MLS Weekend Preview, Picks and Predictions
I am 3–4 so far in Week 21 of my MLS prediction.
Red Bulls and Crew are my favorites for this weekend, but all the games seem to be very close on the paper.
Saturday, August 13
In the last six games, Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales has two goals and four assists, including scoring one and setting up one in Sounders FC’s 2-1 win at Kansas City last weekend.
Alejandro Moreno returned to the Chivas USA starting lineup for the first time since June 11 and scored two goals in the 3-2 win at New England on Saturday night. They were his first MLS goals since scoring in back-to-back games April 23-30.
Chivas USA are playing the third game of a five-game road swing, but the final three are all against Western Conference clubs – at Seattle, Colorado and Portland.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIXL5fbsDFo[/youtube]
Sounders FC have won six of their last eight league games, and have lost just once in MLS play since the start of June. Their last three wins have all seen the winning goal scored after the 83rd minute; Sounders FC lead MLS with 13 goals scored in the final quarter-hour of games.
Both teams with impressive wins on the road last week. Scoring is not a problem for both teams, so we should see good game is Seattle with at least 3 goals.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals
Since being picked by Toronto FC following his release by FC Dallas, Peri Marosevic has scored two goals in two games, coming off the bench at halftime in each.
Toronto FC Designated Player Julian de Guzman scored his first MLS goal in 42 league appearances, a long-range strike vs. D.C. United.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZIff_lH83w[/youtube]
Alvaro Saborio scored for the sixth time in his last six games, converting a penalty to cap the 3-0 win against New York on Saturday.
Saborio scored twice to lead Real Salt Lake to a 3-1 win against Toronto FC in the first meeting this season, June 25 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Toronto FC escaped with lucky draw last week vs. D.C. United, when they played with man advantage for over 84 minutes. Even with 10 man RSL should be able to earn at least a point at BMO Field.
CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or RSL to WIN
Making his league debut, 16-year-old Home Grown Player Diego Fagundez won a penalty kick and then scored his first professional goal for New England in the 3-2 loss to Chivas USA.
The Revolution’s first Designated Player, 22-year-old Argentinean forward Milton Caraglio, made his MLS debut, starting and playing 62 minutes.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqX9jVpUt58[/youtube]
After Andy Gruenebaum recorded back-to-back shutouts in goal for the Crew, William Hesmer returned from injury to go between the posts for the 2-0 loss at Colorado last Friday.
The teams are meeting for the first time this season; they play in Foxborough on Oct. 15. The Revolution haven’t defeated Columbus at home since 2006.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83Kx_4XRfkE[/youtube]
Eddie Gaven is a key player for the Crew, and his injury in last game vs. Rapids, complicated things for coach Robert Warzycha. Columbus team will face some challenges with changes in their midline, however they should be good enough to win at home with struggling Revolution. However, keep in mind that Revolution are always unpredictable and can upset any host team in MLS at anytime. The Crew would love to stay on the top of the Eastern Conference and that’s enough motivational for young squad.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Crew to WIN
Dwayne De Rosario has scored all six goals D.C. United has scored since his arrival on June 27. All of the goals have come against his former clubs (1 vs. NY, 2 vs. SJ, 3 vs. TOR).
Eric Hassli scored two goals in a game for the fourth time this season, hitting for a brace in the 4-2 win against Chicago. The MLS record for multiple-goal games in a season is eight, set in 1998 by Stern John and 2000 by Mamadou Diallo.
De Rosario moved into a tie for fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, behind Landon Donovan (LA) and Thierry Henry (NY) with 10 and Hassli (VAN) with nine.
Called into the U.S. national team for the first time for this week’s friendly vs. Mexico, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid will miss the Vancouver match after he was sent off after just seven minutes vs. Toronto.
Whitecaps proved they can score goals, but in Washington they will face totally different and way more disciplined defensive line than last Sunday vs. Fire. Key player in United defense is Brandon McDonald, who played only 69 minutes last week vs. TFC, and was subbed due to hamstring injury. Coach Ben Olsen sure need him, if Brandon McDonald is out expect high scoring game, but even with him on the field we should see at least 3 goals.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals.
Since the start of May, the Red Bulls have won just twice in 17 league games (2-5-10), they are winless in five league games.
Since the start of the season, the Fire have won just twice in 22 league games (2-7-13); they are winless in their eight MLS contests.
Recent acquisition Frank Rost had to come off at halftime of the Red Bulls’ 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake over the weekend, suffering a thigh injury. Rost had conceded eight goals in the previous 225 minutes in MLS play before Bouna Coundoul came on in his place.
Sebastian Grazzini recorded his first MLS assist in his second league game, setting Dominic Oduro’s team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 4-2 loss at Vancouver.
It’s really hard to imagine Red Bulls not winning this one, this also could be high scoring game. If I have to pick between over and New York to win, but for me more convincing sounds Red Bulls win.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Red Bulls to WIN
Marvin Chavez continued his hot streak, having scored all four goals FC Dallas have tallied over the last three games after opening the scoring in the 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy.
Making his FCD debut after being acquired from Toronto FC, Maicon Santos partnered Chavez up top and recorded his first assist on his goal.
Although he has not scored this season – after leading Union with 14 goals a year ago – Sebastien Le Toux has eight assists on the season, tied for third in MLS, after setting up Jack McInerney’s goal vs. Houston. David Beckham (LA) and Brad Davis (HOU) are tied for the league lead with 10 assists.
Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo scored as FC Dallas claimed a 2-0 victory when the clubs first met this season, May 14 at Pizza Hut Park.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ7GwuM_058[/youtube]
Brek Shea showed to all of us what he can do last Wednesday with USMNT against Mexico. Good things for FC Dallas Shea played awesome and only little over 30 minutes, and no travel problems for him since his club is playing Philadelphia. Union signed Freddy Adu, but I am not sold that he will make huge impact.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mShMX9lhZr4[/youtube]
I do not see how FC Dallas can lose this game, they feeling really well on East Coast and they should be able to get at least a point at PPL Park
CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or FC Dallas to WIN
Despite coming back for a 1-1 draw with Portland last weekend, the Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to 10 games, matching the club record set Sept. 8, 2004 – April 16, 2005.
Second-year defender Steven Beitashour moved into the team lead with his fourth assist – a picture-perfect cross from the right touchline to Alan Gordon on Saturday.
While he did not score after netting four goals in the previous three games, Rapids striker Sanna Nyassi did set up front-line partner Omar Cummings for his first goal since April 30, in the 2-0 win vs. Columbus.
The Rapids haven’t won in San Jose since a 2-1 win on Aug. 30, 2003. The Quakes have won three of the seven meetings since in northern California, with four draws.
Another draw at Buck Shaw Stadium is very possible. The Earthquakes fans have been waiting for the win for a while, and this might sound crazy optimistic for them but I do believe that Frank Yallop team will find the way to beat MLS Champs. Why? Simon Dawkins is getting better, he may not start vs. Rapids, but he is actually perfect from the bench. I do expect Earthquakes win and Dawkins if not score, at least participate in one of the goals.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Earthquakes to WIN
Sunday, August 14
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m. (Galavisión)
Back in the starting lineup for a second consecutive match after coming off the bench for five straight games, Portland’s Kenny Cooper scored his first goal since April 30 in the 1-1 draw at San Jose.
Honduras international Carlo Costly, signed just before the match, came off the bench for the final half-hour for his MLS debut in the Dynamo’s 1-1 draw with Philadelphia.
Defensive anchor Geoff Cameron pulled into the Dynamo team lead with his fourth goal in the Philadelphia match, level with strikers Will Bruin and Cam Weaver.
The clubs are meeting for the first time. The return match is scheduled for Oct. 14 at Jeld-Wen Field.
Both coaches Dominic Kinnear and John Spencer are close friends, but both teams need points. Heat and humidity should help Dynamo get 3 points.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Dynamo to WIN