MLS Weekend Preview: Week 18

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 18

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 30, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • 2010 Week 18, Weekend Previews

Thierry Henry makes his league debut in Houston tomorrow. (Getty Images)

The league regular season slate is back on after a couple days off for the All-Star break. Is it really a break if clubs only get a couple days off? A debate for another time I guess. I feel as though this week is really the start of the second half of the year though, not because of the All-Star game but due to the fact that we’re really going into the big stretch run of the year in August.

The schedule for this weekend is a full one with everyone involved. Seven games tomorrow with one on Sunday should leave fans happy with all the action. There are plenty of good games to see this weekend too, ones that will help continue to shape the playoff race that is sure to really heat up in the coming weeks.

As always feel free to leave your score predictions for this weekend’s action below.

Saturday

New England Revolution – at – Philadelphia Union

A beat up team faces the new kids on the block. I want to say this one will be easy to call as New England has been awful on the road this year while Philadelphia has been very solid at home so far in the early stages of their franchise. But New England could be on the way up if you look at their play in SuperLiga.

At the end of the day though I do like the Union to win this one. All-Star Sebastian Le Toux and rookie of the year candidate Danny Mwanga are too tough for the Revs to handle and I don’t know if the Revs offense is good enough to match up with a Philly team that is getting better in the back.

Player to watch out for: Justin Mapp – I’m curious to see exactly how much Mapp plays for his new club this week.

WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, New England 1

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FC Dallas – at – Colorado Rapids:

Two teams that are very much in the thick of things out west for a playoff spot. Dallas is the league’s hottest side right now, unbeaten in their last seven. The Rapids haven’t won a game in six tries but don’t sleep on them in this one as their midfield could present problems for the visiting Red Stripes.

The goal-scoring is an issue for the Rapids right now and one that has to change right away for Gary Smith’s club. But this one will come down to defense and both have quality in the back right now. Look for this one to stay level at the end with neither club capitalizing on their chances.

Player to watch out for: Milton Rodriquez – The new signing for FCD got his first goal in Toronto last week, look for him to be counted on to bring the offense in this one.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Dallas 1

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Toronto FC – at – Kansas City Wizards:

Here’s a big test for both sides. For KC its a test to see if they’ve really turned things around here over the last week or so while for Toronto we’ll want to see how their roster is holding up after the busy week with the CCL.

The issue comes down for Preki’s side that they typically struggle away from BMO Field. Going to KC shouldn’t be a massive challenge for them but on the shorter field it will be more vital to get Mista and their offense going as early as possible against a KC defense that is decent at best. I want to say the hotter KC side will win this one but a draw seems more likely here.

Player to watch out for: Ryan Smith – He has to be a handful for Toronto on the wings, if KC decides to go more through him they could get the three points they need.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 1, Toronto 1

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New York Red Bulls – at – Houston Dynamo:

Ah the big one for the league, Thierry Henry’s MLS debut. The Juan Pablo Angel-Henry combo should be a fun one to watch. My biggest concern is how mangled up the Red Bull midfield is right now. Joel Lindpere is quality but after that there isn’t much to get behind here which leads me to worry more about their defense.

Houston needs a big game to get back on track and this actually feels like it could be one of those games. There is some decent momentum in Houston for the Dynamo after the All-StarĀ festivitiesĀ that they just hosted for them to capitalize on and I think it happens.

Player to watch out for: Henry – No reason to explain this one, he’s worth watching no matter what.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, New York 1

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D.C. United – at – Real Salt Lake:

After RSL not beating Chivas USA you better believe this one could get ugly as Jason Kreis will get his club motivated for this one a bit more. For the lowly United going to Rio Tinto is not a good thing as they’ve always struggled in the Mountain time zone.

I’d like to say this may be the best bet pick of the week right here. No sense in going against a club that hasn’t lost at home in what seems like forever.

Player to watch out for: Alvaro Saborio – I’m curious to see what the All-Star snub does to D.C. in this one. No doubt he’ll be hell-bent on making sure people understand how good he really is here.

WVH Prediction: RSL 3, D.C. 0

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Seattle Sounders FC – at – San Jose Earthquakes:

Here’s a big one in my eyes this weekend. Two western conference clubs who are in need of some serious points meet up by the Bay. Seattle will only get better with their two new DPs in Blaise Nkufo and Alvaro Fernandez. No word yet on if Fernandez will be available for tomorrow’s game (I think they’re still waiting on paper work to go finalize).

San Jose has a couple games in hand on Seattle so getting three points tomorrow will be key for Frank Yallop’s side. I feel though that this one will be level at the end too as Seattle is getting better here and I’m worried that San Jose is slowly cooling off.

Player to watch out for: Freddy Montero – With Nkufo on the field now, Montero will get so many more chances in front of the net, what he does with them will be interesting to see.

WVH Prediction: San Jose 1, Seattle 1

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Columbus Crew – at – Chivas USA:

I know the Crew just dominated Houston at home but don’t be surprised if this game present more challenges for the eastern conference leader. Chivas is getting better each week and if you watched their play against RSL last week its only a matter of time before they pull off a big win.

I do think this is a dangerous trap game for the Crew but at the same time the Crew should still win this one with what they have on the field compared to Chivas’ squad that is still gelling with their new additions. This one will be tight but definitely entertaining.

Player to watch out for: Pablo Nagamura – He makes Chivas so much better, but will he be enough to contend with Guillermo Barros Schelotto? We’ll see.

WVH Predictions: Columbus 2, Chivas 1

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Sunday

Chicago Fire – at – LA Galaxy:

The Fire get to unveil their new DP in Nery Castillo in this one but going against the league’s best offense won’t be an easy way to go. The Fire still have plenty of defensive issues to address and while Castillo will help offensively, I still worry he won’t be enough to get this club into the playoffs this season.

Look for LA and more importantly Bruce Arena to get his group back on track after a rather terrible week.

Player to watch out for: Landon Donovan – He should have his way with the Fire defense.

WVH Prediction: LA 2, Chicago 1

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