MLS Weekend Preview: Week 13

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 13

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 25, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • 2010 Week 13, Weekend Previews

MLS returns to action as PPL Park opens it's doors for the first time this weekend. (Getty Images)

Major League Soccer is back folks. Two weeks off and we’re back in gear as clubs push towards summer and into the playoff hunt. All 16 clubs are in action with one game tonight between Real Salt Lake and San Jose. The rest of the games are tomorrow and Sunday.

The main news item this weekend has to be the opening of PPL Park in Philadelphia. The Union will host last year’s expansion side Seattle Sounders FC in a rematch of the season opener back in March.

There are a couple other good match-ups this weekend, some big conference clashes while other games include teams hoping the two week layoff will help them turn their season around.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on this weekend’s action below.

Friday

San Jose Earthquakes – at – Real Salt Lake

RSL will look to continue their big momentum here after defeating the LA Galaxy before the World Cup break. Starting out the break at home once again will definitely allow them to continue their impressive run.

San Jose will need to get things going in the midfield early to stay with the high-powered defending champs. RSL hasn’t lost at home in 16 matches and won’t be looking to drop one here tonight. Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio will likely cause San Jose’s defense a lot of trouble just as they did in the season opener back in March.

The Quakes will need to rely on their tough defense and rookie Ike Opara to get any sort of points tonight. I just think RSL is too tough at Rio Tinto for San Jose to sneak a result in on. I fully expect RSL to continue to climb up the standings here in hopes of catching LA.

Player to watch out for: Bobby Convey – Without Kyle Beckerman bothering him in the midfield Convey will likely be the key to San Jose’s attack tonight. If he can get things going the Quakes could bother the RSL defense into a cheap goal.

WVH Prediction: RSL 2, San Jose 1

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Saturday

D.C. United – at – Columbus Crew

D.C. United have a decent bit of momentum going, unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions. The World Cup break however came at a bad time for them and their momentum though. They may have had some time to get healthy but so did the Crew who needed a couple weeks off to get everything back in order.

I can’t see a way that this two week layoff didn’t help the Crew out as all their key parts got time to rest and re-group. Their wing play will be a big advantage tomorrow night and will cause a lot of problems on a D.C. defense that lets in far too many goals. D.C. will show some grit and toughness in this one but I don’t expect them to get any points out of this match.

Player to watch out for: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – You give him two weeks off to get 100% and you’ll see a totally amped GBS.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, D.C. 0

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LA Galaxy – at – Toronto FC

Easily the best match-up of the weekend in my eyes. LA will hope to rebound after their first loss of the season in one of the hardest places to do it at, BMO Field. Toronto has been on a nice roll lately and played LA very tough in a draw a few weeks back out in LA.

I could see this one going either way as Toronto won’t have to deal with Omar Gonzalez in the back (yellow card suspension) but they will have to find a way to deal with Tristan Bowen and Michael Stephens. LA will need to rely on their depth to stop Dwayne De Rosario from controlling the middle of the field.

I like a draw in this one as I’m not totally sure how LA will come out in this one and I just haven’t got the guts to call a Toronto win against a quality team like LA yet.

Player to watch out for: Gregg Berhalter – He may be a bit old but he’s the key to the Galaxy defense in this one for me. If he slows down DeRo enough then LA will leave with points in hand.

WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, LA 1

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New York Red Bulls – at – Kansas City Wizards

Both teams actually need results just as badly as the other in my opinion. New York has to stay on pace with Columbus while KC has to show they’re off their funk that they were in for so long.

I think the New York defense will have little issues controlling KC’s attack, which hasn’t really scared anyone since week two. The thing I’m not entirely sure is the New York offense scoring on the smaller pitch in KC. Joel Lindpere will have to do something creative here I think to get them on the board and get points but part of me thinks KC will stick in this one long enough to get a point.

Player to watch out for: Juan Pablo Angel – He has to find the back of the net out of this break, if he doesn’t get going I don’t see the Red Bulls doing well in this one.

WVH Prediction: KC 1, New York 1

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Houston Dynamo – at – Colorado Rapids

On one side you have a wildly inconsistent bunch in the Dynamo and on the other you have a quietly-good side in the Rapids. Each will have a sense of wanting to control things out of the break and get on track to get a playoff spot out of the west.

Don’t expect a wild scoring affair in this one either. Colorado doesn’t score much (conference worst in goal scored) but they also don’t give up much (second in the league for goals allowed). Houston finally appears to a bit healthy up top with Brian Ching and Dominic Oduro.

I think the Rapids will come out on top though in this one. They’ve been solid at home this year and Houston just hasn’t found that consistency in their play yet.

Player to watch out for: Conor Casey – This man needs to really get going for the Rapids and their playoff chances. With the issues in the back for Houston he should have a big game.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Houston 0

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FC Dallas – at – Chivas USA

So no more Sacha Kljestan for Chivas USA. How they react to life without him will be key in this one as Dallas started to show some signs of actual life before the break.

Brek Shea is starting to show that he is indeed a scoring threat for FCD, while David Ferreira will continue to lead the attack in this one against the young Chivas midfield. I think Dallas’ attack will likely be too much for Chivas to handle in this one. Both teams like to possess the ball a lot but Dallas does a better job of creating chances than Chivas does. I just see them actually finishing them off better in this one.

Player to watch out for: Blair Gaven – It’s now his team until Jonathan Bornstein returns from South Africa. He may be a rookie but he’s shown a lot of quality work beyond his years so far this season.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Chivas 0

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Sunday

Seattle Sounders FC – at – Philadelphia Union

The new park finally opens for Philadelphia and their fans. Seattle comes into town looking to rain on the parade though (no pun intended there). Philly hopes to start a nice stretch of home games here with the new park and getting a shaky Seattle team may be the best way to start off here.

The edge goes to Seattle but the emotion and everything favors Philadelphia. Expect a physical match in the midfield with plenty of cards. Which ever team makes the first big mental error will likely lose this one. I would lean Seattle on that but Philadelphia has shown too many times to make those big mistakes in the back.

I like Seattle but its hard to pick against a club opening a new park.

Player to watch out for: Sebastian Le Toux – He’ll make his old club wish they never placed him on the unprotected list last fall.

WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, Seattle 1

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Chicago Fire – at – New England Revolution

Both teams in need of serious points meet on Sunday afternoon. New England continues to have injury issues with Taylor Twellman going on the season ending IR and Steve Ralston going down just minutes after he returned to the club.

Chicago is starting to look better though, especially up top with Marco Pappa and Baggio Husidic doing a lot of the leg work in the midfield. Its hard to rely on the Revs offense in this one and I think the speed and skill of the Fire up top may be too much for them to handle in this one.

Player to watch out for: Shalrie Joseph – He’s the biggest X-factor in this game. What he does will dicate how the Revs play but if Chicago can neutralize him then it will be a long game for the home-side.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, New England 1

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