- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 3, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 19, Features
Hello July. And hello four day weekend for me. Major League Soccer rolls into a new month and first up is a Holiday midweek set of games on Wednesday and Thursday.
1. 401 Derby returns. I said it back in Week 3 when MLS had its Rivalry Week and I’ll say it again, the 401 Derby between Montreal and Toronto is an underrated rivalry in MLS. This time the derby is set for a visit to BMO Field. A lot has changed since their last meeting back in March, mainly in the standings. Toronto still sits near the bottom of the order while Montreal leads the way in the East. Yet somehow I look at this one and think Toronto may have the advantage coming into this one given how Montreal played last weekend against Colorado at home.
I said it on Monday, that result by the Impact showed a few things. If anything it showed how you can beat them. Played fast, fluid and dominate the possession. If you keep the Impact from holding the ball and playing their over the top and direct approach, you stand a good shot at beating them. Toronto can do that too even though their talent level isn’t that great at the moment. They showed me last weekend against Real Salt Lake, the league’s best club at the moment, that they can hang with good teams these days.
If anything this one will be worth watching tonight.
2. Magee versus the Goonies. Everyone seems to believe that San Jose is back. Given how tight the Western Conference standings are at the moment, I get it. But tonight they’ll travel to Chicago to face a red-hot Fire team that has one guy that can silence the Goonie talk once and for all, Mike Magee. The veteran forward knows a thing or two about how to beat San Jose and seeing as how the Quakes will be without Victor Bernardez in the back (red card suspension), I like their odds at home in this one.
3. Is Vancouver for real? I feel as though I’ve asked this question a number of times this season. At first glance they looked good, but then they became wildly inconsistent on the year. But the last month has been a total change in attitude and play on the field. Part of that is because Camilo has been contributing in a big way. The Brazilian had six goals and two assists in the month of June to help spark the Whitecaps move up the standings.
We’ll get another sign of how good this team really is tonight when they travel to Kansas City to face Sporting KC. Vancouver will have to play their physical style in the back to disrupt Kei Kamara and company. Sporting KC is looking better in their last couple of games and if they can find a way to get Dom Dwyer’s hot feet involved in their play, things could continue to look very good for them in the Eastern Conference.
Back to Vancouver though. This club has the tools and the talent to go far in this league. Just like I mentioned yesterday in the Stock Report, I’m waiting to see what kind of summer moves they make before I claim them as a contender in the West.
4. ID4 games always fun. We get a three-pack of holiday games tomorrow as FC Dallas hosts Chivas USA, Colorado hosts New York and LA hosts Columbus. I’ll say it right now, just take all three home teams. Chivas is still in a state of change while New York typically struggles at Colorado and Columbus is too inconsistent to pick from game-to-game. Plus, most home teams do very well on Independence Day games as it is. Colorado is 11-3-3 all-time on July 4. Not bad there.
Montreal Impact at Toronto FC: Like I mentioned above, I like Toronto in this match for some odd reason. Maybe it is because they are home and maybe it is because they are showing some signs of improving. Either case, I’m going crazy and taking the Reds here tonight.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 2, Montreal 1
San Jose Earthquakes at Chicago Fire: I’d expect this one to go until the very end knowing how San Jose plays. But don’t sleep on the Fire to get a late one too. This could be the most entertaining game of the midweek.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, San Jose 1
Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting KC: Camilo has been great as of late but I see him cooling off a bit in this one. Sporting KC has better defenders than what he’s seen lately, not to mention another road game after a gritty 1-0 win in D.C. last weekend may cause more issues than anything else for Martin Rennie’s club.
WVH Prediction: Sporting KC 3, Vancouver 2
D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC: I feel as though I haven’t see the Sounders in months. No reason to pick United in this one thanks to the cross country trip and the rest that Seattle has had lately.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 3, D.C. 0
Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake: Tough game for both sides. The Gold Cup matters complicate things for sure. Philly has never beaten Salt Lake and we all know how good Salt Lake has been playing as of late too. I think the depth of RSL will shine in this one though, but it will be a gritty battle.
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, Philadelphia 1
Chivas USA at FC Dallas: Hard to take a team that is winless in their last 11 games and are about to be on the road for three weeks. Dallas didn’t win in June but their talent will show through in this one at home.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Chivas 0
New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids: These two always play to a wild game, so I wouldn’t expect anything less than that. I’m just siding with the Rapids here after what I saw in Montreal last weekend. The team has the talent to frustrate the Red Bulls here and I’m not convinced that New York’s defense is healthy enough to handle the speed of the Rapids.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 3, New York 2
Columbus Crew at LA Galaxy: I really don’t know what to make of the Crew these days. I thought of them as a playoff contender a while back but their offense never seems to get going at the right times and defensively they are always banged up. LA on the other hand is a question mark as well but being at home, they’ll want to prove to the league that the loss at San Jose was a fluke.
WVH Prediction: LA 3, Columbus 1