This has been an interesting week to say the very least. With all the changes and potential changes in New York, the focus has shifted slightly away from the field of play to what the Red Bulls will do next.
Thankfully, the New York side has to answer those questions on the field this weekend.
So will everyone one else that is involved in games this weekend. With the playoff race coming to a close here in the next couple of weeks, there are plenty of games with playoff implications this weekend. Below are my predictions this weekend, most of which will likely go very wrong in the end.
D.C. United at Toronto FC: One team is playing for pride, the other is playing to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. D.C. has been very good for the most part since Dwayne De Rosario’s injury but you do wonder how long they’ll be able to keep it up without him. Thankfully that shouldn’t be the case this weekend in Toronto. The Reds have been dreadful and for the most part, they are just trying to finish out this season as quickly as possible.
WVH Prediction: D.C. 2, Toronto 0
Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls: The big NBC game of the week. Yes, NBC, not NBC Sports. Big difference there. The winner gets their playoff ticket punch, the loser continues to fight for another chance in the final two weeks of the season. New York has been strong at home this season and the last two games the Fire have been shaky at best. If the Fire want points, they have to find their offensive mojo again with Chris Rolfe and Alvaro Fernandez. If that doesn’t happen, New York rides out of this game easily with three points.
WVH Prediction: New York 2, Chicago 1
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union: Two clubs out of playoff contention, both playing for pride and 2013. It will be interesting to see which players step up in the final couple of games for these two clubs. So far it seems like some from the Union are already taking a leap forward towards next season.
WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, New England 0
Montreal Impact at Houston Dynamo: No Brad Davis for Houston in this one, which could be tough considering the Impact’s midfield lead by Felipe and Patrice Brenier. The Impact have had a stellar expansion season, much better than anyone could have imagined. But their road form has been poor and Houston is still unbeaten at their new digs.
WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Montreal 0
San Jose Earthquakes at Colorado Rapids: This one could be interesting. On the surface San Jose should blow away the Rapids, even on the road. But Colorado is now playing for pride and some of the guys are wanting to prove that they deserve to stick around the Mile High City for another season. Expect them to be cagy in this one with San Jose who may take their foot off the pedal a bit.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, San Jose 1
Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy: Don’t underestimate the value of AJ DeLaGarza for LA. Losing him for the rest of the regular season could cost LA a number 2 seed in the Western Conference. Salt Lake will press hard in this one for a result and given the hot form of Alvaro Saborio, I like their chances to give LA a run for their money in this one. I think LA holds their own offensively but RSL will leave the Home Depot Center with points.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, RSL 2
Sporting Kansas City at Columbus Crew: The could easily be the most underrated game of the week in MLS. Columbus is in a dog fight to reach the post season while SKC is just three points behind San Jose for the Supporters’ Shield trophy. Both will be pushing for a result here in this one. The last team to beat SKC was this Crew side and I think they pull the upset again here as well.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, SKC 1
FC Dallas at Chivas USA: Three points is what Dallas needs and they know it. Chivas is on a seven game bender and have only scored one goal in that span. The offense seems to be clicking these days for Schellas Hyndman, which is bad news for Robin Fraser’s leaky back four.
WVH Prediction: FC Dallas 3, Chivas USA 1
Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders: The league saves the best for last on a busy weekend. A capacity crowd is expected for this one, which you know will be a wild one. Hardware is on the line too as Portland holds the keys in the Cascadia Cup race. I’d expect Seattle to come away with this one though, as they ride the crowd and atmosphere to a big win and a national stage.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Portland 1