- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 18, 2014
- 0 Comments
- 2014 MLS Season, 2014 Week 7
It has been a wild week around the league with MLS expanding to Atlanta, big youth tournaments in Dallas, and a whole lot more. Time to gear up for the weekend.
1. Conference battles this weekend. Out of the nine games on Saturday, only one is a battle between Eastern and Western conference teams. That means the rest are conference matches that in the long run will go a long ways in determining the ever important playoffs. Sure, it is April but who says games in April don’t have an impact? I look at Philadelphia and Houston for one instance. That is a game that down the road could have a lot more meaning if those two teams are tied in October and are looking for positioning into the playoffs.
Okay, so maybe I am getting a head of myself here but I do see some value in winning in April. As the league continues to grow, I think the getting hot late mentality that we’ve seen over the years in this league will fade away some.
2. Winless group hoping to follow NY. New York entered the week with a winless mark. They came out of their Wednesday clash with three points for the first time in 2014, but it wasn’t pretty either. So can Portland, Montreal, Chicago and San Jose follow suit this weekend? All have tough matches to deal with and only one of them are at home too (Chicago). It is certainly possible we head into the final week of April with at least one or two of these teams with a winless record.
3. LA-Vancouver round two. Gosh, I hate seeing schedules like this. For the second time this season, the LA Galaxy have a home and away series within a short span with a conference rival. Earlier in the year it was with Salt Lake, now it is with Vancouver. One thing we’ve seen from these early double dips is that the second game ends up being a bit clunky in how both teams approach it. It is partly due to the familiarity between both sides. I’m hopeful that the second meeting this weekend won’t be the case between these two clubs. Vancouver has been a big surprise for the most part in how they approach the game under Carl Robinson.
Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union – The Union lost earlier this week in New York, so it will be interesting to see how they respond at home this weekend against a Houston squad that has looked decent at times this season. The midfield battle will be key in this one and I have to give that edge to Philadelphia right now. As much as I like what Dominic Kinnear’s team has in Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis, I am really intrigued by Philadelphia’s reboot in the midfield.
WVH Prediction: Philadelphia 2, Houston 1
New England Revolution at Chicago Fire – The loss of Jose Goncalves is a big one for New England but I’m still not convinced the Fire have enough juice up front outside of Mike Magee to really make some noise this season. But out of all the winless teams, I think the Fire have the best shot to end that streak this weekend.
WVH Prediction: Chicago 1, New England 0
San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids – Are the Rapids for real here? That is a massive question to ask but one that I’ve been pondering a lot more lately. I love what Pablo Mastroeni has done with that group and Dillon Powers has entered into a good groove in the midfield as the team’s creator. San Jose is winless and on the road, which to me is a bad recipe for them as their injury list up top isn’t helping matters out. I do think Chris Wondolowski will get a goal but I see the Rapids coming away with three more points.
WVH Prediction: Colorado 2, San Jose 1
LA Galaxy at Vancouver Whitecaps – LA got the best of Vancouver last week thanks to Robbie Keane. But the bigger watch continues to be on Landon Donovan and his quest for goal number 135. I think he’ll have to wait another week but I do think the Galaxy get enough from him and Keane to leave Canada with a point.
WVH Prediction: Vancouver 1, LA 1
D.C. United at Columbus Crew – United are on a two game winning streak. Yes, you read that correctly. But I think it all ends here this weekend against a Crew team that is hungry to prove themselves here. Gregg Berhalter’s squad hasn’t looked great in the last couple weeks but I see them bouncing back this weekend at home in front of their massive supporters (who killed it this weekend with their welcome to Atlanta).
WVH Prediction: Columbus 2, D.C. 1
Toronto FC at FC Dallas – How Dallas responds to their first loss will be interesting to see in this one. Toronto will still be without Jermain Defoe but if Michael Bradley plays he will be a big boost to this club (so will Jonathan Osorio). I think in the end though Dallas picks up the points in this one at home. Blas Perez will be back and ready to go in this one after two weeks off. I bet he is hungry for a goal.
WVH Prediction: Dallas 2, Toronto 1
Montreal Impact at Sporting KC – Montreal is always an interesting matchup for Sporting but the Impact are one of the winless bunch here. SKC has quietly continued to be the team that I thought they were all along here this season. Good when they need to be but not too flashy. They’ll get just enough once again in this one to come away with three more points.
WVH Prediction: SKC 2, Montreal 0
Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake – A big Western Conference showdown here this weekend, one that is my game of the week. Portland continues to baffle me as I thought last week they would have taken their frustrations out on Chivas USA at home. Instead, they didn’t. A 1-1 draw left me to see what I already knew, their defense is so suspect that anyone will score on them. Salt Lake won’t run away with this one but they have enough fire power up front to give that Timber’s defense fits.
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, Portland 0
Seattle Sounders FC at Chivas USA – Another road game for Clint Dempsey and the Sounders. But if I were a Seattle fan I wouldn’t be too concerned with this one. As good as Chivas has looked this season, Seattle is a tough matchup for the Goats. Dempsey is a guy they’ll struggle to cover in the final third and I think we’ll also see Obafemi Martins do a backflip in this one.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Chivas 0