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MLS Weekend 23 – Preview, Picks and Predictions

MLS Weekend 23 – Preview, Picks and Predictions


Columbus Crew and head coach Robert Warzycha is looking high ahead of Saturday match vs Union. PHOTO Chris Reiko

Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha extended his HAPPY BIRTHDAY celebration with impressive 2-1 victory vs vice-leader Philadelphia Union. PHOTO Chris Reiko

Including midweek games, I finished 6-6  Week 23 with my MLS predictions.

My record in 2011 MLS season 119-110 (accuracy 51.96 %). For LIVE time MLS updates follow me on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko

My quick Preview, Picks and Prediction for midweek games and for weekend matches usually published here about 16-24 hours before the game.

Sunday, August 21

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC 2-0

After putting out his team in an unfamiliar 3-4-3 tactical scheme, TFC coach Aron Winter saw his team’s six-game winless streak come to an end in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake.

Making his first MLS start, 18-year-old Toronto FC Academy graduate Matt Stinson was credited with an assist on Joao Plata’s goal in TFC’s win vs. RSL.

Chicago’s Dominic Oduro celebrated his birthday in style Saturday, scoring his career-best and team leading seventh goal of the season in the draw vs. New York.

Goals by the Fire’s Marco Pappa and Orr Barouch overcame strikes from TFC’s Joao Plata and Maicon Santos, as the teams reached a 2-2 result in their first meeting this year on May 14 at BMO Field.

Absolutely must win for Chicago Fire, but Toronto is getting better and better every week. Win over RSL and road victory in Panama in CONCACAF Champions League should work as big confidence booster for the Reds.

I may change this prediction if I learn more about respective lineups rotations, but so far I don’t see Toronto FC loosing at Toyota Park on Sunday.

CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or Toronto FC WIN

Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United 1-0

The visit by United will be the sixth game in Sporting’s nine-game homestand. SKC does not play on the road until their Sept. 17 trip to Real Salt Lake.

Chris Pontius scored two goals in a game for the second time this season in the 4-0 win against Vancouver, also doing it on April 16 vs. Toronto. He has three multiple-goal games in his career.

The visiting team has not won in the series since 2007, when both D.C. and Kansas City won at the other’s stadium. The teams split their two meetings last season.

This is going to be big challenge for United and their defensive line. Sunday evening nice atmosphere at Livestrong Park, I think we should see at least 3 goals.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals

Saturday, August 20

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union 2-1

 The Crew extended their lead ahead of Philadelphia to three points atop the Eastern Conference with their win against New England, the club’s third victory in the last four games.

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Sebastien Le Toux scored twice from the penalty spot in the 2-2 draw with FC Dallas. Le Toux was the leading scorer for Union a year ago with 14 goals; all three of Le Toux’s goals this year have been penalties.

Freddy Adu made his Philadelphia Union debut the day after signing with the club, starting and playing 62 minutes in an underneath striker role.

The Crew won both meetings in the Union’s inaugural season last year, a 2-1 win at PPL Park and a 3-1 win at Crew Stadium, and I don’t see how Peter Nowak team can win on this Saturday

Both coaches are from Poland, but this does not mean much, but both teams extremely competitive and  we should see good game with at least 3 goals. If you ask me to pick the winner I will go with Crew, but OVER 2 goals seems to safe bet.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals

 

New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls 2-2

Thierry Henry took over the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his 12th goal of the season, a curling long-range effort in the 2-2 draw with Chicago.

Henry’s last two goals have both come on strikes from outside the penalty area. He has three goals from distance this season.

League pool goalkeeper Chris Konopka became the fifth goalkeeper to start a game for the Red Bulls when he played vs. Chicago. Five teams in MLS history have used five different goalkeepers in one season; the most recent was Toronto FC in 2008.

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An own goal and a Thierry Henry strike sent the Red Bulls on their way to a 2-1 victory in the first meeting between the clubs, June 10 at Red Bull Arena.

Both team a must win, Red Bulls cannot afford loosing points with opponents such as Revolution, but at home Steve Nicol side will give visitors hard time.YouTube Preview Image

In midweek game Revs did not impressed anybody and only tied with Dynamo at home.

It’s hard to even imagine how Red Bulls would lose this game.

CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or Red Bulls to WIN

 

Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake 3-2

RSL also never has won at Toronto, and they’ve been shut out in all five MLS games at BMO Field (0-3-2). The 1-0 loss to Toronto over the weekend was their third shutout in their last four games.

For the first time in more than a year, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis used the same starting XI in back-to-back games, doing so against New York and Toronto. It had been 48 games in all competitions ( last July 31-Aug. 7) since RSL had the same starters in consecutive matches.

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The teams played to a scoreless draw on May 14 at Rio Tinto Stadium in their first meeting this season.

If RSL somehow lost in Toronto, tells me that they are not in their best form, plus playing in sauna condition at Robertson Stadium in Houston should definitely help the hosts. I am not saying that Dynamo will cook Real but don’t expect great, high level game. Dynamo had midweek match in Boston on Wednesday, so RSL should be fresher. Real Salt Lake have never won at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have won six of the seven meetings all-time in Houston, with one draw. This trend likely will continue, but also I don’t expect many goals in this one.

CHRIS’S PICK UNDER 2.5 goals

 

Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA 2-2

The Rapids are riding a three-game winning streak, matching their longest of the season. They began defense of their MLS Cup 2010 title with three wins in their first three league games this season.

Chivas USA have played three games of their five-game road swing, with a win, a draw and a loss, including the scoreless result at Seattle on Saturday. The trip concludes with a visit to Portland on Aug. 24. 

Quincy Amarikwa’s goal in the 31st minute was the only one of the game in Colorado’s win March 26 at The Home Depot Center, the first meeting this season between the teams.

The Rapids have won the last four meetings between the teams, all by shutouts. Chivas USA has not scored vs. Colorado in 391 minutes. Can they score on Saturday? I doubt.

Rapids are in their Championship form, even with all the roster rotations, they are still better than Chivas USA and they should be able to score one more than The Goats.

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Rapids to WIN

 

FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC 0-1

Sounders FC have still lost just once in league play since the end of May, going 7-1-4 in their last 12 games after the scoreless draw with Chivas USA last weekend. 

After recording an assist in his FCD debut, Maicon Santos scored his first goal for the club in the 2-2 draw with Philadelphia, his first since coming over from Toronto FC on Aug. 2.

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Both teams will be coming off midweek games in the CONCACAF Champions League. FC Dallas travels to Mexico City to face Pumas, and Sounders FC host Guatemala’s Comunicaciones.

Brek Shea scored in the 18th minute to lead FC Dallas to a 1-0 victory in the first meeting this season on May 25 in Seattle.

I am not sure if Brek will score this time, but I am picking FC Dallas to win this prestigious match, they are too good to let Seattle get some points at Pizza Hut Park

CHRIS’S PICK 1 FC Dallas WIN

 

Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 

Long-time rivals in the North American Soccer League, the A-League and USL, the Timbers and Whitecaps FC face each other in MLS for the first time.

The Timbers return home for the first time since a 3-0 win against the LA Galaxy on Aug. 3, their first win at Jeld-Wen Field since May 21.

Whitecaps FC matched their MLS record with four goals allowed in the loss to D.C. United – the second time in three games they’ve allowed four goals (also July 30 vs. LA Galaxy).

It’s the first time expansion teams will face each other in MLS since 2005, when Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA played four times. The home team won on every occasion.

This could of be game of the weekend, except both teams are on bottom part of the table. This should be one of the best evenings at at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland in their MLS era. “Timbers Joey” should be busy, I expect at least 3 goals in this clash and I will let you pick the winner.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2.5 goals

 

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes 2-0

The Galaxy return to league play after a weekend off. Their last match was a 3-1 home win against FC Dallas on Aug. 6, their fourth win in five MLS games.

David Beckham recorded two assists in the win vs. Dallas, giving him 10 assists for the season, matching his MLS single-season career-high (2008).Beckham last had two assists in a regular season game on April 19, 2008 when he set up a pair of Landon Donovan goals in a 2-2 home draw with Houston.

The Earthquakes saw their league winless streak stretched to 11 games in the 2-1 home loss to Colorado, setting a club record. They had last gone 10 games without a win from Sept. 8, 2004-April 16, 2005.

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The clubs played to a scoreless draw on June 25 at Buck Shaw Stadium in their first meeting, but Earthquakes were unable to score against 10 man Galaxy, but as goalie visitors had their midfielder Mike Magee.

Earthquakes crisis is deeper than we think. Sam Cronin is out due to red card suspension, but also another defensive midfielder Brad Ring is doubtful for Saturday game. On the other side Robbie Keane should have nice and smooth MLS debut and cashing 3 points should not be a problem for the Galaxy

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Galaxy to WIN

 

Thursday, August 18

Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United 1-1

Both teams motivated enough to give us good show on ESPN, however United with a win in Chicago will jump into playoff spot. This could be pretty even low scoring game, but I am confident that D.C. United will not lose at Toyota Park.

CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or United to WIN

Wednesday, August 17

Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers 3-1

Sporting should be able to win at home, against tired after Sunday game in Houston Portland Timbers team, yes they have edge, but I believe that we should see at least 3 goals at Livestrong Park today.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals

 

New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo 1-1

Revs were exposed and punished last Saturday in Columbus, and they are lucky they lost „only” 1-3, but this could be very misleading when we talk about tonight game. Typically coach Steve Nicol’ team after poor game, recover quickly and should be able to get result against Dynamo.

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Revolution to WIN

 

CHRIS’s PICKS in 2011 season 119-108 (accuracy 52.42 %)

If you have some info, tip or news that you think may influence any of MLS games results CONTACT US

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

Chris Reiko was 97-82 in entire 2010 MLS season (accuracy 54.19 %) in picking winner or OVER / UNDER results.

MLS Eastern Conference end of 2012

PosTeamGPPtsWDLGoalsHOMEAWAYLAST 5O / U 2.5 LAST 5
1Sporting Kansas City3463189742-2710-4-38-5-4WDDWD14-20OUUUU
2D.C. United34581771053-4312-4-15-3-9DWWDW16-18UOUUU
3New York Red Bulls3457169957-4611-4-25-5-7WDWDL18-16OUUOU
4Chicago Fire34571761146-4111-3-36-3-8DLWLL17-17UUUOU
5Houston Dynamo34531411948-4111-6-03-5-9LWDWL16-18UOUUO
6Columbus CREW34521571244-4411-3-34-4-9WLDWL18-16OOUOO
7Montreal Impact34421261645-5110-3-42-3-12LDDDL20-14UUUUO
8Philadelphia Union34361061837-457-2-83-4-10LWLWW18-16OOOUO
9NE Revolution3435981739-447-6-42-2-13WWLLL16-18UUUUO
10Toronto FC3422582136-623-5-92-3-12LDLLL19-15OUUOO

MLS Western Conference end of 2012

PosTeamGPPtsWDLGoalsHOMEAWAYLAST 5O / U 2.5LAST 5
1San Jose Earthquakes3466199672-4310-6-19-3-5DDWDW25-9UOOOO
2Real Salt Lake34571761146-3511-2-46-4-7DDWWW18-16UUOOO
3Seattle Sounders FC34561511851-3311-2-44-9-4LWDWD16-18UOUOU
4Los Angeles Galaxy34541661259-4711-1-65-5-6WDLDW19-15UOOUO
5Vancouver WhiteCaps344311101335-418-6-33-4-10DLWDD17-17UUOUO
6FC Dallas34399121342-476-8-33-4-10DLDDW14-20OOUOU
7Colorado Rapids34371141944-509-3-62-1-13WWLDD18-16UOOUO
8Portland Timbers FC34348101634-567-6-41-4-12DWLDL18-16UUOUO
9Chivas USA3430791824-593-3-114-6-7DLDLL13-21OUUOO
[table "14" not found /]

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