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MLS Weekend – Preview, Picks and Predictions

MLS Weekend – Preview, Picks and Predictions

New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez, will try to stop Juninho and Los Angeles Galaxy. PHOTO Michael Janosz / ISIPhotos.com

New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez, will try to stop Juninho and Los Angeles Galaxy. PHOTO Michael Janosz / ISIPhotos.com

MLS is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world. This was not good week to pick the winner or predict the score in Major League Soccer. Bookies made fortune last weekend. For first time ever 3 MLS matches played is the same day ended scoreless, but even with all these circumstances I still managed to be 46 this week in my predictions, my record after 8 weeks of 2011 MLS season is 3629 (accuracy 53.52 %).

My quick Preview, Picks and Prediction for midweek games is and for weekend matches usually published here about 16-24 hours before the game.
This week four teams will travel to face an opponent three time zones away. If recent form holds, that will mean another bonanza for home teams, which have dominated such games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau home teams hosting visitors from the other coast have posted a 10-0-9 record to date in 2011, outscoring the road teams by nearly a 3-to-1 margin (28-10). That includes four wins in four matches last Saturday when Philadelphia and Columbus defeated San Jose and Vancouver, respectively, while Seattle and Chivas USA represented for the Pacific time zone with victories over Toronto FC and New England.
This weekend we have three time-zone changing matches Philadelphia at Portland on Friday, and Seattle at Columbus and New York at LA Galaxy on Saturday.
Friday, May 6

Portland Timbers vs Philadelphia Union 1-0

Fiesta Columbiana at Jeld-Wen Stadium could be the first match that “Timber Joey” will not start his famous chain saw. Low scoring game is anticipated, so UNDER 3 goals is my prediction, but if I have to pick the winner, I will go with Timbers. Due to last minute update on Danny Califf absense I’m changing my initial prediction to 1 Portland Timbers to WIN.
CHRIS’S PICK: 1 Timbers to WIN
Saturday, May 7

Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA 1-0

Chivas USA is led by head coach Robin Fraser, who spent four years assisting Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake saw their league unbeaten streak snapped at 18 games in the 1-0 loss to Portland, one game shy of the all-time league record set previously by Columbus (2004-05) and FC Dallas (2010). RSL had last lost a league game last July 17, 2-0 at FC Dallas.
With a goal and two assists, Alejandro Moreno played a part in all three Chivas USA goals vs. New England. He’s been involved in five of Chivas USA’s eight goals on the season.
Chivas USA have now won back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 3-10, 2009. Their current five-game unbeaten string is the club’s longest since a six-game streak that included those wins in 2009.
Jason Kreis and Robin Fraser friendship wont matter during the game, and game against Chivas USA is a good occasion to get win and confidence back for solid and one of the best in the league RSL team.

Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo 2-1

Brad Davis took over the MLS assist lead with six, after setting up two goals in Houston’s 4-1 win against D.C. United. It was Davis’s 10th career multiple-assist game; he had three in the Dynamo’s 3-1 win vs. Vancouver on April 10.
Toronto FC start the week with the second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship against FC Edmonton at BMO Field. TFC won last week’s first leg 3-0 in Edmonton; Toronto has won the Voyageurs’ Cup each of the last two seasons.
Toronto FC saw their league winless streak extended to six games and were shut out for a third time in the last four in the 3-0 loss at Seattle, a defeat defender Dan Gargan called “embarrassing” and head coach Aron Winter called “shameful.”
The Dynamo have never won at BMO Field. Toronto FC had recorded a victory in first meeting on the shores of Lake Ontario, before the teams played to three consecutive 1-1 draws.
CHRIS’S PICK: 2 Dynamo to WIN

Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders FC 1-1

The Crew allowed their first goal in 339 minutes of play at Crew Stadium this season, but still held on for a 2-1 win Saturday against Vancouver.
Venezuelan striker Emilio Renteria has scored all three of his goals this season in the last two games, including netting the Crew’s third penalty kick (in seven total goals) this season.
Sounders FC were shutout in their opening two games to start the season; they then scored 10 over the next six in reeling off a six-game unbeaten run.
Sounders FC are unbeaten in five all-time meetings with the Crew, including victories in both previous encounters at Crew Stadium. Seattle also won the U.S. Open Cup Final against Columbus last year.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha is winless against his former boss Sigi Schmid,  but I gotta feeling that’s about to change.
CHRIS’s PICK 1 Crew to WIN

D.C. United vs. FC Dallas 0-0

Colombian youth international Fabian Castillo scored his first MLS goal, giving FC Dallas the lead on their way to a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy.
After scoring, Castillo ran over to the FC Dallas bench and held aloft the jersey of countryman and teammate David Ferreira, who is out for the season with a broken leg.
After conceding four goals in back-to-back losses to New York and Houston (and allowing that many for a third time in 2011), United have allowed the most goals in MLS this season, entering Wednesday’s matches.
FC Dallas won both league meetings a year ago, a 1-0 win at Pizza Hut Park in May and a 3-1 win at RFK Stadium in August. It was FCD’s first win in Washington since 2005.
Let’s face it, FC Dallas got lucky at home vs. Galaxy after wet game, but United looked impressive against Sounders on Wednesday and due Josh Wolff – Charlie Davies seem to be on fire. United should be able to win at home and I also expect more than 2 goals in this game.

New England Revolution vs. Colorado Rapids 0-0

Third-year goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth stepped in between the posts for Matt Reis for a third time this season, in the 3-0 Saturday at Chivas USA. Reis sat out with a shoulder sprain. The Revs are still looking for their first shutout in 2011, as are Chicago and Kansas City.
Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber, in his first professional club match in his hometown of Los Angeles was unable to make Chivas USA regret its decision to pass on him in the League’s allocation ranking.
Rapids forward Andre Akpan makes a homecoming of sorts; he starred at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. before going 22nd overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft In just his third league appearance, Akpan scored his first professional goal in the 1-1 draw with Chicago.
The Revolution haven’t defeated Colorado since 2007, a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium. The Rapids have won three of the six meetings since (with three draws), including victories in both games last season.
Rapids Wednesday’s win in Houston will play confidence builder role for Gary Smith team and I don’t see Colorado team loosing at Foxboro.
CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or Rapids WIN

Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 0-0

Omar Salgado, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 SuperDraft, scored his first professional goal in the 2-1 loss to Columbus. At 17, Salgado is eighth-youngest player in MLS history to score.
Moving into a deeper-lying central midfield role against Colorado, Gastón Puerari collected his second assist in MLS (to go with one goal).
Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos started Corben Bone and Dan Paladini in the center of midfield against Colorado – the first appearance for each this season. The two had combined for six career starts in MLS before the game.
Whitecaps FC come into the game after Wednesday’s second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal against the Montréal Impact. Vancouver won the first leg 1-0 at Stade Saputo in Montréal.
Chicago Fire should be able to win, but Vancouver team knows how to score which make me anticipating more than 2 goals at Toyota Park on Saturday.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls 1-1

Marquee names dot the rosters of the two conference-leading clubs – Angel, Beckham & Donovan for LA; Henry, Marquez and De Rosario for New York. Angel faces the Red Bulls for the first time since they let him go despite his team-high 13 goals in 2010.
The Red Bulls have now gone 292 minutes without conceding a goal – the second-longest shutout streak in MLS this season – while having scored eight goals in that time.
The Red Bulls’ strike force has provided all the firepower in their three-game winning streak. Luke Rodgers has scored three goals in the last three games; Thierry Henry also has three goals in that time (along with three assists), while Juan Agudelo has one.
Landon Donovan has scored three goals in the last two games for the Galaxy, but this could be difficult to continue against Red Bulls.
Based on last Galaxy game vs. FC Dallas, they played in heavy rain and David Beckham was flying directly to Texas from Royal Wedding, but they didn’t impressed anybody. Red Bulls seem to have winning machine, their powerful attack with Thierry Henry, Dwayne De Rosario and Luke Rodgers and young star Juan Agudelo are not easy to stop.
Red Bulls may have jetlag in California, but last time they visited The Home Deport Center, they actually felt very comfortable and Hans Backe sure remembers that.
CHRIS’S PICK Draw or Red Bulls WIN

CHRIS’s PICKS: in 2011 season 3833 (accuracy 53.52 %)

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For the latest updates follow Chris Reiko on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko

Chris Reiko was 9782 in entire 2010 MLS season (accuracy 54.19 %) in picking winner or OVER / UNDER results.

Wednesday,May 4

D.C. United vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2-1

CHRIS’S PICK: 2 Sounders to WIN

Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids 1-2

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Dynamo  to WIN

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