MLS Weekend Preview: Week 26

MLS Weekend Preview: Week 26

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 24, 2010
  • 1 Comments
  • 2010 Week 26, Weekend Previews

The Rocky Mountain Cup battle this weekend should be entertaining to watch. (Getty Images)

In every ways this could be one of the biggest weekends in Major League Soccer this season. Not only is the league hyping the ever living snot out of one game tonight but there are a good three or four other games this weekend worth tuning into.

While tonight’s game could end up as the best game in the way the league his hyping it I’d throw my name in the hat to say that Colorado-RSL or KC-Dallas could end up being better in the end than tonight’s clash in LA.

I’ve put these previews off long enough today so let’s get down to it shall we?

Friday

New York Red Bulls – at – LA Galaxy

Yes the epic clash of the league’s two high profile teams on national TV, at 11pm ET tonight. Yes 11 pm ET, so no one on the right coast will be tuning in unless they’re at a sports bar with a bunch of buddies drinking. I know its going to be an effort for me here in Dallas to make it though this one but I’ll make it work, might even drink a Red Bull for fun.

This one will either be the classic the league is praying for or it will be a snooze fest. Without Thierry Henry the game definitely lacks some of its charm but it should still be entertaining to watch nonetheless. New York has to find a way to show they can hang with the top western powers on the road. They went down to RSL, barely got a draw in Dallas and winning in LA is never easy for them.

After a slight bump in the road LA has proven yet again in recent weeks that they are the top dog. Plus them being at home so much recently has to help them out in this game, especially since New York is travelling across the country to play a game that starts so late in their normal timezone. I know players say that stuff doesn’t matter but it does.

This one will come down to defense and who’s stands up more. LA is missing some key elements in this one (Omar Gonzalez) but I still favor them over New York’s backline. Landon Donvan and Edson Buddle will likely find ways to get around the New York defense as well. But don’t sleep on Dane Richard’s ability to use his speed against LA. We know the Galaxy have trouble defending speed so it will be up to Richards to catch them off guard.

I like LA though in this one. They’re at home, they know how to beat this New York team. I also just think with the way Donovan played last weekend it will carry over in this meeting.

Player to watch out for: Yohance Marshall – The young rookie will be filling in for Gonzalez again for LA, no doubt NY will want to expose him.

WVH Prediction: LA 1, New York 0

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Saturday

San Jose Earthquakes – at – Toronto FC

This is a game Toronto just cannot lose. They need all the points they can get in their final five games. San Jose on the other hand has some games in hand and can stand to drop points if it comes to that this weekend.

I believe the Quakes however will prove to be a tough out for Toronto this weekend. The Reds are likely a bit gassed from their trip to Mexico and even though they got a quality draw down there the travel has to take its toll here.

I still believe though Toronto is a good enough team at home to get a result in this one and San Jose has been shaky at times on the road this season. But it comes down to midfield play and who can score. San Jose has done well recently at pressuring teams and possession the ball through their midfield. Toronto still needs that second scorer to go along side Dwayne De Rosario. I think if DeRo has another MVP game like last week Toronto will win this one but for now I’m calling a draw.

Player to watch out for: Chad Barrett – Will he step up? Boy he needs to.

WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, San Jose 1

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Chivas USA – at – Philadelphia Union

Unfortunately there are a couple games that have little to absolutely no playoff implications this weekend. This is one of them. Both sides are a week or two away from being eliminated from contention all together so pride is more at stake than anything else.

For me this one is simple, a west coast team that isn’t really all that great travelling east to play a tough side at home sure seems like an easy pick. Philadelphia has been better recently and will control this one with their wing play with Justin Mapp and Fred.

Don’t get me wrong this one will be entertaining to watch as both teams will keep it open and with loads of pace. I just like Philadelphia’s chances to get three points in it.

Player to watch out for: Sebastien Le Toux – I really think Chivas has no defensive answer for this guy.

WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, Chivas 0

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Houston Dynamo – at – D.C. United

Speaking of playing for pride, both teams have endured terrible seasons and its coming down to the wire for Houston. One more bad game and they will officially be eliminated alongside D.C. United.

I think its difficult to think that Houston can bounce back from that 4-3 loss in Kansas City on Wednesday. Dominic Kinnear said last weekend after the loss to Toronto that the season was over and I think D.C. plays on that mentality in this one.

Player to watch out for: Andy Najar – He should have a big game against a mentally beaten Dynamo team.

WVH Prediction: D.C. 2, Houston 1

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Columbus Crew – at – New England Revolution

Another club that could be down and out is the Revs. Their late draw to Dallas in the midweek had to feel more like a loss than a draw. Columbus hasn’t been good in recent weeks so that makes this one a bit interesting. A mentally beaten team against a team in a slump.

I’m picking the team in the slump. Columbus got a boost by the midweek win in CCL play against Santos Laguna and I think their confidence should be back up for this one. New England does do well after bad losses/draws but I think the Crew come in and get three big points.

Player to watch out for: Guillermo Barros Schelotto – usually he sits out games on turf but this week he looks like he’ll suit up.

WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, New England 0

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Seattle Sounders FC – at – Chicago Fire

The Sounders may have had a rough midweek in Mexico as they dropped a two goal lead to lose 3-2 to Monterrey but I stil like their chances in this one against a Chicago Fire team who have looked awful at times lately.

I have no doubt that Seattle will want to put a dagger in the heart of their old teammate Freddie Ljungberg and his club’s playoff hopes in this one. The Fire haven’t made the most of their games in hand against teams like Seattle either lately.

This one again comes down to the midfield and I still have to side with the Sounders. Their play last week in Columbus shows that they can enter any place and win when they want to. Blaise Nkufo can also score a few goals too which helps relieve pressure from Fredy Montero. I think Montero will have a big game in this one as Wilman Conde is sitting this one out due to a suspension.

Player to watch out for: Alvaro Fernandez – The other DP for Seattle should have a nice evening on the wings for Seattle.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Chicago 1

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FC Dallas – at – Kansas City Wizards

Could be the game of the weekend right here. The hottest two clubs (by the league’s standard) faceoff in a big time match for the home side. The Wizards have done their part in their big week of three games in seven days by getting two wins in the first two games. Facing a team like Dallas at home won’t be easy though as Dallas has a never say die attitude like they do.

Both clubs are coming off big emotional games on Wednesday too. KC got a huge come from behind win over Houston while Dallas battled back from 2-0 to get a last second draw against New England. Who handles their emotions better at the start of this one will go a long way.

This one comes down to the midfield. Both clubs like possession and with a tight field it makes those possession minutes all the more valuable. KC will need to not push so early for offense as they tend to run out of gas late when they go all in early on in games. Dallas is a tricky team in that they can wear you out if you do things like that.

Dallas needs to be better defensively than they’ve been in recent games. Counter attacks have cost them points, as well as sloppy play. KC is quick enough and dangerous enough up top to make them pay for that.

I feel that KC can be the team that ends Dallas’ amazing run here but this one looks more like a draw when you throw in how gassed these two teams probably are at the moment. Dallas doesn’t seem to know how to lose on the road while KC will find it hard to put them away.

Player to watch out for: Teal Bunbury – He could be the X-factor off the bench for the Wizards late.

WVH Prediction: Kansas City 1, Dallas 1

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Colorado Rapids – at – Real Salt Lake

This may be the one I’m looking most forward to at the moment. Colorado has been hot lately and have been scoring goals in bunches. RSL on the other hand is well RSL, they’re tough and extremely hard to beat at home. Throw in the rivalry factor and this one could be the best game this weekend.

I still believe Colorado can knock off RSL but just not in Rio Tinto. Also Colorado still hasn’t shown the ability yet to win big games on the road this season. If this were a home game for them I’d say otherwise.

RSL gets the edge too for the fact that they know they have to lockdown points with FC Dallas on their tail. They need homefield advantage in the playoffs more than anyone else in the league. Look for RSL to win this one but not by much.

Player to watch out for: Kyle Beckerman – He’s always fun to watch against his old club.

WVH Prediction: RSL 1, Colorado 0

  • Zacalie

    RSL doesn’t “need homefield advantage in the playoffs more than anyone else in the league”. They are one of the toughest teams on the road, too, and proved in the playoffs last year that homefield advantage didn’t mean that much to them. If you are intending to say that they, more than any other team in the league, will take advantage of home field throughout the playoffs, then I’m with you.