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MLS Week 4 – Picks and Predictions

After 1-8 in 3rd week,  the worst ever weekend in my MLS predictions, in the 4th week slowly but surely we are recovering some losses. As expected Chicago Fire has more problems than anybody thought. Expected Chivas USA win at Toyota Park, pushed my record to 53 this weekend.

INTERNATIONAL DUTY ABSENCES 

A total of 38 MLS players from 15 countries have been selected to their respective national teams ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and friendlies this week. Unsurprisingly, most of the players selected are in the CONCACAF region, and most of them are from the United States, though Canada, Honduras and Jamaica each have four MLS representatives.

Here is the complete list, as of Monday afternoon, of MLS’ call-ups for the international window:

CONCACAF

United States:
G – Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
G – Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
D – Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake)
D – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
D – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
D – Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes)
M – Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
M – Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
F – Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Canada:
M – Kyle Bekker (Toronto FC)
D – Dejan Jakovic (D.C. United)
M – Will Johnson (Portland Timbers)
D – Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC)

Honduras:
D – Víctor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes)
M – Oscar Boniek García (Houston Dynamo)
M – Mario Martínez (Seattle Sounders)
F – Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution)

Jamaica:
G – Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers)
M – Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo)
M – Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas)
F – Ryan Johnson (Portland Timbers)

Costa Rica:
D – Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls)
F – Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
F – Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew)

Panama:
M – Marcos Sánchez (D.C. United)
F – Blas Pérez (FC Dallas)

Trinidad & Tobago:
M – Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union)

CONMEBOL

Peru:
G – Raúl Fernández (FC Dallas)

UEFA

Ireland:
D – Darren O’Dea (Toronto FC)
F – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)

Scotland:
F – Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Estonia:
M – Joel Lindpere (Chicago Fire)

CAF (Africa)

Nigeria:
F – Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders)

Gambia:
D – Mamadou “Futty” Danso (Portland Timbers)
F – Abdoulie Mansally (Real Salt Lake)
M – Sanna Nyassi (Montreal)

Mali: 
D – Bakary Soumaré (Philadelphia Union)

AFC (Asia)

Australia:
M – Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls)

From now on my predictions should be published here at least few hours before the game.

4th week of 2013 MLS season currently 53 record.
Last 3rd week of 2013 MLS season finished with 18 record.

2013 MLS season record 1618 (accuracy 47.05 % ).
2012 MLS season record 187133 (accuracy 58.43 % ).

Predictions are usually published here at least 1-2 hours before the game time.

For LIVE time MLS updates follow me on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko

Sunday, March 24

Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA 1-4

·         Welcome to LA: Carlos Alvarez, the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s SuperDraft, scored his first professional goal in his MLS debut against the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Alvarez came on at halftime and scored the dramatic equalizer to leave the SuperClásico in a 1-1 draw.

·         Finishing Problems: The Fire are still looking for their first goal this season after three games, following their scoreless draw with Sporting KC on Saturday. In 2004, the club opened the season with three consecutive attacking shutouts – playing to two consecutive scoreless draws before a 2-0 loss at Dallas.

·         Streak ended: Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere saw his consecutive start streak ended at 91 games when he went to the substitutes’ bench for Saturday’s scoreless draw at Sporting KC. Lindpere joined the Fire from New York over the offseason.

·         Fire on Fire: Chivas USA have not defeated the Chicago Fire since 2008. Over the last eight league meetings, the Fire have won six, with two draws; they also won a SuperLiga match over that span.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: X2 Draw or Chivas USA WIN

Saturday, March 23

(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew 1-2

·         International Connection: Another South American connection combined for the Crew goal in their 1-1 draw with San Jose last weekend. Brazilian center back Glaúber headed home his first MLS goal from a corner kick delivered by Federico Higuaín; the Argentinian playmaker recorded his first assist, after scoring the Crew’s opening goal this season.

·         Road Woes: D.C. United were shut out for a second consecutive road match in their scoreless draw at the New York Red Bulls, a match where they were outshot 24-5.

·         Back in Action: Dwayne De Rosario made his season debut for United in New York after missing the first two games through suspension.

·         Home Advantage: D.C. United have won the last three league meetings at RFK Stadium between the teams, but they haven’t won in Columbus since 2007. United hold a 25-21-8 edge in the all-time series record.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: UNDER 2.5 goals

 

Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls 1-0 

·         On Top: The Impact sit atop the Eastern Conference with the maximum nine points from their first three matches, following their 2-1 win Saturday vs. Toronto FC. It’s the first time the Impact have led the East since coming to MLS; their longest winning streak in their inaugural season was five games (July 28-Aug. 25).

·         Perfection: Patrice Bernier remained perfect from the penalty spot, converting the penalty kick that sent the Impact on their way to victory vs. Toronto. Bernier is 7-for-7 from penalties in MLS.

·         Slow Start: The New York Red Bulls are still looking for a first victory for new coach Mike Petke, now 0-1-2 following their home debut, the scoreless draw with D.C. United on Saturday afternoon.

·         Goals Galore: The teams played to three high-scoring affairs in Montréal’s inaugural MLS season, with 14 goals between the games. The Red Bulls won 5-2 at home and 2-1 at Olympic Stadium; the Impact won 3-1 at Stade Saputo.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: 1 Montreal Impact to WIN

 

New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City 0-0

·         Winning Streak: Sporting are unbeaten in their last four meetings with the Revolution, including all three meetings a year ago, when they won twice. KC won 1-0 on Aug. 4 in the lone meeting at Gillette Stadium.

·         History Made: Bobby Shuttleworth was in goal for the Revolution in their 1-0 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. In the season opener, Matt Reis started in goal, becoming the third player in Major League Soccer history to make one appearance in at least 16 different seasons, joining Pablo Mastroeni and Kevin Hartman.

·         Stiff Competition: The Revs loss at Philadelphia – they have never defeated Union – came after a season-opening win in Chicago. The Revolution have never won their opening two games in a season in the 18 years of their existence.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: UNDER 2.5 goals

 

FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake 2-0

·         Dallas Dominating: Real Salt Lake have still never won in Dallas. FCD is 8-0-2 all-time in league games between the clubs, and have also won a game in the MLS Cup Playoffs (in 2010) and a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal (in 2011). FCD’s win at Rio Tinto Stadium in the final meeting last year was their first win in Utah since 2007.

·         Texas Troubles: Real still have yet to ever win in the state of Texas. All-time combined vs. Houston and Dallas, over all competitions, Real are 0-18-3 in the Lone Star State.

·         Lone Scorer: RSL’s Álvaro Saborío has scored all three of his team’s goals this season, after netting the late equalizer in its 1-1 home draw with Colorado on Saturday afternoon.

·         Familiar Territory: Kenny Cooper scored his first goal in his return to his former club, the dramatic game-winner to give FC Dallas a 3-2 victory against Houston in the Texas Derby on Sunday. Cooper scored 40 league goals for FCD from 2006-09.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: 1 FC Dallas to WIN

Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1

·         Looking Good: Whitecaps FC are off to a good start for a second consecutive season, winning both of their matches after a 2-1 win against Columbus in their last game on March 9. Last year, Whitecaps FC opened the season with four consecutive shutouts, posting two wins and two draws.

·         First and Famous: Daigo Kobayashi’s first MLS goal was a stunning long-range blast that set Whitecaps FC on their way to the win vs. Columbus, a strike that won MLS Goal of the Week honors.

·         Hitting his Stride: Brad Davis scored his first league goal of the season in the Dynamo’s 3-2 loss to FC Dallas, but it was his second goal this season, having also scored in the CONCACAF Champions League series with Mexico’s Santos Laguna.

·         Got their number: Whitecaps FC won 3-1 in the only meeting last season, June 10 at BC Place, their second consecutive victory against the Dynamo, both coming at home. The Dynamo have won the only meeting between the teams in Houston, the first encounter ever, April 10, 2011.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: UNDER 2.5 goals

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC 1-0

·         Revenge Factor: San Jose won all three league meetings between the teams last season, with two victories coming at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. But Sounders FC defeated the Quakes in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal in Santa Clara.

·         Called into Duty: Obafemi Martins was able to come to Seattle and make his debut for Sounders FC, playing the final 20 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Portland. But he’ll miss the San Jose match, called into the Nigerian national team for its World Cup qualifier with Kenya this weekend.

·         Late Heroics: For a second consecutive week, the Quakes once again demonstrated their propensity for late heroics, getting a 73rd-minute equalizer from Justin Morrow for their 1-1 draw in Columbus. Last year, 40 of San Jose’s league-leading 72 goals came from the 60th minute onward.

·         Long Ranger:The last player remaining from Major League Soccer’s inaugural season, San Jose’s Ramiro Corrales, recorded his first assist of the season in setting up Morrow’s equalizer.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: 2 Sounders to WIN

LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids 1-0

·         Home Cooking: Galaxy Homegrown Player Jack McBean has now made four appearances in league games – and has scored two goals, after netting the opener in the SuperClásico vs. Chivas USA on Sunday. McBean’s first professional goal came in his debut, in 2011 at Houston.

·         Tough Times: The Rapids suffered a blow when goalkeeper Matt Pickens suffered a fractured left forearm early in the 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake. Clint Irwin, making his professional debut, made two saves after coming on in relief; Pickens will be out an expected 3-4 months.

·         Tough to Beat: The Galaxy are undefeated against the Rapids over the last two seasons. The Galaxy had won four in a row between the teams before a 1-1 draw in Commerce City in the last meeting on Sept. 30.

·         Been too long: The Rapids last defeated the Galaxy at home in 2008. In the five meetings since at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, LA has won three, with two draws.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: 1 GALAXY to WIN

For LIVE time MLS updates follow me on TWITTER at @ChrisReiko

CHRIS’s PICKS in 2013 season 1618 (accuracy 47.05 % ) in picking winner or OVER / UNDER results.

CHRIS’s PICKS in 2012 season 187133 (accuracy 58.43 % )

CHRIS’s PICKS in 2011 season 159142 (accuracy 52.82 %)

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

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[table “18” not found /]

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