- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 25, 2014
- 0 Comments
- 2014 MLS Season, 2014 Week 8
The final weekend of April is upon us. The week got started early once again this week with a midweek matchup that saw New York come out on top.
1. Dallas on the road. One thing we haven’t seen a ton of this season is FC Dallas on the road. In seven matches, Oscar Pareja’s squad has hit the road twice, with a win in Houston and a draw in Kansas City. In a small way those were two tough environments to get positive results out of, something this team struggled to do in 2013 away from Toyota Stadium. But can they keep it up? In their next eight matches, five of them, including Saturday’s visit to DC are on the road. There are still plenty of doubters of this FCD team out there but a few more positive results on the road will certainly turn the tide for those folks and make them believers of what Pareja is doing in Dallas.
2. Anyone in the East want to step up? Either it is injuries, poor play, lack of talent or whatever, but the Eastern Conference has not had the best of starts to the new season. Columbus has looked good at times but hasn’t been consistent enough in the last couple weeks to make me a believer just yet. Toronto is too banged up to discuss. Houston has stumbled badly in a few games this season. Up until the last two weeks, New York was starting to resemble a bit of a train wreck as well. Montreal, DC, New England, Chicago…yeah I won’t begin to go there. Philadelphia may be one of the most frustrating teams and then Sporting KC is quietly doing their thing as they defend their title.
For all the big moves made on this side of the table in the offseason, most of the teams still haven’t figured out where they stand two months into the season. At some point, things will have to pick up for some.
3. Can winless runs for four teams end? Right now Chicago, Montreal, San Jose and Portland all sit with a big fat zero in the win column. Two months into the season and no wins is a tough way to go about things, especially for a team like Portland that had all of those expectations placed upon them. With Chicago off this weekend, the best chance for one of these teams to end their winless run has to be either San Jose or Portland. The Quakes have a home match with struggling Chivas USA and Portland is facing a Houston team that just got their butts handed to them in New York on Wednesday. It has to happen at some point for these teams, so why not now?
Colorado Rapids at Seattle Sounders FC – A very intriguing game if you ask me. Colorado has quietly done some good things this season though I would suggest they still have some issues to work on in the attack before I can place them as one of the better teams in the West. Seattle has been very impressive these last couple weeks but hasn’t looked all that great at home this season. They need to turn it up and I think they will in this one. Seattle may be one of the most determined bunch in the league to get results at the moment.
WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Colorado 1
Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact – I guess in a way Montreal could get their first win this weekend as they are back at Stade Saputo. I just struggle to see it with how their entire team is playing at the moment. It isn’t just that the offense isn’t clicking or that the defense is leaking goals left and right. It is more that this entire team hasn’t really bought into what ever Frank Klopas is preaching to them. That being said, I’m taking a draw on this one. Philly will push for the road draw and could possible squeeze out a win too if they push hard enough.
WVH Prediction: Montreal 1, Philadelphia 1
FC Dallas at D.C. United – This could be one of the more underrated matches of the weekend. United are unbeaten in their last four matches and have been steadily improving each week here. Their veteran roster could give Dallas fits if they are able to slow down the speed on the wings and limit the amount of fouls that they commit in their defensive end. Dallas thrives on getting set pieces and will make the most of them. I think a good result for Dallas is a draw and they should be able to get that here.
WVH Prediction: DCU 1, FCD 1
New York Red Bulls at Columbus Crew – The Red Bulls typically do well against the Crew here but how they handle the double dip in one week is going to be interesting to see. They looked comfortable in their 4-0 win on Wednesday at home but I think the Crew will cause more issues for them in the defensive side of the field. Look for this one to be physical as well, but ultimately ending in a draw.
WVH Prediction: Columbus 1, New York 1
Sporting KC at New England Revolution – I’m still waiting for this New England team to impress me here. The talent is there for sure but SKC should find ways to frustrate them in the final third. Dom Dwyer looks like a player on the verge of really breaking out here and I think he bags another goal in this one.
WVH Prediction: Sporting KC 2, New England 1
Vancouver Whitecaps at Real Salt Lake – Can RSL maintain their unbeaten run here to begin the season? I think so with the way they play on both offense and defense here. As much as I have enjoyed Vancouver this season, their play on the road hasn’t been nearly good enough to write home about. Oh by the way, Nick Rimando earns another shutout.
WVH Prediction: RSL 2, Vancouver 0
Chivas USA at San Jose Earthquakes – The Goats have looked horrible in the last month or so of the season, which should bode well for the Quakes who are actually much better than their record suggests. I think San Jose comes away with three points and their season begins to pick up from here.
WVH Prediction: San Jose 3, Chivas 1
Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo – Two teams in need of points in a bad way here square off on Sunday. Portland may be the hungrier team in this one as they know they need three points in the worst possible way here. I’m going out on a limb here and say they get their first win on the road.
WVH Prediction: Portland 1, Houston 0