MLS Weekend Viewing Guide, June 17-19, 2011

mls logo MLS Weekend Viewing Guide, June 17 19, 2011

This is the first installment of the MLS Weekend Viewing Guide. This is a column that will be up each week at Major League Soccer Talk with a preview of the week’s fixtures.

Let’s start with the June 17-19 games:

Friday, June 17th

San Jose at Sporting Kansas City

8:30PM EDT

FOX Soccer Channel

San Jose is a stronger team than most people give them credit for, which is mostly due to Wondo being the only person on the team who can score. Now with newly acquired Lenhart and a healthy Simon Dawkins, San Jose has become a threat in the Western Conference. Sporting Kansas City has also seemed to figure out what was ailing them, at least for a match, after they walloped Dallas at Pizza Hut Park last weekend. Still, Kansas City is a team that hasn’t been consistent in goal scoring over the past month or more. San Jose wins this one.

Prediction: SKC 1 – SJ 2

Saturday, June 18th

Seattle at Toronto

7:00PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

The last time these two teams met at the end of April, Seattle had their way with Toronto. Since that match, Seattle has been merely treading water. Part of this can be blamed on injuries, but Seattle also has problems against set pieces and counter attacks. With the exception of LA, Seattle has played more matches this season than any other team in the Western Conference and currently sits at third in the division with both Colorado and Real Salt Lake right behind them. Luckily for Seattle, Toronto is a mess right now. Seattle will need to get as many points as they can before the end of this month because July is going to be cruel to this team.

Prediction: SEA 2 – TFC 0

Chicago at New England

7:30PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

The Fire got their second win of the season last week from an extra time goal by Cristian Nazarit. Partial credit should go o Orr Barouch who created the scoring opportunity. The defense of the Fire has been stout over the past three matches with three straight clean sheets. This Fire team is young and has a lot of potential.

A formation change to the 4-4-2 be damned. A tired New England squad might be the perfect punching bag for the Fire to build some confidence against. Chicago gets their 4th straight clean sheet with this one, and their second straight win.

Prediction: FIRE 2 – NE 0

Columbus at Houston

8:30PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

Even though Houston got a win last weekend at home and finally ended a winless streak of seven games, they still have moments where they make costly mistakes. Two of the biggest mistakes came from defender Hunter Freeman. One mistake erase a Houston goal, while to other helped Chivas to get a goal.

Columbus, on the other hand, is looking to redeem themselves from last week’s no-show against the Fire. A side from the first 30 minutes of last week’s game, Columbus seemed to have trouble getting the ball up top to either Mendoza or Cunningham. The team as a whole seemed sluggish for most of the match. I think most of this was due to playing on a weekday last week.

Columbus rebounds this week and, despite the summer heat in Houston, they leave Robertson Stadium with a  win.

Prediction: CREW 2 – HOU 1

Los Angeles at Colorado

9:00PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

The Los Angeles Galaxy, over the past few weeks since Gold Cup began, remind me of the this year’s Los Angeles Lakers. It’s almost as if they don’t really seem to be trying anymore. There’s not much passion in this team. A nil-nil draw to DC United; a late equalizer given up to Toronto; and even before the Gold Cup, there was a pretty unimpressive 1-0 win over New England.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rapids seem to be on the mend from all of the injuries they have suffered this season, and this match could be the second time we get to see the duo of Connor Kasey and Omar Cummings starting together this season. After last weekend’s win on the road against Portland, the Rapids seem to be returning to form just in time to start making a push in the Western Conference.

I do not like the Galaxy’s chances up in the mountains. This is a Colorado win.

Prediction: LA 1 – COL 3

DC United at RSL

9:00PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

DC United has had it’s struggles this season, and the team’s young back line got used and abused by Lenhart last weekend. Still, DC United is shaping up to be a very promising club. They’re probably going to have a few more growing pain beat downs this season, but they are a team that has the potential to stand toe to toe with any team in this league. On the season, DC has taken the second fewest shots in the league, but their shot on goal percentage is at just above 40 percent, which highest in the league; and just over 12.5 of their shots have been goals, which is almost exactly tied with Philly.

On the other side, Real Sal Lake, after all of the praise the team received from reaching the Champions League Final, has faltered a bit as of late. Their only win in their last five matches was against the Whitecaps. One of those last five matches included a loss that ended their 29 game unbeaten streak at home; however, this was all part of a 3 games in an 8 day stretch.

This will be an entertaining game, but RSL is going to regain their composure and begin a new home unbeaten streak.

Prediction: DCU 1 – RSL 2

Philadelphia at Vancouver

10:0PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

After last week’s goal, Vancouver’s Eric Hassali seems to have everyone’s for something other than a getting a red card. Between the acquisition of the relatively unknown Hassali and the surprise sacking of Teitur Thordardon, Vancouver seems to be a club that knows what it wants. Some have said that the team has performed better since Tom Soehn took over. To me, two draws and a loss are not much to brag about. Especailly, when one of those draws were a near late game collapse saved by a spectacular goal that was half skill and half luck.

Philadelphia right now, since Carlos Ruiz has left for Gold Cup duties,  is looking like a well rounded, fine tuned machine. Since the Philly is only coming from Colorado, traveling is not going to take that much of a toll on this team.

Prediction: PHI 3 – VAN 1

Dallas at Chivas

10:30PM EDT

Check local listing, or watch on MLS Match Day Live

Chivas is a hard team to figure out. There are some games where they look absolutely dominant, and other games where they look completely lost. Justin Braun seems to be the only constant with this team.

This game is completely up to Dallas. Sure, they got beat by Sporting Kansas City, but SKC occasionally gets hot and scores goals like it’s a bodily function. Dallas still has a pretty solid back line and is a team that is in great form.

This will be Chivas’ second match in a row against a Texas side, and it will be their second loss in a row.

Prediction: DAL 2 – CHV 1

Sunday, June 19th

Portland at New York

10:00PM EDT

Galavision

Portland had a nice solid start to their home games, but that incredible home field advantage is slowly dissipating as they have lost their last two home games against DC United and Columbus. Between those two losses at home, they lost to Chivas down in LA.  It’s been a pretty tough run for the Timbers over the past few weeks. And their ineptness at scoring goals during open play has been exposed.

New York has weathered the loss of four starters to the Gold Cup decently. They have 2 draws and a win since everyone left, but some Red Bull supporters are not pleased with this. In my opinion, the only real disappointment of the stretch would be the draw to Vancouver. A draw to a tough Columbus side is a big positive. The win they got was against New England, and anything less than a win there would have been a disappointment. The Red Bulls are going to get Joel Lindpere and Teemu Tainio back from injury along with Dwayne De Rosario returning from the Gold Cup.

I think these two teams even out for a good ol’ draw.

Prediction: NYR 1 – POR 1

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8 Responses to MLS Weekend Viewing Guide, June 17-19, 2011

  1. Earl Reed says:

    Thank God, a Soccer Night in America match that starts before 10 PM!

  2. Alan says:

    San Jose is going to keep surprising people. I agree. They do not get enough credit. They have been doing pretty good without Wondo.

  3. Geess says:

    What does this mean?

    “Since the Philly is only coming from Colorado, traveling is not going to take that much of a toll on this team”

    • connor says:

      it means that after just playing at colorado, the travel to vancouver won’t affect them that much. Colorado to Vancouver is better than Philadelphia to Vancouver.

  4. Colonel Sounders says:

    New York at Portland, not Portland at New York.

  5. Robert says:

    Another week without ESPN game of the week.

  6. Charles says:

    Galavision needs to quit putting the Timbers on.
    IF ESPN shows up ever again, then Seattle can get

    the Sounders game,
    the Timbers game,
    the Galaviskion game,
    the ESPN game
    and Soccer Night in America ( on Fox soccer and replay on local Fox )

    5 games and a pending divorce. Not a bad weekend.

  7. SSReporters says:

    Alan Gordon is our offense.

    Sounders could either rip us apart or we’ll manage our 15000th draw this season.

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