MLS Weekend Preview: Week 3

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 3

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 9, 2010
  • 4 Comments
  • 2010 Week 3, Atiba Harris, Brad Davis, Brek Shea, Chad Marshall, Collins John, Danny Mwanga, Darrius Barnes, David Ferriera, Donovan Ricketts, Dwayne De Rosario, Fabian Espindola, Fred, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jon Busch, Kei Kamara, Luis Angel Landin, Marco Pappa, Maykel Galindo, Omar Cummings, Pat Noonan, Robbie Findley, Ryan Johnson, Ryan Smith, Steve Zakuani, Tim Ream, Weekend Previews

Peter Nowak and Philadelphia make their home debut this weekend. (MLSSoccer.com)

Are you ready for tomorrow? Seriously, are you ready? Eight games in one day, a new league record. We knew this day would come eventually with all the expansion in the league and kudos to the league for putting one so early in the season too.

If you’re like me, you’ll find tomorrow to be a tough one because of the amount of games on at once. Thankfully with my Mac I can at least throw up a few different game windows in multiple spaces.

So get your DVRs ready (if you can hold this many games), sign up for the league video package online (if you haven’t done so already), or be like most folks and just go to a game if you can. Its going to be a fun weekend for sure.

Feel free as always to leave your predictions below in the comments section.

New York Red Bulls – at – Chivas USA:

Lets just say that Chivas USA needs to figure out their offensive issues here. In to town is the new look Red Bulls who’ve won two straight shutouts. Hans Backe’s club has been solid defensively so far this season but a second straight west coast game will prove to be a bigger test than some will really think, even though Chivas has yet to score this season. We could see a potential letdown by the Red Bulls after they finally got their first road win a week ago after 27-games of coming up short away from home.

For me its going to come down to who scores in this one. Even with the two wins on the year the Red Bulls haven’t lit up the scoreboard so far (only two goals). I see a slight drop off in this one while Chivas continues to struggle to score.

Player to watch out for: Tim Ream – the rookie is as good as advertised here. Look for him to be all over Chivas’ Maykel Galindo in this one.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 0, New York 0

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D.C. United – at – Philadelphia Union

Home opener for Philadelphia is a big, big deal. They’re expecting about 30k+ tomorrow at the Linc, don’t be shocked if they reach a sellout figure (they’re caping the capacity for this one at 35k). This new rivalry will be heated, especially given how bad both have started off the year. D.C. has look awful all over the field while Philadelphia struggled on the road in their debut two weeks ago. Given the fact that Peter Nowak has had a little more time to prepare for this one I like the Union’s chances in this one a little more.

Curt Onalfo’s side has to figure out where to get their offense from. So far in attack they’ve looked uncreative and in result have been unproductive. You could say it comes down to their midfield not doing enough with the possession too. I’d imagine Nowak will do a better job with his lineup now that he gets Fred back. Look for their shape to be a little better in this one as they ride the massive fan support in the home opener. Its easy to go for a draw here given the poor results by these two so far but I like Philadelphia’s chances here.

Player to watch out for: Danny Mwanga – With Fred back and likely in the midfield, we should see more out of Mwanga in this one for Philadelphia. Hopefully Nowak learned that he belongs up top.

WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 1, D.C. 0

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Toronto FC – at – New England Revolution

Steve Nicol is looking for his 100th career MLS win in this one, and he probably couldn’t ask for a better opponent. Toronto FC is still in a bit of a state of flux after all the moves that have gone on over these last few weeks including the latest with the retirement of Jim Brennan. That loss thins out the Reds defense even more here. New England could possibly see Shalrie Joseph back for the home opener but even without him I like the Revs chances in this one. The Revs could also see Darrius Barnes back for this one as well, which would only make it rougher on Toronto to score in this one.

It seems like Toronto hasn’t scored a goal in league play or in exhibition play in ages here. I don’t see that starting back up right now. The Revs played their game last week in D.C. and I’d imagine Nicol will use some of the same tactics this week to get three more points.

Player to watch out for: Dwayne De Rosario – Really Toronto’s only hope to get on the scoreboard. If he can work his magic that we’ve seen him do in the past against the Revs, Toronto could sneak out with some points.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, Toronto 0

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Colorado Rapids – at – Kansas City Wizards

Here’s one game this weekend I’m looking forward to. Two clubs that everyone is still trying to figure out here. Are both contenders or pretenders this season? We think they could be contenders but its still too early to tell. The Rapids have to get their defense in line here for this one as the Wizards showed early on this year that they can score early and often.

As we saw last week, Kansas City’s best bet to get by the Rapids defense is to go right at them with some speed. Look for Ryan Smith and Kei Kamara to do just that on the wings as things in the center of the park will be a little tight. The Rapids haven’t won in KC since 2002 and something tells me that streak isn’t going to end here this season either. However I do think a draw sounds more likely with these two trading some goals early on in this one.

Player to watch out for: Omar Cummings – For me he is by far the most dangerous player on the field in this one. If he finds open space in the final third for Colorado he can score and create chances for Conor Casey.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 2, Colorado 2

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LA Galaxy – at – Houston Dynamo

I love the promo the Dynamo are running for this one –  a flash light campaign, in case the lights go out again with these two on the field. Beautiful stuff.

Houston as we know is a bit banged up with Brian Ching on the shelf for a few weeks. Dominic Kinnear will have to look elsewhere for offense. Maybe we’ll finally see their Designated Player Luis Angel Landin finally step into the role. Or Kinnear can go with Cam Weaver. Either one with the speed of Dominic Oduro should be fine.

LA has been very good on defense so far this year, with no goals against. But both of those games came from the friendly confines of the Home Depot Center. Things are a little different for the Galaxy at Robertson Stadium, a place few get points at. I see this one staying close but look for the Dynamo to figure out a way to get one by Donovan Ricketts.

Player to watch out for: Brad Davis – Don’t expect another two goals from the PK spot this weekend for Davis but no matter who scores for Houston in this one it will be due to the play of this guy.

WVH Prediction: Houston 1, LA 0

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Columbus Crew – at – FC Dallas

The regular season version of the Pioneer Cup. Both teams had a week off last week to plan for this game. It will be interesting to see if Chad Marshall makes it back for this one for the Crew. If he isn’t out there their defense could be a bit exposed with him gone and Eric Brunner out. Guys like Andy Iro will likely have to step up to contain Jeff Cunningham.

Dallas isn’t too different in the back either as both Kyle Davies and Ugo Ihemelu are banged up. We could even see Brek Shea in the back for the Red Stripes in this one as a bit of a patch work job by manager Schellas Hyndman. Expect this one to come down to who can control things in the midfield. On one side we have Guillermo Barros Schelotto and the other David Ferriera. I’d be lying if I didn’t think that was the best matchup of the weekend right there. The visitors could go away with three points but a draw sounds more likely.

Player to watch out for: Atiba Harris – Dallas needs some big time play on the wings and Harris has to be that guy for them. He scored in the season opener and if he can work his way into the middle in the final third of the field we could see him score again.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, Columbus 1

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San Jose Earthquakes – at – Chicago Fire

We know the storyline in this one, Jon Busch’s return to Chicago. That should be a it awkward. The Fire looked a little better in week two but they still haven’t found that consistent play out of their midfield. Manager Carlos de los Cobos went with a 4-3-3 last week and it started to work for them as Collins John made an impact with the open space up top. Chicago has to get more out of Marco Pappa though in the midfield.

The Quakes just need to figure themselves out here though. In week one they looked more like an expansion team than a team in it’s third year. Frank Yallop made a couple changes to his roster and got former Quake Scott Sealy back. I’m not entirely sure if that move will get their club going or not here. The road hasn’t been kind to the Quakes lately either. Chicago should find a way to win this one.

Player to watch out for: Ryan Johnson – He’s the main guy for the Quakes, if he doesn’t get going in this one it will be a long night in the Windy City for Yallop’s side.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, San Jose 0

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Seattle Sounders FC – at – Real Salt Lake

Probably the game of the week in most folks minds. Rightfully so as both clubs are looking to rebound after dismal efforts in week two. RSL will look to resume their home dominance while Seattle will hope to get on the right track this year away from Qwest Field. Sigi Schmid has to find a way to get his club going offensively though to get any sort of points in this one. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Pat Noonan get the starting nod in this one for them to make an effort to kick start their offense.

RSL also has some decisions to make offensively. Do they start Robbie Findley over Fabian Espindola or Alvaro Saborio, or do they keep him as a second half sub for now? Either way I think we’ll get more Findley this week than what we’ve seen so far this season. I like RSL in this one though with the way their midfield plays at home. I doubt we’ll see the same defensive meltdowns that we saw out of them in Houston a week ago too.

Player to watch out for: Steve Zakuani – The one big chance the Sounders have in this one is for Zakuani to expose RSL on the wings. His pace could be a big difference maker.

WVH Predictions: RSL 2, Seattle 1

  • Stuart – Columbus

    Dallas 0, Columbus 2 – RSL 1, Seattle 1, – Chicago 1, San Jose 2 – Houston 1, LA 2

    Only predictions I have.

  • KC 3 – COL 1

    Mark it down!

  • Stuart – Columbus

    Dallas 0, Columbus 2 – RSL 1, Seattle 1, – Chicago 1, San Jose 2 – Houston 1, LA 2

    Only predictions I have.

  • KC 3 – COL 1

    Mark it down!