MLS Weekend Preview: Week 5

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 5

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 23, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • 2010 Week 5, Weekend Previews

New York fans get a taste of a new rival in Philadelphia this weekend. (Getty Images)

Week five is off and running as of last night here in Dallas. The Seattle Sounders FC came into town and really should have gotten three points, one point just doesn’t give it justice. But let’s give FC Dallas some credit here, they battled back and were able to get a lucky goal off a lucky call after they pressured a club that was clearly sitting back.

A few things I took away from last nights game:

1. Dallas still has a ways to go, I thought going into the game they were getting close but on second thought they just lack a couple items. First of all the centerback tandem of George John and Ugo Ihemelu isn’t working for me. I don’t know if it is the poor positioning from one or both of them or the lack of size or what but something just doesn’t feel right there. The outside backs aren’t too much better though I think Zach Loyd is miles ahead of Jair Benitez. Sure Loyd got beat badly on the wings by Steve Zakuani but what rookie wouldn’t get beat on that play?

2. Cunningham scoring from just the PK spot won’t get it done. This 4-5-1 kind of formation really makes little sense too. I know Schellas Hyndman wants both Pearce, Harris, Benitez and McCarty out there but its just lacking something for me. The game seemed to really pick up once Eric Avila and Brek Shea came into the game. I know it was late but it really was their spark that got the team going in the offensive third in the final minutes of the game.

3. Seattle is good, possibly really good. With Fredy Montero scoring off a beautiful free kick that should have been the game winner and Zakuani’s amazing run the Sounders just looked good. I know they played back and defensive but what road team doesn’t with a lead, especially one that has to pick things up and heat to Toronto on Sunday to play again.

4. Something needs to be done about how Terry Vaughn handles a game. Sigi Schmid said he had an off night but really when was the last time he had an “on” night? Its not the play on the field anymore that is bringing the league down in the eyes of outsiders its the officiating in the middle that does. I know the USSF is reviewing each game closely these days but just saying goals shouldn’t have been allowed won’t cut it, they need to take more action.

Alright, enough of last night’s game. The Sounders were pissed and have to move on while Dallas continues to look around and wonder what will get it done. The weekend is here and that means plenty more games to watch this weekend.

Feel free to leave your score predictions and thoughts in the comments section below.

Saturday:

Philadelphia Union – at – New York Red Bulls

This one is real interesting to me. I’m still trying to get a good handle on the Red Bulls here. Part of me thinks they’re good while the rest of me still sees them for what they are, an average team. They still have to find a way to get their offense going and getting an expansion team at home should be a great way to do just that. Thing is this isn’t a normal expansion team playing the Red Bulls, its a new rival. No doubt Peter Nowak’s side feels crappy about their last road game and they’ll want to improve on it in this one.

It comes down to the midfield for me, if New York can actually control possession and spread out the attack with Joel Lindpere directing things then they’ll be fine. Philadelphia will need to do the same with Fred but defensively they’ll need to lockdown Lindpere. I think this one will be closer than some thing, even a draw really. I want to pick New York but something tells me they aren’t there just yet.

Player to watch out for: Roger Torres – If he starts making his usual runs into the middle of the park then look out, Philadelphia will use this to expose the New York backline, which has holes in it.

WVH Prediction: New York 1, Philadelphia 1

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Real Salt Lake – at – Columbus Crew

Hey its the Crew, I feel as though we haven’t seen them in a while. Anyways, RSL comes into town and you know the Crew are looking for revenge. Jason Kreis’ club is better than their record suggests but having their first few road games in LA, Houston and Columbus really didn’t do them any favors here.

Both teams are a little banged up but I see the motivation and revenge playing a bigger factor in this one for the Crew. RSL will find their way on the boards in this one but look for the Crew to send them back to Sandy, UT with another tough road loss. Guillermo Barros Schelotto will likely be the one sending the message.

Player to watch out for: Robbie Findley – He’s the one guys that could change the outcome for RSL if he’s fit enough to go. If he can shake his hurt groin he could be the factor that gets RSL some much needed road points.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, RSL 1

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Colorado Rapids – at – New England Revolution

The winter trade partners clash in this one though don’t expect a whole lot of out it. New England will still likely be without Shalrie Joseph in the middle which should give Colorado a big advantage if they can figure out who to get their offense going with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. I think it will boil down to more of Colorado finding some consistent play of offense rather than New England slowing them down.

Part of me think this will be a draw as the last three matches between these two sides have ended 1-1 but I’m feeling different as the Revs find a way to get a late goal to earn three points.

Player to watch out for: Kheli Dube – While Kenny Mansally will be guarded like crazy, look for Dube to find a way to sneak one home.

WVH Prediction: New England 1, Colorado 0

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Houston Dynamo – at – Chicago Fire

Here’s a game that sounds good on paper but I have a feeling won’t be. Its nothing against either side but comes down to both are still figuring out what to do with their attacks. Chicago still doesn’t know what to do with their midfield and strike tandems, one week Brian McBride is on the bench the next he’s in the lineup. Houston is still looking for scoring answers with Brian Ching out.

The thing is I do like what I saw out of Lovel Palmer and Geoff Cameron last week against Chivas. If they do anything similar to that performance they’ll walk out of Toyota Park with three points. I think the performance of those two in the middle may be enough to leave Chicago with three points. Plus I’m still not sold on Chicago being a tough home team here.

Player to watch out for: Brad Davis – He’s the guy that really gets the offense going for Houston, look for him to play a big factor in that tomorrow.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Chicago 1

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LA Galaxy – at – Kansas City Wizards

Just how good is LA really here? Can Edson Buddle be stopped? Those are some big questions that will be answered as the Galaxy play an up and coming Wizards squad tomorrow night. I like the Wizards a hell of a lot more than I expected to here. KC’s style of play is tougher on their slimmer field, Bruce Arena’s bunch will have to be a bit more creative in the limited space. LA’s defense will likely be tested more than we’ve seen this year which will be a good test for Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez.

Part of me wants to go LA based on the history in this matchup (LA is 4-1-5 in the last 10 trips to KC dating back to 2005). But I think the short field and KC’s speed will be enough to get three big points here tomorrow night.

Player to watch out for: Ryan Smith – I don’t think LA has seen a player like him yet this season, he’ll likely be a huge test for them.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 2, LA 1

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San Jose Earthquakes – at – Chivas USA

The Quakes are enjoying a nice winning streak and their fans are starting to think they have turned a new leaf. Maybe they have but maybe they’re still the same Quakes here too. Either way things are looking better for Frank Yallop’s side now that Bobby Convey and newcomer Joey Gjertsen are making the midfield a solid group. The Quakes have the right mold to get their first win at the HDC since their rebirth but I see this game as a potential letdown for them. Chivas USA needs to find their style and I think this game is where they’ll find it, though it won’t be pretty. Chivas gets three points after stumbling last week in Houston.

Player to watch out for: Osael Romero – He’s back after sitting out two games with visa issues. He’ll provide a nice boost in the defense for Chivas.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, San Jose 0

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Sunday

Seattle Sounders FC – at – Toronto FC

Seattle will want to get that funky Frisco taste out of their mouths in this one. This could be a potential trap game for the Sounders anyways as playing another game in a short time period tends to do. The big question will be if Kasey Keller is good to go in goal or not. BMO Field is a different animal than Pizza Hut Park. I think Terry Boss will do well if he is called on.

Toronto will need to lockdown the wing play of Seattle. When the Sounders are at their best offensively it is through balls to Steve Zakuani and guys like rookie David Estrada. I just love the way Seattle plays through the wings. That should be a big factor in this one even with the tired legs the Sounders will carry with them. TFC is still shaky in the back and doesn’t have a clear go-to scorer other than Dwayne De Rosario. Seattle gets redemption for not picking up three points last night in Dallas with a win in Toronto.

Player to watch out for: Freddie Ljungberg – Didn’t play a lot of minutes in Dallas so look for him to carry a lot of the weight in this one against Toronto. He’ll provide a little more stability in the midfield.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, Toronto 0

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