- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On June 7, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 15, Features
It is a shorten weekend in Major League Soccer. Technically no clubs should be playing but somehow we still have eight clubs going out on Saturday to play league matches during a FIFA window. Naturally everyone will be tuned in tonight to the various World Cup qualifiers and then again Tuesday.
1. Streaky Timbers. Portland hasn’t lost a single game since Week 2. Nearly three months of unbeaten soccer, 11 weeks to be exact for Caleb Porters’ Timbers. Even with one loss on the year I still feel that some folks aren’t taking this club serious enough. It could be due to the high number of draws that they’ve picked up and the fact that they’ve really only beaten a few teams. Their last two wins were over Chivas USA and D.C. United. They also got wins over San Jose, a struggling team. The two good wins are at home against Houston and away at Sporting KC. Bot even both of those seem like ages ago already.
The Timbers have a tough task ahead this weekend in Chicago. No, I don’t see the Fire as a dominant club or anything like that just yet but the resurgence of the Fire with Bakery Soumare and Mike Magee at least makes them interesting to watch again. Chicago is a desperate team whether they believe they are or not at this point in the season. They are 11 points out of a playoff spot as we speak which makes them need all the points that they can get, especially at home.
Portland is the only club out there that hasn’t lost a game on the road this season but something tells me that they could be in for a tough task on Saturday in Chicago.
2. Cascadia Fun. Speaking of the Timbers, their rivals Vancouver and Seattle square off this weekend in the Emerald City for the next leg of the Cascadia Cup. Seattle has been up and down lately but looked very good against Chivas last weekend. Hell, who hasn’t looked good against Chivas lately? Vancouver is a bit of the same, up and down but got a big road win in New York last weekend thanks to Kenny Miller.
Both teams come in with some momentum so where does that leave this rivalry game? Likely in the hands of the hosts, who are expecting some 50,000+ on hand for the match. Seattle is always dominant with their large crowds but they are even better when the stadium there is nearly full. I saw somewhere that they are 6-0-2 with a 11-1 goal differential when they have a crowd of over 50k at CenturyLink Field. Don’t hold me to those exact numbers and records but it is pretty darn close.
3. Resurged Revs. How fun has Jay Heaps’ club been as of late? The New England Revolution have quietly and emphatically put their stamp in the Eastern Conference race. After last week’s 5-0 win over LA, the Revs just sit three points back of fifth place in the East. A month ago I would have never expected them to be where they are right now but thanks to some tough and ridiculous defense along with some young attackers stepping up and the points are coming in.
This weekend they get a D.C. United squad that is just been pathetic lately, or well, this season. Heaps and the Revs merely just need to show up and play tough in the back and three more points should be theirs. The offense still has a little way to go but Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, and Juan Agudelo seems to be working so far. Throw in a Saer Sene, who is getting healthier and this team is starting to click. Just think if Jerry Bengston could find his way this season with the Revs too.
4. RSL streaking forward. This could be a big weekend for RSL. Currently they are four points back of FC Dallas for the top spot in the league, not just their conference. Jason Kreis has his team playing well these days thanks to and offense that is finding its way with a healthy Javier Morales involved.
This weekend RSL hosts the LA Galaxy, a struggling LA Galaxy at that. The losses are piling up lately for Bruce Arena’s club and the confidence is starting to fade away. This is a good chance for RSL to pounce on a club that is struggling and add a little more to their misery.
D.C. United at New England Revolution: Tough defense against a poor defense usually means something. D.C. is desperate to get points and that could make things difficult for the Revs but I don’t see it lasting for 90 minutes.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, D.C. 0
Portland Timbers at Chicago Fire: Another desperate team in Chicago here, they need points and goals. That desperation will carry over against a good Portland team this weekend. But in the end, that streak for the Timbers continues.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, Portland 1
LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake: Again, it is a big weekend for RSL. They know that the top of the table is within their grasp (even though the games-in-hand aren’t in their favor), so they can’t let down in this one. LA will cause problems as they typically bounce back from bad losses quickly here. I want to call a RSL win but something tells me this one will end level.
WVH Prediction: RSL 1, LA 1
Vancouver Whitecaps at Seattle Sounders: A big crowd expected for this one. It should be a wild and tight game on Saturday night, a nice way to close out the busy weekend. Vancouver has to take it to Seattle early in this one to have a shot but I like the Sounders to come away with three points here.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Vancouver 1