My record in 2011 MLS season 140–130 (accuracy 51.85 %).
For LIVE time MLS updates follow me on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko
Saturday, September 24
The Rapids have lost three games in a row, matching their season-high (also: April 8-22, shutout losses to FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and Seattle).
The game is the first of three consecutive games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, after losing all three games on a three-game road swing to Chicago, LA and Toronto. But the Rapids have won five games both at home and on the road.
Sanna Nyassi scored his fifth goal in his last eight games, all since moving into a forward role, in the 2-1 loss at Toronto FC.
In the first meeting this season, goals from Caleb Folan and Jeff Larentowicz completed a comeback after an early Joey Gjertsen goal as the Rapids won 2-1, Aug. 13 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Rapids simply have the Earthquakes numbers and they will prove their advantage in pretty much every formation.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Rapids WIN
This is the final MLS game scheduled for Empire Field, which has been Whitecaps FC’s home since the start of their inaugural season. Next week’s game vs. Portland will be the first in the newly renovated BC Place in downtown Vancouver.
Joe Cannon became the 16th player in league history – and just the second goalkeeper – to reach 300 appearances in the loss to LA.
In the first meeting this season, Eric Hassli scored twice for Vancouver – including one of the goals of the season – but Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso scored late three minutes apart to leave the teams in a 2-2 deadlock on June 11 in Seattle.
After the loss in LA, Whitecaps FC have one away game remaining: Oct. 15 at FC Dallas. Vancouver is still winless away from home (0-11-5); just three teams in MLS history have finished the season without a road victory.
This could be very entertaining game with many goals, I am anticipating at least 3.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2.5
Toronto FC appear to have found their form, but perhaps too late to qualify for the postseason. Instead, the Reds will try to earn points at Chivas USA for the first time in club history (0-4-0) and severely dent the hosts’ playoff efforts.
Danny Koevermans has six goals in his last seven league games after recording his first two-goal game in MLS in the 2-1 win against Colorado last weekend.
Chivas USA will not have to travel away from The Home Depot Center again in the regular season beginning with the visit by Toronto FC. They will have one “road” game remaining in their final four – the Oct. 16 match against the LA Galaxy in Carson, which is a Galaxy home game.
In the first meeting this season, Alejandro Moreno put Chivas ahead after two minutes but Alan Gordon equalized before halftime, the teams sharing the points in a 1-1 draw, April 2 at BMO Field.
Both teams recently don’t have problems scoring, so also expect at least 3 goals.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2.5
Sunday, September 25
With both clubs’ playoff chances hanging by a thread, a draw won’t help either one. These rivals have met eight times in the playoffs; this year one could effectively eliminate the other from contention for the playoffs.
Dominic Oduro’s game-winner in the 3-2 win against Chivas USA on Saturday was his 10th league goal of the season. He’s the first Fire player to hit double-digits in goals since Damani Ralph scored 11 in 2004.
The Revolution saw their four-game unbeaten streak come to an end in the 3-0 loss at Portland, the first time they were shut out since a 3-0 home loss to Philadelphia, July 17.
In the first meeting this season, Chicago’s Dominic Oduro and New England’s Rajko Lekic scored on either side of halftime as the teams ended in a 1-1 draw, June 18 at Gillette Stadium.
Chicago Fire time to win and they should have productive Sunday.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Fire to WIN
Saturday, September 24
FC Dallas lost by shutout in back-to-back games now for the second time this season (also falling to San Jose and Columbus, March 26 and April 1). Before this season, the last time FCD lost in back-to-back shutouts happened in 2007 in defeats by Houston and D.C. United (Aug. 19 and Sept. 1).
It’s the next-to-last road game for the Dynamo, who are still winless this season away from Robertson Stadium (0-6-9). Just three teams have finished a season winless on the road: the LA Galaxy in 2003 (0-9-6), Real Salt Lake in 2005 (0-14-2) and New York in 2009 (0-13-2).
In his second appearance after missing six games following knee surgery, Dynamo striker Will Bruin regained the goalscoring lead among rookies with his fifth goal this season, the winner in the 2-1 win vs. San Jose, now one goal ahead of Sporting Kansas City’s C.J. Sapong.
In the first meeting this season on May 28, Houston’s Colin Clark scored the tying goal three minutes from the end as the Dynamo twice came back from a goal down before the teams ended in a 2-2 draw.
MLS Texas derby are always electric and no different will be this time. Motivation is on Dynamo side and I will not be surprised if they win at Pizza Hut Park.
CHRIS’S PICK X2 Draw or Dynamo WIN
Mike Magee scored two goals vs. Vancouver in last weekend’s 3-0 win, his first two-goal game since scoring twice for the MetroStars on Sept. 17, 2005 in a wild 5-4 win against New England.
Josh Saunders returned to goal for the Galaxy in the Vancouver, and recorded his sixth shutout in league play. Donovan Ricketts has seven in MLS this season; LA’s 13 shutouts are tied with Real Salt Lake for the league lead.
The Crew have suffered three losses in their current four-game winless run, but still are atop the Eastern Conference by one point ahead of Sporting KC with five games remaining.
In the first meeting this season, Sean Franklin scored the game’s lone only goal to lead the Galaxy to victory, July 20 at The Home Depot Center.
The Crew have their problems, but they should be fresh and ready for Galaxy. Bruce Arena team has midweek game in CONCACAF Champions League and has all the rights to be tired.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Crew to WIN
After missing the midweek game through suspension, Kyle Beckerman will be available for RSL. The team captain has a career-high nine assists this year after setting up the lone goal in the weekend win vs. Sporting KC.
After the Real Salt Lake, United face three consecutive road games – that after playing four games in a row away from RFK Stadium due in part to the postponement of the Portland match. United end the regular season with three consecutive home games.
Real Salt Lake have never won at RFK Stadium. United have won three of the six meetings all-time on East Capitol Street; their last two encounters in the nation’s capital have resulted in scoreless draws.
In the first meeting this season, RSL’s Fabian Espindola and D.C.’s Charlie Davies each scored penalty kicks as the teams ended in a 1-1 draw on June 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
If RSL was able to put nice show vs. Red Bulls, seem like they should feel comfortable at RFK Stadium. Both teams should score in this one, so I will go with OVER 2.5 goals instead picking the winner.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER 2.5 goals
This match is crucial to the MLS Cup Playoffs race for both teams. They begin the week tied for the final wild card spot, and after a tie in their first meeting, a victory by either team would provide the edge in the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Portland hopes to become just the third (out of nine) MLS expansion team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in its first season. Chicago did it in 1998 and Seattle did it in 2009.
Making his first professional start as a forward, rookie Darlington Nagbe, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s SuperDraft, scored his second goal of the year (his first coming July 2) in the 3-0 win against New England.
In the first meeting between the clubs, Dwayne De Rosario scored deep into second-half stoppage time to cap a late Red Bulls comeback as the clubs finished in a wild 3-3 draw, June 19 at Jeld-Wen Field.
On Wednesday Timbers had the Earthquakes on the plate, but they failed to win and now getting even a point vs. frustrated Red Bulls could be very difficult for Portland team.
CHRIS’S PICK 1 Red Bulls to WIN
Friday, September 23
Sebastien Le Toux scored his sixth goal in the last six to lead Union to a 1-0 win Saturday against Columbus. Philadelphia has scored nine goals in that time.
The win put an end to an eight-game winless streak for Union, their first victory since defeating New England 3-0 on July 17.
In their first road game since mid-July, Sporting Kansas City were blanked 1-0 by Real Salt Lake. The last time they had been shutout came in the first meeting this season when Philadelphia, when the teams played to a scoreless draw June 22 at PPL Park.
Union rookie goalkeeper Zac MacMath has now recorded shutouts in back-to-back games, after allowing four goals in his first professional start, Sept. 7 vs. New England.
Arguably Sporting offensively is one of the best teams in MLS and Union should be able to score, I am confident that we will see more than 2 goals in this game.
CHRIS’S PICK OVER means more than 2 goals