MLS Weekend Preview, Picks and Predictions
In MLS game of the weekend Sounders lost 1-2 to RSL, but we went over 2 goals. Sporting just as predicted defeat Dynamo 3-0, so I am already 2-1 this weekend but there still plenty of MLS action this Saturday.
My record in 2011 MLS season 127–115 (accuracy 52.48 %).
For LIVE time MLS updates follow me on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko
My quick Preview, Picks and Prediction for midweek and for weekend matches usually published here about 16-24 hours before the game.
Saturday, September 10
Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus once again saw a winning streak snapped at two games in their last match, a 6-2 loss at Seattle Sounders FC that matched the largest margin of defeat in club history.
The six goals allowed by Columbus matched the most in a single game in club history – the only previous occasion occurring in the Crew’s fourth game ever, a 6-4 loss to Kansas City – and marked the second consecutive four-goal loss in Seattle (0-4 last Sept. 18).
Toronto FC have never recorded a victory against Columbus, in 12 meetings all-time. The teams have played to seven draws – including each of the last five games at BMO Field.
In the first meeting this season, TFC’s Tony Tchani and Columbus striker Emilio Renteria scored on either side of halftime as the teams played to a 1-1 draw, April 23 at BMO Field.
The Crew had 2 weeks without a game, but they will
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Crew to WIN
New England Revolution vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
FC Dallas put a dramatic stop to their three-game winless run in their last game, getting the tying goal from Maicon Santos in the 89th minute and the game-winner from Daniel Hernandez in stoppage time for a 3-2 win at Sporting Kansas City.
FC Dallas last won in New England on July 16, 2003, a 2-1 win. The Revolution had won six consecutive home games vs. FCD before last year’s 1-1 draw in Foxborough.
Coming into the week, the Revolution were winless in their last six games. Three times in that stretch, since July 23, New England saw opponents score the tying goal in the 87th minute or later.
In the first meeting between the teams, Marvin Chavez scored the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute as FC Dallas won June 4 at Pizza Hut Park.
Revolution proved on Wednesday that they can score, but their defense and fitness are clearly their weakness. I expect more than 2 goals in this match
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals
New York Red Bulls vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m.
Shea Salinas scored his first goal with Whitecaps FC, a late winner as Vancouver snapped a two-game losing streak Aug. 27 with a 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo at home.
In the last action for the Red Bulls, New York’s Dane Richards hit for two goals in a game for the first time in MLS with his brace in the 2-2 draw vs. New England, a week after recording the first two-assist game of his career.
The tie extended the Red Bulls winless run to seven games in league play (0-3-4), the longest since Hans Backe has been in charge of the club.
The teams are meeting for the second time. An Eric Hassli penalty kick gave Vancouver the lead before Luke Rodgers scored shortly afterward as the teams reached a 1-1 draw, May 28 at Empire Field.
Red Bulls in order to stay in playoffs contention absolutely must win, but on the other hand the Whitecaps have nothing to lose. That type of games are usually very entertaining, so expect more than 2 goals at Red Bull Arena.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals
Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.
The Timbers are coming off back-to-back wins after Eric Brunner provided the game’s lone goal in a win vs. Chivas USA on Aug. 24. Portland has won two games in a row three times in their inaugural MLS season.
The first international goal from Timbers defender Rodney Wallace was the margin of victory as Costa Rica defeated the USA 1-0 on Sept. 2 at The Home Depot Center.
Goalkeeper Zac MacMath, the fifth overall selection in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, made his MLS debut in the 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake when he came on at halftime for the injured Faryd Mondragón. The Colombian had played every minute of every competitive game in goal after signing in the offseason.
In the first meeting between the teams, Futty Danso scored the game’s lone goal in the 71st minute to give the Timbers the victory at Jeld-Wen Field on May 6.
Philadelphia accidently lost 2 points vs. Revs on Wednesday and this is absolute must win for the Union. Timbers are still have playoffs ambitious aspirations, but loud crowd on PPL Park should give Union the edge
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Union WIN
Chivas USA vs. D.C. United, 10:30 p.m.
The game is the first of two meetings in 11 days between the clubs, in what will have a vital impact on the MLS Cup Playoffs race. Both teams have 31 points entering the week, currently one point behind the final wild-card spot.
Chivas USA suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses last week, first at Portland, then at home to Real Salt Lake, stretching their winless run to four games.
In their last match, United saw their four-game unbeaten streak come to an end in a 1-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City – their first loss away from RFK Stadium since a 4-1 defeat in Houston on April 29, going seven away games without defeat (3-0-4).
After winning the first five meetings all-time between the clubs, United has defeated Chivas USA just once since – a 3-2 win in Washington last year. Chivas USA have won four of the last seven meetings, with two draws.
I do not expect beautiful or any high level game at HDC, but tough fight to the end. United are better team and I don’t see it, how they can lose this game.
CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or United to WIN
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire, 10:30 p.m.
After going 10 games in league play without a victory, the Fire have won back-to-back games, both by 2-0 scorelines, defeating Toronto FC and Colorado.
Dominic Oduro scored the opening goal in each victory and now has four goals in his last five games, all since being paired in attack with Patrick Nyarko.
Chris Wondolowski scored his first goal in more than a month, a late equalizer against Toronto FC, but it wasn’t enough to snap the Earthquakes winless run, now at a club-record 13 games.
In their first meeting this season, the Quakes twice took leads through Ramiro Corrales and Wondolowski, but the Fire leveled terms through Oduro and Cory Gibbs, as the teams ended in a 2-2 draw May 28 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
In order to maintain playoffs hopes Earthquakes absolutely must win this game, but they been saying that for a while. After watching Chicago Fire in last few games, I have impression that Earthquakes could be in big trouble on Saturday. I am expecting at least 3 goals in this game and as fares picking winner, I am giving Fire more chances for victory.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals
Sounders FC are coming off a club-record six goals in the victory against Columbus on Aug. 27. Lamar Neagle became the first Seattle player to score a hat trick at home.
Sounders FC have won eight of their last 11 games, since June 18, losing just once in that time. Before that win vs. Toronto FC, Seattle was tied for third in the Western Conference; they did not move into second place in the division until defeating FC Dallas on Aug. 20.
Sounders FC defeated FC Dallas 1-0 in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Aug. 30, keeping alive their bid to become just the second club to win three consecutive Open Cups in the 98-year history of the tournament.
In the first meeting this season, Lamar Neagle and Patrick Ianni scored late goals to propel Sounders FC to a 2-1 win May 28 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
This is clearly game of the weekend and one of the most difficult to predict. However Sounders seem to be on fire, they should score and RSL also will respond with a goal.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals
For the fourth time in the last 10 games, Sporting KC scored a goal in the 89th minute or later to claim a tie, getting a stoppage-time penalty kick Monday for a 2-2 draw with LA. But KC’s two losses in that time have also come with the winning goal being scored after the 90th minute.
The Dynamo saw their unbeaten streak halted at five games in league play last time out, a 1-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The streak includes three home wins and two road draws.
With the weekend off from league play, the Dynamo defeated reigning CONCACAF champions Monterrey of Mexico, 3-0, in a rough friendly at Robertson Stadium. Cam Weaver, Brad Davis and Jason Garey scored for Houston in a game that saw three players sent off.
In the first meeting this season, Aurelien Collin scored in the 90th minute to cancel out a Brad Davis free kick early on as the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Robertson Stadium, July 16.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Sporting to WIN
Friday, September 9
In a 2-0 loss at Chicago on Aug. 27, the Rapids saw their six-game undefeated streak end. It was their second regular season loss since the start of July.
David Beckham recorded his fourth assist in the last three in Monday’s 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City. LA has lost just once in its last 18 MLS games.
Colorado defender Drew Moor’s streak of 69 consecutive league games of playing every minute will come to an end, as he will miss the Galaxy match to yellow card accumulation. Moor has played every minute of every game since Aug. 6, 2009, an MLS record among field players of 6,210 consecutive minutes.
In the first meeting this season on June 18, an own goal and a Juninho strike sent the Galaxy on their way to a 3-1 against Colorado at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Chad Barrett also scored for LA; Conor Casey answered for the Rapids.
Galaxy are heavy favorite on this one, but I will go with OVER means at least 3 goals.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals
Wednesday, September 7
The Union last won in the first meeting with New England. Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams all scored as Union rolled to a 3-0 win July 17 at Gillette Stadium.
The game was originally scheduled for Aug. 26, but postponed due to Hurricane Irene. The 17-day layoff between games is the most ever for the Revolution.
The Union had their winless streak extended to six games in the 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday, matching the club record set during their inaugural season (July 31-Aug. 22).
In their last match Aug. 20, New England Designated Player Milton Caraglio made his fourth consecutive start and scored for the first time in MLS, hitting for two goals in the 2-2 home draw with New York.
I will be really surprised if we see less than 3 goals in this game.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2 goals