- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 14, 2014
- 2 Comments
- 2014 MLS Season, 2014 Week 2
This week got away from me a bit and we’re at the weekend already. Crazy.
Time to look at what we have ahead here in MLS this weekend. Plenty of games, including one big one again in Seattle.
1. TFC Project. This is the first weekend that we really get to see this new Toronto FC lineup. Just based on some projected lineups that are floating out there, this will be a very strong group. I still worry about that defense, just like most people do around the league. That is the biggest x-factor going on this team. Still, with Michael Bradley clogging up the middle of the park, there is no reason for them not to improve – even just the slightest – this season.
The Reds are going to be without one of their DPs this weekend though, as Brazilian striker Gilberto did not travel to Seattle for the weekend encounter with the Sounders. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing just yet.
2. CCL hangover. It feels like an annual thing but how soon will we start seeing some effects of the CONACAF Champions League on San Jose, LA and Sporting KC? I would imagine as soon as this week or next week. I look at a team like SKC, they played in Seattle last Saturday, came home and played Wednesday in the CCL and will play again at home this weekend against FC Dallas. Oh, and they’ll have to travel to Mexico next week? Ouch. That is a tough turnaround for anyone. Four games in a week and a half.
I wish these three the best but I’m not entirely sold that any of them did enough in their opening legs this past week at home. Going to Mexico is never easy for any MLS team and is a one goal advantage in the second leg of a series really an advantage?
3. Just how good is Vancouver? That appears to be one of the biggest questions on everybody’s mind going into this weekend. The midfield looked better than I expected, the attack was fluid and exciting and most importantly the defense was strong. But one thing we know about this Whitecaps team in MLS is that they’ve been very hit or miss over the years. They’re red hot for a game or two but then go cold for a few weeks only to get red hot again. Carl Robinson’s team look great last week against New York but it was only Week 1.
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union – I don’t know if there was a team that didn’t look worse in Week 1 than the Revs did. Injuries in the back were apparent and I don’t like their chances on the road again this weekend, especially against a very underrated Union team.
WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, New England 0
Colorado Rapids at New York Red Bulls – What will the Rapids bring to the table under Pablo Mastroeni? Time to find out. The thing I worry about for them in this match is facing a New York team that had their worst game in a while last week. I expect better out of New York at home.
WVH Prediction: NY 2, Colorado 0
Toronto FC at Seattle Sounders FC – I think this will be another close game for Seattle at home. But in the end the Sounders will come up with a way to beat down this Toronto side that is still very much a mystery.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, Toronto 0
Montreal Impact at Houston Dynamo – The Impact are looking to erase the ugliness of their last trip to Houston here. At least the bar is set really low for them to improve upon that trip. Houston proved in the opening week that they are going to still be a very tough team to beat at home, this week will be no different.
WVH Prediction: Houston 3, Montreal 1
FC Dallas at Sporting KC – Just how tired will SKC be for this match? Peter Vermes will have to get creative with his lineup here but they are still a tough matchup for FCD. Pareja has to hope that his fast-paced attack will match up well with SKC’s pressure. I think we’ll see goals and some sloppy defense.
WVH Prediction: SKC 2, FCD 2
San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake – Tough match for San Jose in between their CCL quarterfinal dates. RSL proved last week that there shouldn’t be that much of a drop off in their play this season under Jeff Cassar. I think playing at home will certainly help their case this weekend as well.
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, SJ 1
Chicago Fire at Portland Timbers – Could be a tricky match for the Timbers on the road. Chicago did not look great in the first week against Chivas
but I tend to think they’re a better home team anyways(Correction, as pointed out this is a home game for Portland, I read the schedule wrong, my bad). Portland looked decent in the first week but there is still plenty of room to grow here. I think this one will end level.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, Portland 1
Vancouver Whitecaps at Chivas USA – Just how good are both of these teams really? I didn’t touch on Chivas above because I didn’t get to catch much of their win over Chicago. But still, the players are in place for both squads to be very dangerous in the West. This could make for a fun game but I think the Caps will come out on top in this one.
WVH Prediction: Vancouver 3, Chivas 2