow down the Dynamo attack from Brad Davis and Brian Ching."

    Lol. Slow down Brad Davis and Brian Ching?!?! They're already slow, old men.