MLS Weekend Preview: Week 23

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 23

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 3, 2010
  • 0 Comments
  • 2010 Week 23, Weekend Previews

The Wizards hope to continue their hot run and crash the playoff party. (Getty Images)

Its a new week in Major League Soccer, the first in the month of September. The playoff stretch run is hotter now than its ever been with plenty still up for grabs this weekend. Its possible we could even see a new team atop the overall standings when its all said and done on Sunday. Its a big weekend for that reason and a few others.

Obviously the concern going into this weekend is the amount of players getting called up for international duty. The big profile matchup of the weekend in Utah between Real Salt Lake and New York lost a bit of it’s luster when six players between the two clubs were called into action by their respective countries. How teams handle the losses will be interesting to see play out this weekend.

Saturday

Kansas City Wizards – at – Philadelphia Union

The streaking Wizards face a must-win game on the road once again. Last week they came up huge in LA with a surprising 2-0 win over the Galaxy. But this weekend won’t be any easier in Philadelphia. KC will be without their main scoring threat Kei Kamara and Philadelphia is proving to be a very tough place to play at.

I think KC has a bit of a let down in this one but is able to get a point on the road. Its better than a loss but still at this stage in the season three points are far more valuable.

Player to watch out for: Justin Mapp – The move to Philly has been a welcome change for the winger. He’s starting to fit in nicely with their offense.

WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 1, Kansas City 1

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LA Galaxy – at – Chicago Fire

The no Freddie Ljungberg and Marco Pappa for Chicago really worries me. But then again with the way LA has been over the last month it may not matter. Chicago was one of those clubs that got points on LA last time out so who’s to say it won’t be different this time around in Chicago?

LA has to find a spark either with Edson Buddle or Landon Donovan or with someone else for a change. Teams know what they’re getting in the Buddle-Donovan combo, its time for them to throw something else out there to catch teams off guard.

This one feels like a draw though I wouldn’t be shocked either way. LA knows they have to get back on track or else they stand the risk of getting pasted by FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake in the west, not to mention Columbus and New York are at their heels for the Supporer’s Shield race.

Player to watch out for: Omar Gonzalez – He’ll need to be the anchor in the back that we know he can be. Going against a guy like Brian McBride won’t be easy though.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, LA 2

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Seattle Sounders FC – at – New England Revolution

Its hard to ignore what Fredy Montero is doing in Seattle these days. But its the supporting cast that’s really come up from the ground in these last two months. The Sounders can’t take their foot off the pedal though in league play. Another win on the road would easily distance themselves from the final two playoff spots.

The Revs on the other hand are now just playing to play out the season. Their playoff chances are tiny at best right now and after the loss in SuperLiga this past week you have to wonder where this club is mentally. Normally I don’t like Seattle in a game like this on the road but the Revs are missing some key parts all over and I like the Sounder attack in this one.

Player to watch out for: Nate Jaqua – It was good to see him back out there for the Sounders in the Open Cup win the other day. Let’s see if he gets some minutes in this one.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, New England 1

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Columbus Crew – at – D.C. United

A rematch of this past week’s Open Cup semifinal that saw the Crew escape in overtime. Expect a tight battle in this one that could see plenty of cards. D.C. will be out for revenge in this one so I’d imagine they’ll come out firing early. Columbus has the defense to hold off their attack though.

The Crew know a win could mean first place in the league if things go right for them. They’ll want to make sure that happens or at least continue to put the pressure on LA.

Player to watch out for: Emilio Renteria – He’s quickly becoming one of my favorites with the Crew. I’m sure Columbus fans can agree that he’s been a welcome addition to this roster.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, D.C. 0

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Toronto FC – at – FC Dallas

My wedding anniversary is keeping me from this one but that’s alright as I don’t expect much out of this game. Toronto will be missing plenty of key guys all over the pitch with Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman and Nana Attakora all out on international duty.

Dallas will be looking to extend their unbeaten mark to 13 games with another win at home. Kevin Hartman will be without two key guys in the midfield but Schellas Hyndman has enough depth to make up for it on his bench in guys like Eric Avila and Bruno Guarda. Missing Daniel Hernandez and Atiba Harris won’t be easy for Dallas but they still have David Ferriera leading the charge which is good enough for me.

Player to watch out for: Brek Shea – He could have a field day against the Toronto midfield.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Toronto 1

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Chivas USA – at – Colorado Rapids

Here’s another home game for the Rapids that should easily keep them in the playoff race for another week. They got a huge win at home against Houston a week ago and Chivas USA looks ripe for the picking in this one. If they play like they did a week ago they should have no issues getting by Chivas in this one.

Chivas will likely get a boost from Justin Braun who will likely find a way to make his mark on this one. I just don’t think the Chivas defense can handle the Omar Cummings-Conor Casey attack at this point though.

Player to watch out for: Casey – He looked good a week ago. Its time for him to get to MVP form like we know he can get to.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 2, Chivas 0

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New York Red Bulls – at – Real Salt Lake

Neither coach can be too happy about the losses on their roster right now to international call-ups but nothing they can do about it now. Each are missing key guys across the field which would have made this game even more interesting. Many believe New York can be the club to snap the RSL home unbeaten streak too but without guys like Rafa Marquez and Dane Richards it won’t be easy.

RSL will likely be fine without Will Johnson and Alvaro Sabario in this one too. Their offense is still tough enough and their defense is stingy enough to get the result in this one. It will be close but look for RSL to come away on top.

Player to watch out for: Kyle Beckerman – RSL’s chances rest with him in this one. I like their chances in that case.

WVH Prediction: RSL 2, New York 1

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Sunday

San Jose Earthquakes – at – Houston Dynamo

I’d almost call this a must-win for the Quakes. Houston is nearly in no positive to reach the playoffs this season and a road win would be huge for their playoff chances. San Jose has to find ways to get newcomer Geovanni into the action to get him used to the style of play in MLS.

Geoff Cameron won’t make it easy though on the Quakes. Part of me thinks the Dynamo will bounce back after their dismal effort a week ago in Colorado. A draw in this one sounds likely.

Player to watch out for: Brian Ching – He’s questionable for this one but if he’s good to go he’ll possibly have a nice day against a shaky Quakes defense.

WVH Prediction: Houston 1, San Jose 1

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