- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 11, 2014
- 0 Comments
- 2014 MLS Season, 2014 Week 6
After a wild and busy rivalry week in Major League Soccer, things may begin to settle down a bit as teams are finding their way into this season. We’re slowly inching our way into knowing what to expect each week out of all the clubs.
1. Can Dallas be beat? Their schedule so far has really allowed them to get off to this hot start through five games. Only two road games and now they have a two-game home stand against Seattle and Toronto. But the question must be asked, can they be beaten? Yes, and Seattle could be the club to do it with all the talent that the Sounders have up front in former FCD attacker Kenny Cooper, and Designated Players Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey.
I think the biggest thing I am looking at with this Dallas team is whether or not they can win a good game in a 11v11 situation. The last couple weeks they have been helped out by the official. If they beat the Sounders at full strength here, with no questionable calls and Mauro Diaz continues to shine the way he did in March…look out folks.
2. Atlantic Cup still matters. One of the bigger rivalries that got left out of last weekend’s fun was the old Atlantic Cup between D.C. and New York. There has been plenty of questions as to whether or not this rivalry still matters for teams and the league. Are you kidding me? It absolutely still matters. Ben Olsen needs some convincing wins still here in the early part of the season and New York just need to get going here. I fully expect this one to be more fun this year than it has been in the last couple of seasons.
3. Has Portland woken up? I think last week’s wild 4-4 draw certainly told us a thing or two about this Portland team. For one, they can score from anywhere at anytime with their main guys like Diego Valeri and Diego Chara. I think once they finally get their forwards clicking with the rest of the team and play the open game that Caleb Porter prefers that they play (which they did for spurts against Seattle last week with great success), then they will really be back to what we saw out of them last year. Getting a team like Chivas this weekend should give us a clue or three as to whether or not this Timbers side has what it takes to really get their mojo back or not.
Chicago Fire at Montreal Impact – I still feel like I need to see more out of the Fire here this season. I don’t know if it is the midfield that is lacking some punch or if it is just because Mike Magee hasn’t got going yet this season. Either way, they need to show some life here. Montreal on the other hand just needs a win to impress me here. Being at home and at the Olympic Stadium, they need to show me a thing or two here as well. But this one screams draw right now, both defenses aren’t where they need to be yet so some goals should come.
WVH Prediction: Montreal 2, Chicago 2
Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC – The Rapids are still one of the more intriguing clubs to watch this season. They’ve been bailed out by some penalty kicks in some games. But they’re still a team that can pressure you into mistakes. Toronto showed last week that they can win without some of their big guns and I think they do that again this weekend at home. Michael Bradley will be key once again.
WVH Prediction: Toronto 2, Colorado 1
Real Salt Lake at Philadelphia Union – I know I made a bigger deal about Dallas above but RSL is in that same ‘can they be beaten’ boat. This will be a good test as Philadelphia has a midfield that could pose some issues for Javier Morales and company. In the end, I still like what RSL can do and Alvaro Saborio should have a nice day in Philly against that Union defense. (BTW, RSL has never lost to Philly, take that for what it is worth)
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, Philadelphia 1
New York Red Bulls at D.C. United – Oh the Atlantic Cup. I fully expect New York to come out and run away with this one though. Thierry Henry is rested and ready to go. Jamison Olave is back and ready to go. That is more than enough for me to pick the road side in this one.
WVH Prediction: New York 3, D.C. 1
Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas – Possibly the game of the week here with two really strong sides squaring off. I think the midfield battle will be particularly interesting to see in this one. But this will really come down to whether or not Mauro Diaz can create in the attack for Dallas or if Clint Dempsey can run the show again for Seattle. I think both will but in the end we’re looking at a split decision.
WVH Prediction: FCD 2, Seattle 2
Vancouver Whitecaps at LA Galaxy – LA is searching for Landon Donovan’s career goal here and I think it comes this weekend. Vancouver has looked good this year but without Matias Laba in the middle of the park (stupid red card that he got last week), it will open up some spaces for the Galaxy to control this game.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, Vancouver 0
Chivas USA at Portland Timbers – If there was one team that looked the worst in Week 5, it was Chivas. Now they have to go against a hungry and angry (or hangry as my wife likes to call it) Timbers team on the road. Ouch bro. Ouch.
WVH Prediction: Portland 3, Chivas 0
Columbus Crew at San Jose Earthquakes – San Jose is rested here as they were off last week. Columbus has to show that they can be the same club that impressed through the first three games of the season here on the road. I like the Quakes chances being at home in this one as Chris Wondolowski gets rolling here.
WVH Prediction: San Jose 2, Columbus 1