MLS Week 30: What To Watch For & Picks

MLS Week 30: What To Watch For & Picks

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 6, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Season, 2011 Week 30, Features, What To Watch For

RSL hopes to get back on track in Vancouver tonight. (Getty Images)

It is an international break weekend in the soccer world but unfortunately for some hoping to have a break we do have three Major League Soccer games to discuss in Week 30. As I posted earlier, two of the three games have playoff implications while the other game is more about playing for 2012.

This look at the games ahead will be kept fairly short since it only deals with three games. I’ve gone ahead and thrown in my picks of the three games as well.

1. RSL still dealing with reschedule Whitecaps game. We all recall earlier in the summer when Real Salt Lake traveled to Vancouver just before the summer friendlies got going. The Whitecaps were set to host Manchester City days after the RSL game and in the process had installed a grass field at Empire Field. With heavy rain the game got canceled. Now RSL takes on Vancouver in a game that they really need a win in. After three straight defeats, RSL is looking like a team that is struggling to find their consistent play that helped them earn a playoff spot a month ago.

Big item to note in this one is what both sides will do with their attack without key strikers. Both Fabian Espindola and Eric Hassli are out to a suspension. Both will have to find players that step up on the attack.

Vancouver is now playing for pride and for 2012. I’ll soon start my expansion draft protection lists and you’ll see that these final few games for them will be all about shaping that list for next month’s draft.

WVH Prediction: RSL 2, Vancouver 1

2. 2012 is on the line for San Jose and New England. You really have to wonder if both Steve Nicol and Frank Yallop will be coaching their respective clubs in 2012. Both had massive struggles this season and each are now out of playoff contention. I’d expect both coaches to start trying some new formations, lineups and younger players. Now it is all about getting games in for younger guys and moving on from this down year for each team.

Finishing strong is something you always want to do as a club when you know the playoffs are out of reach too. It would be nice to see one or both of these clubs finish strong here in 2011 to give people like me more to go off of into the off season.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, San Jose 1

3. Can Philly stun Seattle’s slim Shield hopes? This one could be very interesting, it is a shame really that it is coming off a week where Seattle already played an important game. I’m sure the Sounders will be fine for this one though. Philly comes into this one hoping to secure their own playoff spot though, a push they’ve looked better at in recent weeks with the resurgence of Sebastien Le Toux.

The Union have to go all out in this one to not only secure their playoff spot but to fend off teams like Houston, Columbus, New York and DC around them. A win out in Seattle would also boost their form and help them go into the playoffs with some momentum here (yes I know they have other games coming up but a win in Seattle is huge folks).

Seattle mostly just needs to play their game and control the tempo from the start in this one. They should get Mauro Rosales back for this one which will help the possession and the attack. They’ll have to lean on him with Fredy Montero out to a suspension.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, Philadelphia 1

  • QuakesFan

    To be honest, I think it’s time for some new blood in San Jose, namely new management. Frank Yallop made comments about how they’d be getting rid of those who weren’t pulling their weight during the off season and that there wasn’t much to be done in the last 4 (this was a week or so ago) games to change his mind. But what about the last 4 years? Yeah the Quakes made it to the playoffs last year. That comes down pretty much to Wondo, and a decent year on Convey’s part. Even if these were both super brilliantly prescient hires by Yallop (which I would argue they weren’t: Convey took a year to show much of anything, and Wondo was a good player but not a top goal scorer when he came onto the team. If Wondo hadn’t blossomed in 2010 the Quakes would not have gotten into the playoffs and that’s just numbers)┬áthere are plenty of bonehead moves to fill in the other three years (and prevent us from making the playoffs as well). I’m concerned that there is no motivation on the part of the ownership to replace Doyle or Yallop and that we have another dismal year to look forward to next year. As a fan of course, I hope I’m wrong!