Friday, April 07, 2006

MLS 2006 Week 2 Predictions

DC United vs. Chivas USA
4pm ET

This is the weekend we all get to see if Chivas is for real. Picking about Real Salt Lake at home shows progress, but a road trip to one of the most hostile venues in the league is a true test. If Chivas can continue to rain down great shots from long distance and find the errors in United's backline, they will put DC on their heels. Still, Chivas has some defensive questions of their own to be answered. The main one being, is it really strong enough to cut down Alecko Eskandarian, Joshua Gros, Ben Olsen and Freddie Adu? Chivas will make a game of it, but they will come up short in the end.

Me: DC 2 - 1 Chivas
Wife: DC 3 - 1 Chivas

On a side note, I don't think John O'Brien will start for Chivas, but I could see him coming in as a late sub. It will be interesting to what sort of reaction JOB gets from the DC fans.


New York Red Bull vs. New England Revolution
7:30pm ET
TV: Direct Kick (DK)

Both teams are coming off unexpected results. New York was outplayed by DC but got the tie while New England didn't really show up, yet still beat LA. They both should be happy. For New York, they will get their first big taste of Red Bull money as the team will have a parade of past New York area players as well as known musical guests. This should give the faithful something to get excited about. However, the Revolution is a better team then what they showed last week. If Twellmann, Noonan and Dempsey all get hot, there is no hope for the Reds. If only one of them is warm, the odds are still with New England. Matt Reis should be able to repeat his good performance of last week, thus shutting down any of the Bulls good opportunities.

Me: NY 0 - 2 NE
Wife: NY 1 - 2 NE


Houston Dynamo vs. KC Wizards
8:30pm ET

This is being billed as the game of the week by MLS and with good reason. The amount of offense these two sides put up last weekend made for fun viewing. Now we get to see if they can do it against better teams then the Rapids and Crew. Brian Ching will not be as hot this week, but he should draw the KC defense towards him, especially on set pieces. This should open up other Dynamos for opportunities and, with defender Jimmy Conrad questionable, put the pressure on KC keeper Bo Oshoniyi. For the Wizards, they need the steady play of Scott Sealy and the explosions of Josh Wolf and Eddie Johnson to really test last year's best goaltender Pat Onstad.

Me: Houston 3 - 2 KC
Wife: Houston 2 - 0 KC

By they way, Houston will play this game in memory of 18-year-old Alicia Bonura and 16-year-old Ashley Brown, two high school soccer players who were killed in a tragic bus accident last week on the way to a playoff game.


FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake
8:30pm ET

How many bicycle kicks will Carlos Ruiz attempt this week? All kidding aside, FC Dallas proved that their defense was okay last week, but they still had trouble taking control on offense. Also, they are facing some problems with the central midfielder role as Captain Simo Valakari is working on some right hip issues (he has trouble raising his leg laterally and, as of yesterday, could not balance himself on it). This will cause Ronnie O'Brien to slide over from the right side. If Salt Lake can find a way to exploit this confusion in the middle and if Scott Garlick actually gets some help from the defensive line, Real could surprise, but when was the last time Salt Lake surprised you (being surprised by their bad form does not count)?

Me: FCD 3 - 0 RSL
Wife: FCD 2 - 1 RSL

FCD could end up playing against four former players in this match if Jason Kreis, Carey Talley, Scott Garlick and Pail Broome get playing time. The first three are likely, but Broome is a long shot.


Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew
9:00pm ET

And now for the "Does Anyone Care" match, we give in the Rapids and Crew. To be fair, both of these teams seem to be in 'rebuilding' years, so what can you expect. The Rapids were able to piece together some offense against Houston, but their defense was nowhere to be found. If Dedi Ben-Dayan is absent from their midfield (hamstring injury), I don't think they will be able to hold the ball. Columbus's defense was as tough as wet toilet paper against KC. To add to their woes, net watcher Jonny Walker is still out (lower back pain). Combine both of these things with no offense and you've got the 2006 Columbus Crew. I'm being harsh, which means this will probably end up being the best game of the weekend.

Me: Colorado 1 - 1 Columbus
Wife: Colorado 0 - 1 Columbus


LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
10:30pm ET

During week 1, LA looked confused and lackluster while Chicago was outplayed but still found ways of making plays. LA did not look good anywhere on the pitch, but if LA remembers they have players names Herculez Gomez and Landon Donovan, they have a chance. Chris Albright (right back) knows his team played sloppy, but can he change that? If he doesn't goalie Kevin Hartman will be in for a long day since Chicago proved they can make the most of defensive errors. However, the Fire is not so great on adapting to sudden changes in opponent's attacks. Justin Mapp and Ivan Guerrero need to step it up in the midfield while Chris Rolfe has to provide some leadership up top.

Me: LA 2 - 1 Chicago
Wife: LA 1 - 3 Chicago


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