- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 27, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 31, Features
The Major League Soccer season rolls into the final week of September. All 10 playoff spots are still up for grabs going into the final five weeks of the season, with so much left to play for here.
1. Spreading the games around. Taking a quick look at the schedule for the weekend you get a game tonight, four tomorrow and four on Sunday. That is a bold schedule by the league going into one of their final weeks of the regular season. I must admit, I have really enjoyed these Friday night games as of late and hope to see that continue in the coming years. As for the increased games on Sunday, good luck with that MLS. Three of those four are national TV games as well, going up against the likes of the NFL. At least for the league’s sake, they are some good ones between Portland and LA, and then New York and Seattle.
2. Big games without big players. The unfortunate nature of this weekend is the fact that in the New York-Seattle game, the Red Bulls will be without their two key players in Jamison Olave and Thierry Henry. Both are sitting out due to ‘injuries’. Okay, really, they’re sitting out because the game will be played on turf, that much we know. It is unfortunate for the league to have such a high profile game this weekend, on national TV, to be without some star players like that. Last weekend was the same when Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan didn’t play in the LA-Seattle meeting.
3. Desperate for points. Talk about a weekend, filled with big games. Tonight’s game between SKC and Philadelphia has two sides that need points in different ways. The Union need three points badly, as they’ve been struggling down the stretch here. SKC needs the points to get back on top of the conference.
Then outside of the Toronto-D.C. United game, every game this weekend has meaning of some sort. Yes, even Sunday night’s Chivas-San Jose game. In some form or other, this weekend will reshape the playoff race yet again for what feels like the billionth straight week this season. Yes, I’m exaggerating to prove a point there.
Philadelphia Union at Sporting KC: As stated above, the Union are struggling and need points in a bad way. Sporting on the other hand just need to take care of business at home. I see Sporting using this game tonight as a way to get fine-tuned for the upcoming playoff stretch.
WVH Prediction: Sporting KC 2, Philadelphia 1
D.C. United at Toronto FC: The one game that means very little on the season. Well, that’s not true, this is all about who gets the top pick in next year’s SuperDraft. Which one will tank the rest of the season to get that top spot? Yeah, okay, a draw it is.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 1, D.C. 1
Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps: A big statement game for the Whitecaps at home. They made a leap last week by winning in Montreal and if they can score another win over a good RSL team, it will prove to themselves and possibly the rest of the league that they are still in the thick of things. I think Martin Rennie’s club gets the valuable win here, RSL will be more focused on the upcoming USOC final anyways.
WVH Prediction: Vancouver 2, RSL 1
Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution: The back and forth movement in the standings between these two teams is confusing at times. I think the Revs will take it to the Dynamo, who had some midweek CCL action to deal with. New England has the young talent up front to cause issues with the Dynamo defense. This could very well be one of the better games on the weekend too.
WVH Prediction: New England 2, Houston 0
Montreal Impact at Chicago Fire: A tricky game for both sides. Montreal looked good a few weeks ago but has yet again cooled off. So it may be the perfect time for the Fire to host them. Something about this game screams draw though thanks to the suspension of Bakery Soumare in the back for the Fire.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, Montreal 1
LA Galaxy at Portland Timbers: Another statement game on the weekend. Can Portland prove that they are still a contender here? Or will LA flex their championship muscles? I thought LA had their moments last week against Seattle to make a break through here and I’m sure they’ll cause some issues for the Timbers. The question will come down to whether or not someone steps up for the Timbers this weekend.
WVH Prediction: Portland 1, LA 1
Columbus Crew at FC Dallas: Very curious to see which team shows up for this one. Columbus has been better under Brian Bliss but I’d argue that they haven’t seen a team that has the speed that Dallas has up front. Then again, Dallas has shot themselves in the foot over the last two weeks with own-goals. It is a must-win for Schellas Hyndman’s team, I think they’ll do just enough to get the three points.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Columbus 1
New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders: I think the speed on the wings for Seattle could be a difference maker in this one. New York doesn’t have any home run type players on the outside and Seattle will expose that. Not to mention the lack of Olave in the middle of the defense will be too much to overcome against a good offense like Seattle’s.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, New York 0
San Jose Earthquakes at Chivas USA: While the Quakes have a fairly easy schedule to end the season with, the number of games left certainly doesn’t help their playoff chances. They need three points in the worst possible way in this one. Chivas will play the spoiler at home in some way too.
WVH Prediction: Chivas 1, San Jose 1