Friday, September 23, 2005

MLS Week 26 Predictions

New England vs MetroStars
Saturday - 7:30pm EST
TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Direct Kick

These two had the shoot out of the season last week, but I do not see it happening again. New England stumbled mid-week on the road against Columbus, but they were still able to get a late equalizer. Matt Reis has looked a bit off in goal over the last few games, but he is still a force. The Metros have an advantage in rest since they have not played during the past six days and if this does become a run and gun game that might come in handy. However, the Revs do well at home and Taylor Twellman has been on fire of late, so I have got to go with the top of the East.

New England 3 - MetroStars 1


Real Salt Lake vs Columbus Crew
Saturday - 9:30pm EST
TV: Direct Kick, HDNet

Both of these teams must win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. With that kind of pressure, that first 20-25 minutes should be very interesting to watch. Cautious yet attacking, always interesting to see a team do that. Real find themselves without Jason Kreis and maybe without Eddie Pope (L ankle sprain) and forward Dante Washington (R ankle sprain). This should allow the Crew a big advantage. However, the Crew don't always play to their advantage. Still, Columbus is a better team, so I must go with them.

RSL 0 - Crew 1


Chivas USA vs Colorado Rapids
Saturday - 10pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

Poor Real Salt Lake, even if they win their game against the Crew, they still need Chivas to pull out a miracle and beat the Rapids. Otherwise, Salt Lake will officially join the goats in the 'next year' category. What can one say about Chivas other then they are a bad team with occasional flashes of promise (I think that might even be a little too nice)? For the Rapids, Jeff Cunningham and Jean-Philippe Peguero have really moved this team forward, but they still have trouble winning on the road. In fact, their last road win was way back on 18 June. However, that win came against Chivas. Like so many other Chivas matches, expect to see a confused defense and an offense that misses good chances at goal (they have not scored a goal during the run of play in 3 matches). Got to go with the Rapids for the win and the fourth playoff spot.

Chivas 1 - Colorado 3


San Jose Earthquakes vs FC Dallas
Saturday - 10pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

Dallas is on a roll. They have won their last two with a combined score of 6 to 2. They also did this without their starting strikers. This looks impressive, but just like a Hummer, it is not as great as advertised. The 4-1 whipped FCD handed LA on Wednesday had a lot to do with the absolute failure of the Galaxy to play the game of soccer. I'm not trying to take anything away from Dallas because they looked better then they had in awhile, but they were not that good. San Jose is not going to pull a LA. They have not lost at home this year and need a win to clinch the top spot in the West (something Dallas held on to for more then half the season). Dwayne De Rosario is sure to make trouble for the still confused FCD defense (however GK Scott Garlick has helped out a lot) and I don't think FCD has the frontline to respond.

San Jose 2 - FCD 1


LA Galaxy vs KC Wizards
Sunday - 8pm EST
TV: Direct Kick

As mentioned above, LA fell to crap, or something that goes on crap, on Wednesday. If they play more like they did last Saturday (oddly enough in KC) then they should be able to create openings. It will be interesting to see if Coach Steve Sampson gives any of his starters some additional rest ahead of Wednesday US Open Cup final. I really doubt it since LA needs some points to stay in the third spot. For KC, they need the points to keep the MetroStars away from fourth. However, I think their winless streak will stand at five by the end of the match.

LA 3 - KC 1


There is no ESPN 2 game this weekend, which is a shame. The East is so wild that, with just 3 or 4 games remaining, there is a chance (small) that five teams could be within nine points of each other come Monday morning.

In the West it is really about second and third. No one wants to start the playoffs against San Jose, but it is possible for FCD, LA and the Rapids to end up in the spot. LA is five points ahead of Colorado, but the Rapids have two games in hand. This should be causing some concerns in the land of the Galaxy.

See In Limbo's predictions and his take on Goalkeepers of the West.


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