MLS Weekend Predictions
Sporting 2-1 victory over FC Dallas made my record 6-3 in week 3 of my predictions. My record in 2012 MLS season is 18-9 (accuracy 66.67 %).
Predictions for midweek and weekend are usually published here 16-24 hours before the game time.
Friday, March 23
Hats Off to Estrada: Seattle’s David Estrada scored the season’s first hat trick, leading Sounders FC to a 3-1 win against Toronto FC. Estrada, who has taken over a starting spot after rising from a selection in the 2010 SuperDraft, has scored four of Seattle’s five goals in official competitions this year.
Clean on the Go: Of the five teams that have opened seasons with extended road swings while awaiting a new stadium, the Dynamo are the first not to allow a goal in their first two games. In the 34 games those teams played (Columbus, 1999; LA, 2003; Chicago, 2006; Sporting KC, 2011), the travelers kept a total of just four clean sheets combined. The Daynamo are one of three teams which have not allowed a goal yet this season (also: Sporting KC and Vancouver).
Scoring against Houston Dynamo is not easy task, and they not have to score many goals to win, Seattle has home advantage but UNDER 2.5 goals seem to be safe pick
CHRIS’ PREDICTION UNDER 2.5 goals
Saturday, March 24
Wondo remains One Shy: Chris Wondolowski saw his goal-scoring streak snapped at six games – one shy of the MLS record – in the Earthquakes’ 1-0 loss to Houston at AT&T Park.
Frings on the Fringe: Ahead of next week’s CONCACAF Champions League semifinals vs. Santos Laguna, TFC suffered a potentially devastating blow when former German international Torsten Frings was forced out of the 3-1 loss in Seattle with a first-half injury.
Winless at BMO vs. Quakes: Toronto FC are winless against the Earthquakes at home at BMO Field. The teams have played to three draws in Toronto, including a 1-1 tie last season; the Quakes won a 3-2 decision in 2010.
Marvin Chavez likely will start for the Earthquakes and that should translate to some scoring opportunities. TFC defense without Torsten Frings might not be as solid as with him on the pitch. Therefore I am expecting some goals in this game, means at least 3
CHRIS’ PREDICTION OVER 2.5 goals
Nagbe Notches his First of 2012: Scorer of last year’s MLS Goal of the Year, Darlington Nagbe scored his first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw vs. FC Dallas. Nagbe, the No. 2 selection in the 2011 SuperDraft, scored two goals in his rookie season.
Rough Road: The Revolution will be happy to return to Gillette Stadium for their home opener. The 3-0 loss at Sporting KC extended their road winless streak to nine games, dating back to last July, two games shy of the club record.
Revolution first game at home, but no many experts giving them chance vs Timbers. I don’t believe that this Saturday Jay Heaps will celebrate his first victory as MLS coach.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION X2 Draw or Timbers WIN
Hesmer Available?: After suffering an ankle injury in preseason, Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer could be ready to return. He played the full 90 minutes in one of Columbus’s two matches against college competition in their weekend off.
Captain Arnaud Comes through: Impact captain Davy Arnaud scored the first goal in the club’s MLS history, in the 1-1 draw vs. Chicago. The game was played before a Montréal record crowd of 58,912 at Olympic Stadium.
So close from so long: The Impact were millimeters away from winning their home opener – but Josh Gardner’s last-gasp long-range strike crashed off the crossbar.
Crew had last weekend off, so they going to be fresh and ready for unpredictable Impact. Even Montreal team played decent home opening match vs Fire, but Crew at home should be able to get 3 points.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION 1 Crew WIN
Jumping for [Pa]Joy: Offseason signing Lionard Pajoy opened his account for Philadelphia, scoring his first MLS goal in the loss to Colorado.
Inter Milan Product: With Sean Johnson called into the U.S. team for Olympic qualifying, 23-year-old Inter Milan product Paolo Tornaghi was given the start in goal for the Fire in their season opener in Montreal.
Former Teammates Faceoff: Union Manager Peter Nowak and Fire head coach Frank Klopas both played for the 1998 Chicago Fire squad that won MLS Cup in their inaugural season. They played together with the Fire for two years (1998, 1999).
Chicago Fire team this year should be among top teams in Eastern Conference, so Union going to Toyota Park after loosing for first time ever first two games in the season. Both coaches Frank Klopas and Peter Nowak are good friends and former teammates, but there will be no sympathy on the field, because Fire need 3 points. They will get it.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION 1 Fire to WIN
Fabulous Fabian: Fabian Espíndola has scored goals in each of RSL’s two victories, defeating both the LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls to kick off the season.
Perfect in Home Openers: Real have never lost a home opener in club history, now 4-0-4 all-time after the 2-0 win against New York.
JPA Injury: Juan Pablo Ángel was out injured as Chivas USA suffered a second consecutive 1-0 defeat at home to open the season, falling to Vancouver.
Five Alive: Real Salt Lake have a five-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Chivas USA. Since a 1-0 Chivas victory in Carson on May 9, 2009, RSL has four of the five meetings since (with one draw), including a pair of 1-0 victories last season.
Chivas USA need some miracle to get some points in Utah. Coach Robin Fraser going to visit his former team, where he worked as assistant coach. RSL is heavy favorite in this one.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION 1 RSL to WIN
DeMerit First leads to VWFC First: U.S. international Jay DeMerit scored his first goal in MLS as Vancouver won its first MLS road game, defeating Chivas USA 1-0 at The Home Depot Center.
Shouting about Shutouts: Whitecaps FC have recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since coming into MLS last year.
Olympic Omissions: United will be missing three key youngsters – 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar (Honduras), midfielder Perry Kitchen and goalkeeper Bill Hamid (both USA), all of whom are playing in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Interesting match, but Olympic Omissions in United roster put WhiteCaps in the driver seat at BC Place.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION 1 WhiteCaps to WIN
Sunday, March 25
Rafa Returns: Designated Player Rafael Marquez is eligible for selection this weekend after serving a two-game suspension to start the season. Since joining the team in August 2010, Marquez has started 29 games, scoring one goal while adding six assists.
Two-Game Streak – Twice: After going their first 15 seasons without winning their first two games, the Rapids have now done it back-to-back seasons, following the 2-1 win at Philadelphia. In 2011, Colorado won its first three in a row.
Tony’s got the touch: Colorado’s Tony Cascio became the first rookie to score in 2012, netting the eventual game-winner in Philadelphia. Cascio was the 14th selection overall in this year’s SuperDraft, out of the University of Connecticut.
Alright in the Arena: Since moving to Red Bull Arena, New York has not lost at home to Colorado, winning both league meetings in Harrison, as well as a U.S. Open Cup play-in match. That ended a three-game Rapids winning streak at New York, all at Giants Stadium from 2007-09.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION OVER 2.5 goals
Sophomore Streak: The 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year, C.J. Sapong has started off his sophomore campaign with goals in each of SKC’s opening two games. Sapong scored five goals in his rookie season.
Blas of Glory: After setting up both FC Dallas goals in his first MLS game, Panamanian international Blas Pérez scored his first league goal in FCD’s 1-1 tie Saturday with the Portland Timbers.
Homegrown Debut: It took nearly three years, but FCD Homegrown Player Bryan Leyva finally made his first MLS start Saturday vs. Portland. Since signing with the club Sept. 20, 2009, Leyva had made one league appearance – a 13-minute shift on May 20, 2010 vs. LA.
CHRIS’ PREDICTION 1 Sporting to WIN
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CHRIS’s PICKS in 2012 season 18-9 (accuracy 66.67 %)
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CHRIS’s PICKS in 2011 season 159-142 (accuracy 52.82 %)
CHRIS’s PICKS in 2010 season 97-82 in entire 2010 MLS season (accuracy 54.19 %) in picking winner or OVER / UNDER results.
MLS Eastern Conference end of 2012
Pos Team GP Pts W D L Goals HOME AWAY LAST 5 O / U 2.5 LAST 5
1 Sporting Kansas City 34 63 18 9 7 42-27 10-4-3 8-5-4 WDDWD 14-20 OUUUU
2 D.C. United 34 58 17 7 10 53-43 12-4-1 5-3-9 DWWDW 16-18 UOUUU
3 New York Red Bulls 34 57 16 9 9 57-46 11-4-2 5-5-7 WDWDL 18-16 OUUOU
4 Chicago Fire 34 57 17 6 11 46-41 11-3-3 6-3-8 DLWLL 17-17 UUUOU
5 Houston Dynamo 34 53 14 11 9 48-41 11-6-0 3-5-9 LWDWL 16-18 UOUUO
6 Columbus CREW 34 52 15 7 12 44-44 11-3-3 4-4-9 WLDWL 18-16 OOUOO
7 Montreal Impact 34 42 12 6 16 45-51 10-3-4 2-3-12 LDDDL 20-14 UUUUO
8 Philadelphia Union 34 36 10 6 18 37-45 7-2-8 3-4-10 LWLWW 18-16 OOOUO
9 NE Revolution 34 35 9 8 17 39-44 7-6-4 2-2-13 WWLLL 16-18 UUUUO
10 Toronto FC 34 22 5 8 21 36-62 3-5-9 2-3-12 LDLLL 19-15 OUUOO
MLS Western Conference end of 2012
Pos Team GP Pts W D L Goals HOME AWAY LAST 5 O / U 2.5 LAST 5
1 San Jose Earthquakes 34 66 19 9 6 72-43 10-6-1 9-3-5 DDWDW 25-9 UOOOO
2 Real Salt Lake 34 57 17 6 11 46-35 11-2-4 6-4-7 DDWWW 18-16 UUOOO
3 Seattle Sounders FC 34 56 15 11 8 51-33 11-2-4 4-9-4 LWDWD 16-18 UOUOU
4 Los Angeles Galaxy 34 54 16 6 12 59-47 11-1-6 5-5-6 WDLDW 19-15 UOOUO
5 Vancouver WhiteCaps 34 43 11 10 13 35-41 8-6-3 3-4-10 DLWDD 17-17 UUOUO
6 FC Dallas 34 39 9 12 13 42-47 6-8-3 3-4-10 DLDDW 14-20 OOUOU
7 Colorado Rapids 34 37 11 4 19 44-50 9-3-6 2-1-13 WWLDD 18-16 UOOUO
8 Portland Timbers FC 34 34 8 10 16 34-56 7-6-4 1-4-12 DWLDL 18-16 UUOUO
9 Chivas USA 34 30 7 9 18 24-59 3-3-11 4-6-7 DLDLL 13-21 OUUOO
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