MLS Prediction: 2011 Week 1

MLS Prediction: 2011 Week 1

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 18, 2011
  • 5 Comments
  • 2011 Season Predictions, 2011 Week 1

New York opens their season this weekend against Seattle. (Getty Images)

We’re continuing on with my new-look features for the season, yesterday I released my “What to watch for” for the first week of the season and today I have my weekend predictions for you all.

As I mentioned yesterday the thought of doing extension previews for each game this year seemed to be a little more than I wanted to take on. For those who’ve been reading my site for a couple years now, know that I used to put a decent amount of work into my weekly previews for each game. But with eight or nine games going on in a single weekend, the long previews are just something I can’t write anymore (though I’m always looking for help!). So I’m mixing things up a bit for the year as you saw yesterday.

WVH Predictions for Week 1

Saturday

Toronto at Vancouver – The first battle of Canada in a MLS regular season match. Vancouver has gotten the better of Toronto for the most part in the Canadian Cup over the last couple years and I kind of see that trend coming in front of the Whiteout at Empire Field. Plus the Red rarely fare well on trips to the west coast. I think the expansion squad has plenty of questions like their Canadian counterpart but playing at home and with a defense that I believe will be pretty good they get their first MLS win.

WVH Prediction: Vancouver 2, Toronto 1

Columbus Crew at D.C. United – We know the Crew still have some issues to sort out but then again D.C. still has a lot to prove as well. The X-Factor comes down to how Charlie Davies plays for D.C. from the start, I think he nets a goal and the Black-and-Red open the 2011 campaign with three points.

WVH Prediction: D.C. 1, Columbus 0

Seattle Sounders at New York Red Bulls – The Sounders couldn’t find any offense on Tuesday night against LA and now they have to travel east to face another MLS Cup contender in New York. Ouch. Sigi Schmid’s side stumbles out of the gate and has to play catch up from there. Thierry Henry and company have injury issues but will be fit enough to win this one.

WVH Prediction: New York 2, Seattle 0

Philadelphia Union at Houston Dynamo – I’ve said a few times that I think these two sides are darkhorses for me this season. Sure enough they face off in the first week against one another too. I think Dominic Kinnear did plenty this winter to get his club back on track. Most importantly he finally took the MLS SuperDraft important and snagged two quality players in Kofi Sarkodie and Will Bruin. Both should contribute in this one. Look out for the return of Carlos Ruiz though in this one, he always seemed to do well against Houston.

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Philadelphia 1

Chicago Fire at FC Dallas – I’ll be on hand for this one and will likely be doing a game thread over at Big D Soccer. Some don’t like rivalry games to being a new season but I enjoy it. The Brimstone Cup is a very underrated rivalry in MLS, mostly because it was a rivalry built by the fans and not forced on everyone by the league. Dallas should control this game from the start with their possession and will have the bulk of changes in front of a potential sell-out at Pizza Hut Park. Chicago needs to get Marco Pappa involved early or else this will be a long night in Frisco for the visitors.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Chicago 0

Portland Timbers at Colorado Rapids – Tough for an expansion team to open up their first MLS game at the defending champions but that was the card that was given to them here. Portland should be fun to watch with Kenny Cooper and their other attacking options but who will defend Conor Casey and Omar Cummings could be the key question. I think the speed of Cummings on the flanks and the Rapids ball possession in the middle are the difference in this one.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 3, Portland 1

Sporting Kansas City at Chivas USA – This could be the toughest game to predict this weekend. Chivas has loads of questions offensively while Kansas City has just as many questions defensively. The battle will come down to the midfield in this one and the edge may go to the visitors on that front. Which is the bigger storyline though, Jimmy Conrad against his old side or the debut of Omar Bravo for KC? Both will be fun to watch but I think in the end we’ll be just where we started.

WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, KC 1

Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes – RSL carried the MLS banner proudly on Tuesday in the CCL. Those extra competitive games should give them the leg up in this game against a San Jose side that will either be pretty solid or will struggle. I kind of think the Quakes will start the season the same way they did the last one, poorly to RSL. Chris Wondolowski is set to start in the attacking midfield role this season and going against RSL’s Kyle Beckerman won’t be an easy way to start that new role for the defending Golden Boot winner.

WVH Prediction: RSL 2, San Jose 1

Sunday

New England Revolution at LA Galaxy – LA makes the cross country trip after the win in Seattle to start the season.(Note: For some reason I had been under the impression LA was on the road…my mistake) The win on Tuesday wasn’t anything special though but the Galxy should be fine considering all the defensive issues the Revs have right now. LA shouldn’t have to do anything special in this one to maintain their early lead in the standings, though it would be nice to see Landon Donovan get on the boards at some point too.

WVH Prediction: LA 2, New England 0


  • ViperLA

    LA’s match against the New England Revolution is a home game at the HDC so they don’t have to travel cross country like Seattle does. How do I know this? My season tickets tell me so! I will be sittin’ my ass at the stadium in the supposed rain. Yes, you heard me, the weather forecast for Sunday calls for rain in what is normally sunny So Cal.

    • Thanks, for some odd reason I thought all week they were on the road for this one. I’ve made some edits.

    • Thanks, for some odd reason I thought all week they were on the road for this one. I’ve made some edits.

  • Beckett in CBus

    As a Crew fan who got the ‘Trillium Cup’ pushed onto us by the league, I would rather have a rivalry created by the fans, i.e. the Brimstone.

    LA 3 NE 0
    RSL 1 SJ 0
    CHV 2 SKC 1
    COL 4 POR 1
    DAL 2 CHI 0
    HOU 1 PHI 1
    NY 0 SEA 0
    CLB 1 DC 0
    VAN 3 TOR 0

  • Wow, your prediction for Timbers/Rapids was unbelievably spot on. Well done! We had no answer for Cummings or Connor and they destroyed us on the flanks and in possession.