- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 4, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 32, Features
The final month of the regular season is upon us here. Major League Soccer moves into October with all 10 playoff spots still up for grabs. A couple teams could clinch a spot in the playoff this weekend while most will still be battling it out for their playoff lives.
1. USOC hangover. One one side of the ball you have D.C. United, who shocked the MLS world on Tuesday in Utah with their 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake. United head back home to face a desperate Chicago Fire team tonight at RFK Stadium. Will Ben Olsen’s club have anything left in the tank for this one though is the question? I highly doubt it considering how much energy they spent defending RSL in the final 45 minutes of the USOC final. Not to mention the amount of energy they spent celebrating into the night as well.
The other side of things is RSL, the team that inexplicably lost that USOC final to D.C. United. They will either have the same hangover on Saturday night against FC Dallas or just be ready to take out their frustrations on a fairly desperate Dallas team.
2. Rivalry weekend. Nothing like adding some rivalry games to the mix during a heated playoff run. This weekend we get a couple as LA and Chivas square off, followed up by Vancouver hosting Portland. Having these sorts of games in the middle of a playoff push is always interesting to see. Games this time of year are more physical as it is due to the heated nature of a playoff run that adding a rivalry element to it will likely just add more fuel to the fire.
Out of those two games, the desperate teams are those hosting the games, Vancouver and LA. The Galaxy know that they cannot afford to drop another game here after last weekends loss to Portland. Vancouver knows the same thing as well, as their time is running out on the season here.
3. Seattle’s games in hand, the good and bad. Most teams have three or four games left on the regular season while a team like Seattle has five to deal with in the month of October. The weird unbalanced schedule is to be blamed for that. The Sounders sit a point back of the Supporters’ Shield race and in some way that trophy is really their’s to lose here. They stand the best chance at winning it due to the home games that they have left. This weekend’s game in Colorado, however, could be tricky.
But are those extra games to deal with a bad thing? In a way, they are. While teams have more time to get ready for their next game, the Sounders have a couple of quick back-to-back games coming up on the schedule that could cause problems. The depth is good there for Sigi Schmid but at this point in the season, you don’t want to wear players out any more than you need to. You have to wonder if Seattle will be fresh going into the playoffs.
Chicago Fire at D.C. United – A desperate team playing at a team coming off a big upset trophy win. Yeah, I’ll go with who is desperate here.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 2, D.C. 1
Montreal Impact at Houston Dynamo – Clever marketing by the Dynamo to get their fans to beat the Impact in FIFA this week. It won’t matter on the field what their fans did in a video game though. Both teams need points, Houston may be the more desperate of the two here. I like the Dynamo at home more than I like the Impact on the road too.
WVH Prediction: Houston 2, Montreal 0
New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls – The Red Bulls are inching closer towards some history with the Shield trophy. New England would love to play spoiler in this one too. I think the Red Bulls will do enough to get three more points at home in this one though, they showed a spark to me last week against Seattle that is turning me into a believer of their’s here.
WVH Prediction: New York 1, New England 0
Sporting KC at Columbus Crew: Very tricky game for both sides. Columbus is red-hot after winning four out of five in September. SKC is a good road team though, and one that needs points to stay in the race for the top spot in the East. This one feels like a draw to me for some reason.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, SKC 1
Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union: TFC on the road with nothing left to play for other than being a spoiler. Eh, yeah, takes the Union.
WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 1, Toronto 0
FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake: Possibly one of the better matches on tap for the weekend, if not the best match. Dallas is still a talented team despite their shortcomings. RSL will be vent their frustrations for their USOC loss on Tuesday. Don’t be shocked if Dallas surprises RSL here in this one, I think they’ll keep it closer than some would imagine. But in the end RSL will win.
WVH Prediction: RSL 3, Dallas 2
Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids: The Rapids just need to take care of business at home and they’re playoff lives will be okay. They know that. Seattle knows what is at stake here though with the Shield and will be gunning for the three points in this one. This one feels like a draw in the end though, both defenses will do enough.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 1, Seattle 1
Chivas USA at LA Galaxy: Oh the SuperClasic. As much as I think Chivas will push LA around a little bit in this one, the Galaxy still own this series and will own this game.
WVH Prediction: LA 3, Chivas 1
Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps: A Cascadia Cup match to end the week and it should be a good one. Vancouver is a solid home team while we know the Timbers will do whatever they can to just get a point. I like Portland though in this one to win on the road. Vancouver hasn’t looked all that great lately and last week’s loss to a bunch of subs from RSL kind of proved that the Whitecaps don’t belong in the playoffs for me.
WVH Prediction: Portland 2, Vancouver 1