MLS weekend preview: August 13-14

By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood*Games to watch ^Games not to watch
All times Pacific, as usual

Saturday

Seattle (6-3-2 at home) v Chivas USA (3-4-4 away). (1 p.m.) Seattle returns home after ending Kansas City’s 14-match unbeaten streak with a late 2-1 win last week and are currently in third place in the West. A win in this match, couple with a Dallas draw or loss, would see Seattle pull into second, four points behind the Galaxy. Chivas won at New England and have only lost once once in their last seven matches. As well as Chivas is playing, it’s hard to see them winning in Seattle. Prediction: Seattle 2-0

Toronto (3-5-4) v Real Salt Lake (2-3-3). (4 p.m.) Toronto somehow contrived to draw at DC United despite being a man up for 83 minutes and leading after 86 minutes. This was mostly due to the fact that Andy Iro is my new nominee as the worst defender in the league. Seriously, the way Toronto is playing, it doesn’t seem to matter who is playing defense, any team can score on them. With that said, their attacking play lately has certainly been improved. Unfortunately, they have to beat one of the league’s better teams, possibly without keeper Sebastian Freis. Real Salt Lake ended their 2-match losing streak by thumping terrible New York in Salt Lake City. They’re not as good away from home, but they should have enough to beat Toronto, though they’ll have to do it without Ned Grabavoy and possibly Jamison Olave. Prediction: Real Salt Lake 2-1

New York (5-4-2) v Chicago (1-6-5). (4:30 p.m.) New York are having a nightmare season where, despite having one of the best rosters in the league – and possibly the best player in Thierry Henry – they have somehow contrived to pick up only 15 points from their last 16 matches. In Chicago, they’re playing a team that has two wins on the entire season, and none since June 12. Their last match was an awful 4-2 loss to Vancouver, and Yamith Cuesta did his best Andy Iro impersonation. As bad as New York has been, this should be about as easy as it gets. Prediction: New York 3-0

DC United (2-6-3) v Vancouver (0-4-8). (4:30 p.m.) United escaped with a draw against Toronto, though that was due more to Toronto’s incompetence than anything they did – though Dwayne De Rosario had a great match. The big concern for United is that backup goalkeeper Sam Cronin is starting this game, and he was very poor against Toronto. Vancouver finally won another game, thumping Chicago. Eric Hassli scored twice for the ‘Caps, and the team was great in attack, though their defense is still a bit shaky. Prediction: United 2-1

Columbus (6-4-1) v New England (1-5-6). (4:30 p.m.) Fun fact: Columbus’s lone home loss is to Chicago. Who would have thought? The team is certainly playing better, and Robbie Rogers looks like a player reborn after sucking for half the year. They will be playing without Eddie Gaven, which is a bit of a loss. New England are having a forgettable season, though they have been a little better on the road lately. Prediction: Columbus 1-0

Philadelphia (5-5-1) v FC Dallas (4-3-4). (5 p.m.) Philadelphia welcomed in new signing Freddy Adu today. He will definitely improve an attack that has struggled recently, though you could argue some other teams could have used him more (namely, Chicago and Portland). Dallas got a disappointing performance from keeper Kevin Harttman, not for the first time this season, in losing at the Galaxy. A draw seems most likely in this match. Prediction: 1-1

San Jose (3-7-3) v Colorado (4-4-4). (7:30 p.m.) San Jose are attempting to give Vancouver, New England, Chicago and Toronto a run for the worst team of the year award. Their most recent match was a 1-1 draw at home with Portland, but they’ve only scored four goals in their last 10 matches and haven’t won any of them. They’ve especially missed Ryan Johnson and Steven Lenhart lately. Colorado have been in great form recently, beating Columbus, New York and Philadelphia and drawing with New England. Their main concern would be that they have a busy schedule the next two weeks. (5 matches) Prediction: Colorado 2-1

Sunday

Houston (6-3-3) v Portland (1-3-6). (6 p.m.) Houston are coming off with a late draw with Philadelphia. They have been decent at home, miserable on the road. They welcome new signing Carlo Costly, who should be a good fit for the MLS – something that’ll help a team missing Will Bruin. Portland haven’t had much success on the road, and it doesn’t figure to change with this match. They are undefeated in their last three matches. Prediction: Houston 3-1

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Posted on 2011/08/12, in America's game, Major League Soccer, Weekend picks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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