Saturday, April 21, 2007

2007 Week 3 Predictions

Week three sees only four matches over the weekend, allowing the clubs with time off to reflect on what is happening. For the teams playing the 90-minutes, they will try to keep the goal scoring fever alive.

Houston Dynamo (1-0-1) vs. New York Red Bulls (1-0-1)
Saturday - 7:30pmET, 7:00pm Pre game and 9:30pm Post game shows
TV: Fox Soccer Channel, FSE

I love that MLS is billing this as a clash of the conference leaders. Technically speaking, it is mostly true (I think Colorado is actually leading the West at the moments due to goals scored), but when you are only in the second week, it just seems like an odd marketing gimmick. Anyway, New York was the second biggest story out of last weekend thanks to the re-re-re-re arrival of Clint Mathis. He was on fire, but it has been years since he has played two strong games back to back, so I don't think he will be the force he was. With Claudio Reyna questionable for the game, I don't think the Bulls will have the offensive spark. I still think their defense will hold together well and with Houston having their own offensive problems, this should be enough to get a point, but it will not be.
Predictions: Me HD 2-1 NY, Wife HD 2-0 NY


Kansas City Wizards (1-0-0) vs. Chicago Fire (1-0-1)
Saturday - 8:30pm ET
TV: HDnet

The Wizards, thanks to amazing play all over the pitch, were the biggest story of last weekend. Eddie Johnson was finally dangerous again, Scott Sealy was sharp, Michael Harrington set records in his d├ębut and Jimmy Conrad brought their defense together, but can they keep it going? The Fire, meanwhile, were lost against a 10-man Rapids. If the Fire are to turn their tide, they need Justin Mapp to be creative. DC was able to find holes in the KC defense, but lost it because of bad play on their own side of the field. Chicago should be able to mount a better backline, so the Wizards will not run over them.
Predictions: Me KC 2-2 CF, Wife KC 1-3 CF


Real Salt Lake (0-0-2) vs. Chivas USA (1-1-0)
Saturday - 10:30pm ET
TV: Direct Kick
Internet: MLStv

It always fun to see these two clubs play as it is sort of a measuring stick for their progress. So far the series goes to Chivas 3-2 with 3 draws, but neither side has won at the others home. I don't think that will change tonight. Real looks better in attack, but they cannot get it together and their habit of letting in late goals is just about mystifying. Chivas also has a piece missing in their offensive puzzle. They had many good chances against Houston last week, but always found ways to miss net. It should be an entertaining game with Chivas getting the win late.
Predictions: Me RSL 1-2 Chivas, Wife RSL 0-1 Chivas


Colorado Rapids (1-1-0) vs. FC Dallas (1-1-1)
Sunday - 3:00pm ET
TV: TeleFutura

And then we have the Sunday afternoon game. Of all the fine match-ups, this one should be the best. The last time the Rapids were in Dallas, they knocked out a much stronger FCD side on kicks, thus sparking a disgusting display by the Colorado players in front of the Dallas supporters. This display caused goalkeeper Dario Sala to throw punches and get suspended for the first six games of this season. I have a feeling the Hoops Nation has not forgot about these events and games are always better when the crowd has a stake.

The Rapids come into the game playing some of the best soccer in the league. Even when they were down a man, they still held strong on the back and made gold up top. Herculez Gomez likes his new home, but Kyle Beckerman is the guy Dallas needs to take out of the mix. For Dallas, they need to use their home opener to bring a different style to their play. Instead of the hang back and attack model they've used so far, they need to come out kicking. Get Ramon Nunez involved and keep the pressure off their defense. Also, Kenny Cooper needs to throw his weight around and make the Rapids backline commit some stupid fouls. In the end, the Rapids never seem to win in Dallas unless it is playoff time, so I've got to go with FCD.
Predictions: Me CR 2-3 FCD, Wife CR 1-3 FCD

Odd teams out: LA Galaxy (0-1-1), DC United (0-2-0), Toronto FC (0-2-0)

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