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MLS Week 24 Preview, Picks and Predictions

MLS Week 24 Preview, Picks and Predictions

Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew facing second team on the West Seattle Sounders FC. Chad Marshall (L) will try to stop Jeff Parke (R) and his teammates. PHOTO Tom Hauck / ISIPhotos.com

Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew lost 2-6 to Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. PHOTO Tom Hauck / ISIPhotos.com

I am 24 in week 24 of my MLS predictions.

My record in 2011 MLS season 122114 (accuracy 51.69 %). 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.Saturday, August 27

Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes 1-1

The Earthquakes have not won since a June 11 victory vs. D.C. United; their current 12-game winless streak is a club record.

Toronto FC remained one of three teams still winless on the road in league play (along with Vancouver and Houston) after the 2-0 defeat in Chicago – though they have won four times this year away from home in other competitions (twice in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, twice in the CONCACAF Champions League).

Now with San Jose, Alan Gordon scored for Toronto FC in the first meeting with the Quakes; Simon Dawkins also scored in the first half as the teams ended in a 1-1 draw on April 9.

The Earthquakes are in one of the toughest period in their history and in  order to maintain (some) playoffs hopes they absolutely must win in Toronto. However, they been saying that for a while and wins don’t come easy.

After watching TFC playing on Wednesday and Thursday CCL match vs FC Dallas, host team has all the rights to be little tired, but is also better than SJ. TFC started game vs FC Dallas on Wednesday evening, but due to lighting after first 45 minutes game cancelled and played again on Thursday morning. TFC lost 0-1, but despite negative result they played decent soccer.

 Toronto FC on the stadium packed with their fans, will try to extend Earthquakes winless strike to 13 games. Quakes are in their range, but I am not sure about TFC winning either.

Both teams have not much to lose, so those games are typically high scoring. In addition both defensive formations have issues and that’s why I think we should see some goals at BMO Field. I am expecting at least 3 goals.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo 1-0

The Dynamo won for a third consecutive game at Robertson Stadium – and extended their unbeaten streak to five games – with the 3-2 comeback victory against Real Salt Lake.

Brad Davis extended his lead in the MLS assists race with a pair of helpers in the win against RSL. With four assists in the last five games, Davis now has 13 assists this season.

In the 2-1 loss at Portland, Camilo scored his third goal in six games for Whitecaps FC. With eight goals, he is two behind team leader Eric Hassli, who is tied for third in the MLS Golden Boot race.

On April 10 at Robertson Stadium, Cam Weaver, Bobby Boswell and Will Bruin all scored as the Dynamo eased to a 3-1 win.

Dynamo would love to collect 3 points in Vancouver, but Whitecaps will not let them do that easy. Expected some exchange of offensive attempts and at least 3 goals. Whitecaps they have nothing to lose at this point and I will not go against them at Empire Field, perhaps time for some upset in Vancouver.

CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals.

Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas 2-3

Kei Kamara scored for the fourth time in the last six games as Sporting Kansas City defeated D.C. Untied 1-0, moving into second place in the Eastern Conference.

When Sporting KC began their extended home stretch, they were in a tie for seventh place in the East with 17 points, just three points ahead of last place overall. Since, they’ve gone 4-1-4 in nine games (eight at Livestrong Sporting Park), with three more games before they again play on the road.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as4Fiw37AT4[/youtube]

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman became the all-time appearance leader in MLS history in the loss to Seattle, playing in his 379th regular season game and surpassing the total of current Houston Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston.

Graham Zusi scored a pair of goals for the first time this season as Sporting exploded for a 4-1 victory against FC Dallas on June 12 at Pizza Hut Park in the first meeting this season.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvBiM4Yt5Tw[/youtube]

This one is absolutely “no bet” in handicapper language, but FC Dallas spent some 140 minutes on the field in Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday morning, where they beat TFC 1-0 in CONCACAF Champions League, but travel and all other weather distractions can affect their game.

I might be wrong but both teams will focus on not to concede a goal. FC  Dallas is rock solid defensively and it’s not easy to score against Sporting at Livestrong Park, so I will go with UNDER.

CHRIS’S PICK UNDER means no more than 2 goals.

Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids 2-0

The Fire put an end to a 10-game winless streak in Sunday’s 2-0 win against Toronto FC. It was the second winless run of 10 games or more this season, after going a club-record 11 games without a victory April 9-June 9.

Caleb Folan scored for a second consecutive game in the 2-2 draw with Chivas USA. He has four of his six goals this season in his last six games; he had gone more than three months between scoring.

For the 68th consecutive game, Drew Moor played every minute vs. Chivas USA – setting an MLS record for field players. Moor has played every minute for Colorado since his trade from FC Dallas in 2009, where his ironman streak began.

In their first meeting, April 30 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Chicago’s Marco Pappa and Colorado’s Andre Akpan scored on either side of halftime as the teams ended in a 1-1 draw.

Rapids had tough midweek game on the road in Honduras, where they tied 1-1 with Real Espana, but they on the top of the Group B.

Draw is very possible in this game, but Fire are fresh and inspired after their last victory over Toronto. I do believe that Frank Klopas has shot to beat tired MLS Champs. Keep in mind that Rapids coach Gary Smith rested some players, so game should be close. This may sound crazy but for second time this season I am picking Fire to win the game.

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Fire to WIN

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake 0-1 

Real’s 17-year-old playmaker, Luis Gil, scored for a second time in three games – all starts – opened his MLS account in RSL’s 3-0 win over New York on August 6 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Salt Lake have lost four times in the last five games, the club’s most losses in a five-game stretch since midway through the 2007 season.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IahD_Ni95Uc[/youtube]

Beginning with the RSL game, six of Chivas USA’s final eight games are at The Home Depot Center – including a “road” game with the LA Galaxy.

In the first meeting with Chivas this season, May 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium, Will Johnson scored the game’s only goal in the 87th minute to lead Real Salt Lake to victory.

Both coaches are good friends, but also both teams need points. RSL want to stay in playoffs zone, but Chivas USA to get there. Part of me think that RSL is too good to lost 5 of the 6 games, but other part make Chivas at home unpredictable. I am confident that RSL will not lose this match, but The Goats will give them hard time.

CHRIS’S PICK UNDER no more than 2 goals.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Columbus Crew 6-2 

Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid has not lost to the Crew since moving to Seattle. Sounders FC are unbeaten in six meetings with the Crew – five in league play, and a victory in last year’s U.S. Open Cup Final.

Mauro Rosales has goals in three of the last five league games – and three assists in the last six – after scoring the game’s only goal in Seattle’s 1-0 win at FC Dallas last weekend.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEWh3lYF0jg[/youtube]

After scoring four goals in three games April 23-May 7, Emilio Rentería went more than three months before scoring Aug. 13 vs. New England – he now has goals in consecutive games.

On May 7 at Crew Stadium, Rentería’s second-half penalty kick canceled out an early Fredy Montero strike as the teams played to a 1-1 draw.

Sounders played their CONCACAF Champions League game on Tuesday in Mexico, where they beat last year trophy winner Monterrey 1-0. Really impressive result, Sounders are the second MLS team to ever win in Mexico, but all comes with the cost. Travel from Mexico, and tough game cost them lots of energy and Crew team should be a lot fresher.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uVRX7rW1pc[/youtube]

I am expecting Columbus team to take full advantage of this and knowing Crew discipline, I will not be surprised if they come with a game winner in last 10-15 minutes. Fitness it’s a big part of Crew success this season and they have edge in Seattle. Although this game is a perfect candidate for a draw, I will support tie with Crew win.

CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or Crew to WIN
Citing general public safety concerns because of the potential impact of Hurricane Irene, Major League Soccer has postponed the game between D.C. United and the Portland Timbers previously scheduled for tomorrow at RFK Stadium. The game will be rescheduled and the new date and time will be announced next week. Tickets from Saturday’s contest will be valid on the make-up date.

D.C. United vs. Portland Timbers POSTPONED for TBD

New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, POSTPONED for Tuesday October 4 at 8.00 PM EST

Philadelphia Union vs. New England RevolutionPostponed for Wednesday September 7 at 8.00 PM EST

Wednesday, August 24

Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA 1-0

This is statement game for Timbers. If Portland team wins, they will join playoff race which for John Spencer as coach would be great accomplishment.  

Playoffs motivation will be on both sides, however artificial pitch and enthusiastic Portland crowd will be on Timbers side I am expecting home team to win.

CHRIS’S PICK 1 Timbers to WIN

CHRIS’s PICKS in 2011 season 122114 (accuracy 51.69 %)

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

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