What To Watch For: MLS Week 13

What To Watch For: MLS Week 13

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 9, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Week 13, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, What To Watch For

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park debuts tonight in KC. (Getty Images)

Last night things got off to an interesting start in Columbus as the Crew took down RSL 2-1 in a surprising result to some. The Crew came from behind to get the three points and moved up the standings in the Eastern Conference in the process. The loss for RSL is huge for those in the west as RSL has a few games in hand on everyone and seeing them not pick up three points is big for those other clubs.

Its time to look forward to the rest of the week as we have a game tonight, tomorrow and then the weekend slate. It is a busy weekend indeed.

Below are the things I am looking out for here in the rest of the week.

1. LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. I love the nickname the Cauldron is giving themselves for their supporter’s section, Blue Hell. Nice touch if you ask me. Those fans really deserve this new facility that looks absolutely gorgeous. Now Sporting is coming into this game off a ten-game road trip, we all know that. How they respond to the end of this trip with the home debut will be interesting to see. Teams opening a new stadium after a long trip usually do well in that home debut. I believe only Toronto lost their home opener.

KC has looked better in recent weeks, getting draws in their last two road games. Chicago should be a winable game for them too seeing how the Fire haven’t exactly done anything great since their only win back in March, which happened to be against this KC team. KC won’t have a lot of time to enjoy this new stadium though as they go back out on the road (yes first 11 of 12 games on the road…that is brutal) to Dallas this Sunday. FCD has all week to prep for this game while KC has a couple days. Ouch.

2. Rebounding New York. If there was ever a game that New York could rebound in it would be against New England at home. Red Bull fans are hoping tomorrow night will help get their team back on course here this season and now continue this decline into the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. Given how both teams have played as of late, I wouldn’t be shocked to see this one end in a dud of a draw. We’ll see tomorrow if the Red Bulls can manage to get their attack going again.

3. Union on the rise. Well Philly has been on the rise all season but a big home win over a team like RSL will certainly put them in the discussion for top contender out of the Eastern Conference. The Union have looked good in recent weeks, now that they’ve found their offensive touch. RSL on the other hand is still struggling to maintain their offense without Javier Morales but the bigger deal for them now is the Gold Cup callups killing their roster. Philly has to take advantage of this based on how Columbus played RSL last night. Pressure high with Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux and take full advantage of the short rest that RSL will be dealing with.

4. Are the Quakes for real? D.C. is no push over here right now based on the LA game last week so they’ll give San Jose a run for their money here on Saturday. But it comes down to are the Quakes for real again here this season? They looked like it last week and the couple weeks in a row before that. But those games were at home and in a more friendly environment for Frank Yallop’s team. RFK is not the same as Buck Shaw Stadium. A win is D.C. will certainly lift the Quakes in the west to possible contender status.

5. Timbers coming back? Going home for Portland has to be a good thing, even if they’re facing Colorado this weekend. The Rapids haven’t won in forever and have tied their last six games. Portland looked like a contender a few weeks back but have slowly transitioned into being the expansion team that they are again. With San Jose and Chivas playing stronger these days, the Timbers have to get back to dominating at home again.

6. The other Cascadia rivalry. We saw how cool Portland-Seattle was a few weeks back, but this weekend we’ll get Seattle-Vancouver. While the hate isn’t the same there is still plenty of hate between these two sides. Back in the USL days the Caps actually won this three-team cup more than the Sounders did. Expect that to change given the Caps struggles on the road this season and seeing how Seattle has been playing.

  • kickit

    I was watching Fox Soccer Report and they mentioned how there are a lot of ties in the MLS matches. What is your opinion on this trend?

    • We saw this a bit last year. New teams, a few more younger players involved, star players being hurt (Ferreira, Morales, Zakuani), a lot of teams being just even with one another in terms of talent, and the Gold Cup call-ups. They’re all contributing factors for these ‘dud’ games as I like to call them. It will level out as the season goes on I think.