- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 23, 2013
- 2 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 26, Features
Brace yourself, a big match is upon us for this weekend. But first let’s talk about some other items beside Seattle and Portland.
1. Yes there are eight other matches. As much as some folks in the Pacific Northwest may not realize, there are plenty of other matches before their showdown on Sunday night. In fact, there are eight games ahead of their’s on the schedule this weekend. I will applaud whomever made the schedule here though for this week, seeing how they put the Seattle-Portland game last and away from all the others on the weekend.
But still, eight other games with plenty of playoff implication surrounding them. There are important meetings in the Eastern Conference (Chicago-Sporting Kansas City, Montréal-Houston and New England-Philadelphia) and Western Conference (Vancouver-Los Angeles).
2. Midweek fallout. For one club, Dallas, the midweek saw their long winless spell come to an end at Chivas. Now they must pick themselves up and face one of the league’s hottest teams at home in San Jose. Then there is the fallout between Salt Lake and Portland. Their 3-3 draw didn’t shake up the entire Western Conference race by any means on Wednesday. If anything, it tightened it up even more. Both have big games this weekend to deal with and each put a lot in their Wednesday night encounters.
3. CCL fallout. For LA, Houston and Montreal, the midweek was all about the CCL matches. Houston and LA did well in their opening matches while Montreal had to make the trip to Guatemala City for their match, which they lost late 1-0. The Dynamo and Impact square off this weekend in a big Eastern Conference battle, one that will really test both sides. Both clubs shuffled the line ups a good bit in the midweek and those moves could help set them up for a better outing on Saturday.
4. That Dempsey home debut. Yeah this is the big one folks. Portland at Seattle. Clint Dempsey making his home debut. Portland needs a win to keep pace at the top of the Western Conference. Seattle needs a win to move back into the playoff places. I’m almost positive this one will be a sloppy game, like most rivalry games are.
Sporting Kansas City at Chicago Fire – Graham Zusi’s return should spark KC in this one while Chicago is still dealing with some suspensions on their back line (Bakery Soumare). As much as I’ve enjoyed what the Fire have done this summer, I’m doubtful about where they’ll go in the final two months of the season here.
WVH Prediction: Sporting 2, Chicago 1
Toronto FC at D.C. United – Two teams that historically score a bunch on one another. Both are bad clubs still this season. So this could be a fun one to watch with the amount of goals scored.
WVH Prediction: D.C. 3, Toronto 2
Houston Dynamo at Montreal Impact – The Impact saved some key guys in their midweek loss in the CCL. That will prove to be enough at home as the Dynamo have to deal with a lot of travel this week (they were in Trinidad).
WVH Prediction: Montreal 2, Houston 1
LA Galaxy at Vancouver Whitecaps – Can Vancouver make LA pay on set pieces? That will certainly be a big key in this one. The Whitecaps are quietly in position to reach the playoffs for a second straight season. A win would certainly boost their chances.
WVH Prediction: Vancouver 2, LA 1
San Jose Earthquakes at FC Dallas – While San Jose is hot at the moment (4-1-0 in their last five), they do have a CCL match to deal with next week. How Mark Watson handles that lineup shuffle will be key in Frisco tomorrow night. Dallas is playing their third game in seven days as well. Rested legs playing a team with some momentum. I’ll call it a draw.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, San Jose 1
Columbus Crew at Real Salt Lake – Columbus actually has a winning record all-time against RSL in the regular season. But that won’t matter much on the road as RSL looks to get back on track here as they pursue the Supporters’ Shield trophy.
WVH Prediction: RSL 3, Columbus 1
New York Red Bulls at Chivas USA – Suspensions and just poor play will continue to haunt Chivas. New York hasn’t won in LA against Chivas in their last six trips though. Something has to give but I see this one coming out as a draw.
WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, New York 1
Philadelphia Union at New England Revolution – The Revs still have one of the league’s top defense but at some point their offense has to show up as well if they want to make the playoffs. Philly also needs to find a way to get their offense going in this one with Conor Casey and Jack McInerney.
WVH Prediction: New England 1, Philadelphia 1
Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders – Will it live up to the hype? One can only hope.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Portland 1