- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 27, 2010
- 3 Comments
- 2010 Week 22, Weekend Previews
Even though there hasn’t been a league match so far this week it seems like we’ve already had a load of soccer to talk about with the four MLS sides in the CONCACAF Champions League. Its time for now to at least move on from those disappointments and look ahead to this weekend’s action.
Every team will be in action this weekend with seven games tomorrow and one lone game on Sunday. No doubt the four teams in the Champions League will be a tad bit gassed this week, not to mention two of them (Columbus and Seattle) have USOC games to deal with next week.
Its also a pretty big weekend for clubs jockeying for a playoff spot. There’s no doubt the eastern conference clubs need a big weekend right now to get back in the race. Currently four western conference teams hold the wildcard spots in the playoff race. Teams like Toronto, Kansas City and Chicago have to find ways to get points this weekend and we’re not just talking about a draw. Three points are vital for several clubs this weekend.
As always feel free to leave your score predictions and thoughts below on this weekend’s action.
FC Dallas – at – Columbus Crew
The headliner of the weekend for me. The hottest club going into a place they struggle to win at in Columbus. I have a feeling the Crew will be eager to put the midweek disappointment in Mexico behind them in a hurry with another strong showing at Crew Stadium.
This looks like the game that could break the streak for Dallas but I feel like a draw is more likely here even with Columbus having some tired legs. Dallas will miss Dax McCarty in the midfield but look for them to get a late goal from someone like David Ferriera to get out of Columbus with a draw and their streak in tact.
Player to watch out for: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – He didn’t make the Mexico trip so he should be fresh for this game. He has to be the difference maker in the midfield and put pressure on the Dallas backline early.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, Dallas 1
Real Salt Lake – at – Toronto FC
Two teams that definitely have something to prove this weekend. RSL will want to put the 5-4 loss in the Champions League behind them in a big way but going to BMO Field won’t be an easy way to do so. I’d still think that even though they’ll do their best to put that loss behind them it may take a little while.
Toronto saw their unbeaten run at home come to an ugly end last week against New York. Then their play in the Champions League wasn’t anything worth talking about. I do think they’ll give RSL fits tomorrow but the degree of how much will be interesting to see. I’m going with a draw only because I don’t know where the offense will come from for Toronto and I think we’ll see a dip in play from RSL.
Player to watch out for: Dwayne De Rosario – He was rested in the midweek so he should be the driving force for Toronto against a gassed RSL team.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, RSL 1
Philadelphia Union – at – New England Revolution
I know I pretty much declared New England dead in the playoff race but a big win could help spark a small comeback (though the ground they have to gain is a bit much at this point). I think after a 4-1 loss on the road like the Revs had last week they’ll be out to redeem themselves and having an expansion team riddled with defensive issues could be the right cure.
Philadelphia has to sort their issues out in the back if they want to avoid a last place finish this year. They have the offense to stay in games with Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga but from the defensive side of the ball things are shaky all over. Danny Califf must come up with a big game tomorrow and keep the Revs off the board.
Player to watch out for: Illija Stolica – Where Steve Nicol finds guys like this I’ll never know but Stolica should be the main target for the Revs attack tomorrow. He should be able to matchup nicely against Califf.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, Philadelphia 0
San Jose Earthquakes – at – New York Red Bulls
One of two western conference clubs that have to be careful right now in the playoff race. New York on the other hand is starting to look like the club we expect them to with three DPs. Last week’s dominate win at BMO Field over Toronto should have signaled to the league that this team will only continue to get better. Rough thing for a beat up San Jose club to hear.
San Jose looked good last week in their win over LA but a cross country flight to Red Bull Arena could be a tough thing to deal with. I still don’t see their DP Geovanni making an impact just yet, as he has yet to really gain full fitness here. I like New York to win a close one here as Juan Pablo Angel and Thierry Henry have their way with a depleted Quakes defense.
Player to watch out for: Dane Richards – Somehow this guy has found his way with the new additions in New York. His speed will be the ticket here for New York at home in this one.
WVH Prediction: New York 2, San Jose 1
Houston Dynamo – at – Colorado Rapids
Colorado Rapids manager Gary Smith already called this one a must-win for the club. He knows with the remaining home slate his club has to pick up wins at the Dicks Sporting Goods Park whenever they can.
Houston has to build off the big 4-3 win over Chicago last week. While I don’t imagine Brian Ching having another hat trick anytime soon they must continue to lean on his hot hand (or foot in this case) for the scoring. I expect this one to be a little more defensive though as Colorado is usually air tight in the back. Each team will be gunning for the three points but I see a draw here as Colorado continues to look lost and the Dynamo do enough to get a point.
Player to watch out for: Geoff Cameron – He’ll need to be the guy that slows down the Colorado attack in this one for the Dynamo. Getting forward a bit to help out with the offense will also be key as well.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Houston 1
Kansas City Wizards – at – LA Galaxy
The Wizards have to ride the wave of a big win from last week and hope to catch the Galaxy napping early. The big talk this week is that scoring early and first on the Galaxy means that Bruce Arena’s side typically losses. That’s usually the case for most team though but its what the Galaxy were preaching that they needed to get back to scoring first again.
KC played LA tight back at the start of the year and should have won had it not been for that gaff in front of the net by Kei Kamara. I’m sure that will be talked about a few times during this game tomorrow. I look for LA to get back to business at home though. They also talked a lot this week about making the Home Depot Center their fortress. KC is in a must-win spot still and their road woes are noticeable. I see LA winning this one.
Player to watch out for: Teal Bunbury – Speed down the middle usually beats LA, and Bunbury has a lot of it to burn.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, Kansas City 0
Chicago Fire – at – Seattle Sounders FC
Oh the return of Freddie Ljungberg to Seattle. It already seems like ages ago when he played there. The Fire have to bounce back in this one with Ljungberg and get a result to stay in the thick of things for a wild card spot in the playoffs. Seattle holds the keys to one right now but with the extra games right now on their slate they could cough up a game like this one at home.
Expect an interesting clash in this one but look for a draw in the end. Chicago still lacks a finishing touch in the end and defensively they aren’t all quite there just yet.
Player to watch out for: Marco Pappa – He’s no DP but he has to carry some of the offensive weight in this one for the Fire.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, Chicago 1
D.C. United – at – Chivas USA
The Ben Olsen club heads west to face Chivas USA. I’d imagine both clubs will be more eager to get this one out of the way in hopes to save some legs for next week’s USOC semifinals that they each have. Seeing is how that’s really all they both have left to play for this season it makes sense.
I think Chivas gets the points in this one though as D.C. has been terrible on the road all season long. This one probably won’t be pretty either as neither team has any wow factor right now.
Player to watch out for: Danny Allsopp – Can he continue his current form of scoring? Against a Chivas defense its certainly possible.
WVH Prediction: Chivas USA 2, D.C. United 1