2013 MLS Season, Week 34: Weekend Outlook

2013 MLS Season, Week 34: Weekend Outlook

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 18, 2013
  • 0 Comments
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 34, Features
Can Portland hold off RSL? (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)

Can Portland hold off RSL? (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)

Two weeks to go in the regular season folks. Buckle up folks because this is sure to be a bumpy ride.

1. Eight can clinch. The remaining eight playoff spots can be clinched this weekend. But boy do they come with a load of ‘ifs’ out there. Team A has to beat Team B along with Teams C and D losing or tying their games. And so on and so on.

In a small way I want to set the under/over line at 4 for number of teams that clinch berths this weekend. A lot of teams that are in the running are playing one another this weekend so I think we’ll either break even or go just slightly above that line. But I would be surprised to see all eight clinch this weekend. 

2. Shield race coming down to the wire. The Supporters’ Shield race may be one of the best we’ve ever seen. No one has run away with it this year like we’ve seen in the past few years. Five teams are in contention for it right now and all still have a good chance with two games to go here.

My money right now on this race is with Kansas City or Portland. I feel both have the best shot here with the remaining two games left. Each has a tough one but they both are playing well enough at the moment to do it. New York also has a good chance but they need to win out in their final two to clinch their club’s first significant trophy. I just have my doubts with them playing in Houston this weekend against a Dynamo team that is hitting their stride.

3. Golden Boot race. Just like the other races above, the Golden Boot race will come down to the final two weeks as well. Chicago’s Mike Magee and Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio each have 19 goals on the season. But we can’t sleep on Vancouver’s Camilo here either. The Whitecaps have two games left against the Colorado Rapids, not an easy stretch by any means but Camilo has shown an ability this season to just score goals out of nowhere.

My gut tells me to go with Magee here though. After seeing him play in person last weekend when Chicago downed Dallas, he has just a super natural ability in whatever way it is to go out and get a goal. Oh yeah, and the Fire host Toronto tomorrow. So there is that as well.

Friday

D.C. United at Sporting KC: Time to make sure Sporting gets things in line for the playoffs here. Three points or bust in their home finale is the only way to go here. United would love to play spoiler and could but I’m not banking on that.

WVH Prediction: SKC 2, DCU 0

Saturday

Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact: Big time game for both sides. Montreal has not looked good in recent weeks and their loss on Wednesday in LA certainly didn’t help matters out. The short rest and cross country travel also add another element to this game for them. I think the Union can win this one but something tells me they’ll fall short of that.

WVH Prediction: Montreal 1, Philadelphia 1

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas: Can Seattle show up again here before the playoffs? It is a fair and honest question. Dallas is done for the year, that we know. How will Schellas Hyndman handle what should be his final two games will be the story here for them. I think this one ends level though, Seattle wakes up late and leaves with a draw.

WVH Prediction: Dallas 1, Seattle 1

Vancouver Whitecaps at Colorado Rapids: Who’s idea was it to have these two clubs play against one another in the final two weeks of the season? I don’t get it. Oh well, the story here is for the Rapids to just continue to get points. Vancouver needs them more desperately than they do. But I like the Rapids at home, they’ve shown enough to me lately that they have what it takes to be a very dangerous team.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 2, Vancouver 1

Columbus Crew at New England Revolution: The chances for the Crew are so small right now. Two wins and then some will get them in but it is a long shot. I think their dream dashes away though this weekend against a hungrier New England side. I see the Revs rallying around the injury of Saer Sene and pushing towards a playoff spot.

WVH Prediction: New England 2, Columbus 0

Toronto FC at Chicago Fire: The Fire just need to continue what they did last weekend in Dallas in the first half of that game, dominate possession and chances. Toronto’s defense is weak and the Fire’s offense is clicking right now.

WVH Prediction: Chicago 3, Toronto 1

Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers: It is a shame this one isn’t on national TV. The Shield race may be decided in this match. Portland has shown a lot lately that proves they are a worthy contender here. Also, RSL will be without Javier Morales due to a yellow card accumulation. That is huge. Without him, RSL won’t have the same flow to their attack.

WVH Prediction: Portland 2, RSL 1

Sunday

New York Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo: This game screams trouble for the Red Bulls to me. As much as I kind of want the Red Bulls to win the Shield, I just think going to Houston right now will give them fits (though it will give them a glimpse of what the first round of the playoffs will be like).

WVH Prediction: Houston 2, New York 1

San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy: LA got it done on Wednesday with the kids and hope that by Sunday the big guns will be ready to go. San Jose still has an outside shot of getting into the playoffs with a win here but I just don’t see it happening for them. LA get the job done late, spoiling any Goonie magic.

WVH Prediction: LA 2, San Jose 1

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