- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 4, 2014
- 0 Comments
- 2014 MLS Season, 2014 Week 5
It is rivalry weekend in Major League Soccer. There are a handful of good games in that rivalry mix and one that appears to be on the edge of becoming a true rivalry in the league.
1. Cascadia 2014. In some ways I hate that rivalry weekend like this is so early in the season. Teams aren’t at their top form just yet or some players just haven’t hit their stride. With that being said, the Portland-Seattle rivalry is still the best that there is in MLS right now. Two teams that absolutely hate one another squaring off is always a headline grabber. It doesn’t matter that it is still very early in the season and that Portland has played so poorly so far this year. It also doesn’t matter that the Sounders have seen their share of stumbles this season as well.
The big thing in this one for me is to see exactly how the Timbers react to losing two straight on the road when they return home this weekend. At times they’ve looked good but so far this year they have really struggled when teams pin them back in their own defensive end. Seattle has the talent up front to do just that.
2. Texas Derby could be special. Let me put it this way, both teams are doing well this year so this one could be one for the ages. Oscar Pareja has his Dallas squad playing better than most have ever seen before in this early season and we all know what the Dynamo look like at BBVA Compass Stadium. This one will be physical in the very least though. Dallas is flying on all cylinders at the moment and getting a guy like Hendry Thomas back from suspension in time for this one is a big deal. Houston needs to find ways to get Brad Davis or Boneick Garcia the ball in space and allow them to create.
3. SKC-RSL turning into a rivalry? All the signs are slowly pointing in a direction that they are. The two MLS Cup participants from 2013 haven’t been shy about the rematch this weekend in Kansas City. While RSL’s true rival is Colorado based on the whole geography thing, it isn’t out of the question to think that the next best thing for them and their fans is SKC. Both support groups are proving that they want to travel more. So why can’t this be a big rivalry in MLS? Honestly, I am all for it.
Seattle Sounders FC at Portland Timbers: Rivalry games tend to bring the best and worst out in teams. I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the best out of either side this season so this one could just end up being a dog fight in the end. I think a draw in this first meeting sounds about right.
WVH Prediction: Portland 1, Seattle 1
New York Red Bulls at Montreal Impact: Could this be the game that the Impact finally make a positive breakthrough? Marco Di Vaio is still the main leading the pack and given how this one will be at the Olympic Stadium means it will limit who Mike Petke can/will start (that damn turf). A small part of me wants these two as rivals going forward and I think it is doable. This one really is a toss up in my mind which makes me lean towards a boring old draw.
WVH Prediction: Montreal 1, New York 1
Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire: I really don’t know what to think of this Chicago squad at the moment. Even more so after trading a veteran like Chris Rolfe away. I imagine Frank Yallop saw a good chance to help his salary cap out in that move and got rid of a guy that wasn’t really helping the bottom line both on and off the field. Anyways, the Fire need to show me something here but I think the Union’s midfield is too strong at the moment.
WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, Chicago 1
Toronto FC at Columbus Crew: Boy the Reds came back down to reality last weekend in Salt Lake huh? I don’t see how they get any worse than that but Columbus sure will push them towards it. I’ve really been impressed with the Crew so far this season, on both sides of the ball. Given that Toronto may not have some key players like Jermain Defoe and Jonathan Osorio for this one, tells me that the home side should have no issues winning this one.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, Toronto 0
Colorado Rapids at Vancouver Whitecaps: Two teams that I am still trying to wrap my head around in this early season square off at BC Place. The Caps have been very strong at home this season but we can’t count out the pesky Rapids one bit. They’ve found ways to frustrate teams left and right so far this season and I think they’ll push the Whitecaps more than any other side has so far at BC Place. In the end however I think this one ends level.
WVH Prediction: Vancouver 1, Colorado 1
New England Revolution at D.C. United: I hate to say it but this may be the one game that has me least interested in watching this weekend. I think United do make a bit of a breakthrough this weekend and secure some points.
WVH Prediction: D.C. 1, New England 0
FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo: The Texas Derby heats up for the only time in 2014 (outside of a potential USOC match). I think this one comes down to the midfield battle more than anything. If Dallas stops Garcia and Davis, they’ll find a way to win this one. On the same token, if Houston slows down Mauro Diaz, they may win this one. In the end, I think both sides are destined for a draw.
WVH Prediction: Houston 1, Dallas 1
Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC: This should be a fun rematch of sorts. Thankfully there won’t be ice and snow on the field this time around. Just like last December, this one will come down to who wins the battle in the middle of the park. I still tend to lean Sporting’s direction in that area but RSL does have the duo of Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman, which is still very good. The xfactor for me is seeing the growth of Dom Dwyer up front for SKC. I think he bags a late one to seal the win.
WVH Prediction: SKC 2, RSL 1
LA Galaxy at Chivas USA: The ol SuperClasico to finish off the weekend. I feel like I haven’t see the Galaxy play in a few weeks here. Chivas is coming off a couple losses where they did not look good at all. The thing about Wilmer Cabrera’s squad is they are fighters and they will certainly give it their all in this one. I just don’t think they have the talent to stay with LA.
WVH Prediction: LA 3, Chivas 1