With a new site design, we’re hoping to kick off some new ideas going forward. I will begin a series called, “Looking Ahead,” which will preview each weekend’s action. I’ll also try my hand at prognostication, which may or may not be a train wreck, but let’s have some fun with this.

The last weekend in September has snuck up on us. Where has 2012 gone? The leaves will soon be changing to gold and orange, followed by the “getting fat off the kids’ Halloween candy” period. That means the playoff push in Major League Soccer is upon us. The field has narrowed quite a bit for qualification, but let’s analyze the upcoming fixtures in MLS for this weekend (all games Eastern Time):

Sharpie Into Your Calendar

Sporting KC vs Chicago, Friday, 8:30 PM, NBC Sports Network

Yee-haw, 1 vs. 2 in the Eastern Conference. KC just had a decent road trip, taking 4 of 6 points from New York and Montreal. Chicago is also coming off a big victory against Columbus. Chris Rolfe has been hot, and their new pickups make them dangerous in the playoffs. Though they have gotten within a sniff of the leaders, they will get no closer in this one. Prediction: SKC 2-1

San Jose vs. F.C. Dallas, Saturday, 10:30 PM

The Earthquakes keep edging towards that coveted Supporters Shield trophy, scoring plenty of goals and entertaining the home crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium. Dallas comes to town hoping to gain ground on 5th place Vancouver. The Hoops have only one loss in their last 7 matches, and this match is ripe for a draw. Prediction: Draw, 2-2.

DVR/TiVo For Later

New York vs. Toronto, Saturday, 7 PM

The Red Bulls are in a bit of a funk. Loss to KC, drawn late at Gillette, this team needs to make a statement at home if they want to be considered for the top spot in the East. With SKC and CHI having fought the night before, this is a chance for NY to possibly gain ground on both teams. Prediction: NY 2-1.

Vancouver vs. Seattle, Saturday, 9 PM, NBCSN

The next installment of the Cascadia Cup takes place north of the border. Vancouver has been downright disappointing of late, with Martin Rennie’s overhaul costing the team a lot of ground in the hunt for the postseason. Seattle just got snookered at home by the leaders. Seattle gives F.C. Dallas more hope at November football. Prediction: SEA 3-1.

My Date Cancelled, What To Do?

Columbus vs. Philadelphia, Saturday, 7:30 PM

The Crew are still trying to use those games in hand to surpass Houston or DC, but have cooled off a bit lately since that great run in August in September. Philadelphia improved against Houston, and will look to build from that minor success. A recent fixture in Philadelphia went Columbus’ way late, this has all the makings of a draw. Prediction: Draw, 1-1

Houston vs. New England, Saturday, 8:30 PM

New England playing for pride right now, and Houston trying to reenergize themselves off that lackluster 90 in Philly. The Dynamo reassert their place at the MLS Cup Playoff table. Prediction: Houston 2-0.

Colorado vs. L.A. Galaxy, Sunday, 7 PM, Galavision

The Galaxy have a tough stretch approaching, and this is a great place for them to get an away win while still resting a few players. Colorado hasn’t been awful, but close. Prediction: LA 3-1.

Keep An Energy Drink Handy

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake, Saturday, 10:30 PM

Chivas has as much chance at making the playoffs as I have of getting every prediction right. Real Salt Lake should use this fixture to right whatever wrongs have come about in the last several weeks. Prediction: RSL 4-1.

Portland vs. D.C. United, Saturday, 10:30 PM

A home match at Jeld-Wen is typicially fun to see, but D.C. has lacked a lot of punch without DeRo. This has scoreless draw written all over it. Prediction: Draw, 0-0.

So there you have it. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below. Here’s hoping every match is a barnburner, and that your team has a good showing.