- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 4, 2010
- 2 Comments
- 2010 Week 11, Weekend Previews
Its the final weekend in Major League Soccer before the two week layoff for the World Cup. Its a full weekend too, all 16 MLS clubs are involved in one action filled Saturday.
A hand full of clubs will have to rely on depth this weekend as they had games in the midweek. One of those midweek clashes in the US Open Cup is also a game this weekend, funny how that worked out in the scheduling.
This weekend will be interesting as most clubs will look to get healthy once this week is over. Having a two week break is probably a very welcome thing for several clubs who are battling with loads of injury issues all over the field. Also getting a break will allow some clubs to fix the on-going issues that surround their current play right now. I can think of a number of clubs that will really benefit from this layoff.
So how’s this weekend stacking up? Lots of interesting games so let’s get to it. Feel free as always to place your predictions and thoughts below.
Kansas City Wizards – at – Toronto FC
Toronto was one of those clubs with a midweek game this past week, thing was they still were able to rest a bunch of starters as the Canadian Cup game that they were in meant very little since they already wrapped up that title for the second straight season. Getting a home game before the break is probably a nice thing for Toronto too as they’ve been red hot lately, only LA really has been hotter than they have over the last month or so (yes RSL has been hot too, I know).
Kansas City has been battling some serious issues as of late. They are winless in their last nine and I don’t see a win popping up on the road in Toronto this weekend either. In the midfield Toronto finally looks complete with Julian de Guzman playing like a DP and Dwayne De Rosario providing the offensive punch. Defensively they’ve looked more collective and that is only troubling for a KC squad that has issues finding the back of the net. With no Davy Arnaud (suspension) I don’t see KC doing much in this one.
Player to watch for: O’Brien White – He’s been looking better each week out, he should have a nice afternoon against a weak KC defense.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 2, KC 0
Real Salt Lake – at – D.C. United
The rematch of the USOC game from Wednesday that went into overtime. D.C. won that contest thanks to youngster Andy Najar (damn how good is that kid?). This could be a perfect letdown kind of game for RSL too since D.C. finally found some sort of winning streak with the result last Saturday against Chivas and the Open Cup game.
RSL has some injury issues in the midfield that concern me, losing Kyle Beckerman for a little while is never a good thing but they do have some depth there to handle things. Its hard to pick RSL on the road and it’s also hard to pick D.C. right now. A draw could be the way to go here but I think RSL just has more talent in this one up top with Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola. D.C. just doesn’t have an answer in the back for those two.
Player to watch for: Najar – If you haven’t watched this kid play, do yourself a favor and check him out this weekend. No doubt he’ll be scooped up by some foreign club within a couple years.
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, D.C. 1
Chivas USA – at – New York Red Bulls
I can’t tell if New York has broken their funk or are just getting a break in the schedule here. Maybe a bit of both but however you look at things the Red Bulls are looking better than what they have been here lately. They have to get on the board early in this one I think to disrupt what Chivas enjoys doing so well, keeping possession.
The Red-and-White had their way with things earlier in the year when these two met up. Who can forget that horrible goal that Bouna Coundoul let in? No doubt he’ll look to redeem himself against Chivas in this one tomorrow. I just don’t see that happening on the road for them this weekend though. New York is much better at home than Chivas is on the road. Plus the momentum they got from the late win over Houston in the midweek will go a long way. Injuries are still a concern for me with this Red Bull side but I think they’ll have a pretty easy night against Chivas.
Player to watch for: Sacha Kljestan – How the rumors of his possible move overseas this summer is handled this weekend will certainly be interesting. Will it be a distraction or a motivation tool?
WVH Prediction: New York 1, Chivas 0
Houston Dynamo – at – LA Galaxy
Can the Galaxy really start their first 12 games undefeated? Can they also continue this amazing goals-against pace that they are on? We’ll find out this weekend as the Dynamo come into the Home Depot Center. Earlier in the week the Dynamo nearly got a road draw in New York but a late goal by Juan Pablo Angel messed things up there. Now they have to travel across the country to face the league’s best team. Not an easy way of things.
I can’t see a way that the Dynamo finally find their way of things here this weekend. They’ve been so inconsistent this season and going against a club so well organized like the Galaxy won’t help. LA does a great job of frustrating your attack and using their quick counter strikes against you. Look for them to do just that against the Dynamo in this one.
Player to watch for: Tristan Bowen – The academy star is really starting to come into his own here lately. And we were worried that the Galaxy would see a drop off without Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, Houston 0
Philadelphia Union – at – Chicago Fire
Getting their first road win last week had to be a big boost for Peter Nowak’s side. Now can they do it again in Chicago? Well the Fire aren’t the best home team in the league so it could be possible. Sebastian Le Toux will have to come up with another big game for it to happen. What worries me however for the Union is their defense covering Brian McBride or even Collins John. Plus the speed on the wings from the Fire present a challenge. Still for some reason this one seems like a draw to me, neither side are that great right now and it just makes loads of sense.
Player to watch for: Marco Pappa – If he can dicate the pace of this game in the midfield the Fire will easily get three points.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, Philadelphia 1
San Jose Earthquakes – at – FC Dallas
After four games of solid shutout defense by the Quakes they’ve given up five goals in two quick games. Now they head to Frisco on short rest to face a Dallas club that is still trying to figure out how not to draw in their games.
Dallas will be without one of their key cogs in the midfield with Dax McCarty sitting this one out. I think this will help the Quakes though they will need to rely back on their tough defense to get a result in this one. Dallas’ attack still doesn’t scare anyone yet this season and given how they play at home I doubt it will scare the Quakes here. Given the fact that San Jose has played once this week and Dallas doesn’t know how to win (or lose really) this one smells like an ugly draw.
Player to watch for: Chris Wondolowski – He’s been on fire so far this season and going against a shaky backline he could get a cheap clean up goal.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, San Jose 1
Columbus Crew – at – Colorado Rapids
Tough week for the Crew, they had to head west to face the Quakes on Wednesday (which ended in a 2-2 draw) then they have to go to Colorado. Not an easy week but they are good enough to find results in both games I think. The Rapids could capitalize on the Crew’s possibly lack of gas-in-the-tank in this one.
I think going on the road in altitude on short rest will prove to be the difference maker in this one. It will come down to the battle of the midfields which is really split. I think it could go to a draw as both side hardly give up any goals. I’m taking the Rapids though because of their fresher legs.
Player to watch for: Omar Cummings – His speed up top could easily be the difference in this one.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Columbus 0
New England Revolution – at – Seattle Sounders FC
This may be the trickiest game on the schedule this weekend to predict. New England has Shalrie Joseph back which greatly improves their midfield and offense. Seattle has been hit hard by a slump and will be looking forward to these two weeks off to get healthy again. I’m also curious to see how New England responds to the freak injury to keeper Preston Burpo.
I’d imagine Seattle will do a lot of pressing forward in this one to test New England third-string keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. If he is shaky in goal or gets rocked by the loud crowd at Qwest it could be just what the Sounders need to pick up a win before the World Cup break. I’m taking Seattle in this one only on the basis that they will likely be determined to get a result before the break. Going against New England will be a challenge and the Revs have success at Qwest but I like the Sounders chances more tomorrow night in this one.
Player to watch for: Fredy Montero – It’s all on his back to produce in this one.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, New England 0