MLS Week Three: A Look Ahead

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The busiest day in Major League Soccer history will take place on Saturday, when a record eight MLS matches will be played across the country.

You name it and it's probably on the schedule. Conference rivals doing battle? Check. cross-country showdown? There's that too. Expansion team making its home debut? It's all on tap this weekend.

The Western Conference features the top match-ups, as Seattle faces Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy takes on the Houston Dynamo.

The spotlight will be on Philadelphia, where the Union will make its home debut against new rival D.C. United.

Here is a rundown of this weekend's matches, along with our predictions:

CHIVAS USA vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS (4pm, Telefutura)

The Martin Vasquez era is off to a slow start in LA, and things don't get any easier against a reborn Red Bulls squad that enters unbeaten and unscored upon. Chivas USA could be in for a long day if it employs a 4-5-1 against a Red Bulls defense that has been impenetrable early on this season.

The key for New York will be feeding Juan Pablo Angel, who is still searching for his first goal. New York could also find success on the flanks, where Chivas USA has struggled this season.

Chivas USA should improve on its first two performances of the season, but that won't be enough to stop the Red Bulls from taking three road points. Red Bulls 2, Chivas USA 0.

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs. D.C. UNITED (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

The Philadelphia Union makes its home debut at Lincoln Financial Field in a game that has turned into a vital one for both teams. D.C. is looking to avoid a three-match winless streak to start the season while Philly looks to improve on a disappointing season opener.

Philly will have the home crowd boost, and will welcome back Fred from suspension, but it will still be a struggle to deal with a D.C. team that is still looking for its first goal. D.C. should be able to win the battle in midfield and Jaime Moreno should be a handful for the Union defense.

Defensively, the D.C. United defense will need to contain Fred and Roger Torres, a dynamic duo that should create some chances for the home team. They won't be enough chances though as D.C. United prevails in the first installment of what should be a great rivalry. D.C. United 2, Philadelphia Union 1.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. TORONTO FC (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

New England has managed to do pretty well despite missing Shalrie Joseph for its first two games, but now a home debut at Gillette coupled with the possible return of Joseph should lead to a successful day at Gillette against a struggling Toronto team in turmoil.

Look for Stevie Nicol to call on his speedsters to go after a slow TFC defense. New England's stingy defense should handle the rest in a Revs victory. Revolution 1, Toronto FC 0.

KANSAS CITY vs. COLORADO RAPIDS (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

The Wizards got off to a great start, but will now take on a dangerous Rapids team that is unbeaten in two.

This one will be won and lost in central midfield, where the Wizards will look to outduel the Rapids tandem of Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz. KC may have better luck on the flanks, with Ryan Smith a good bet to find success against Kosuke Kimura (assuming Julien Baudet doesn't return, thus pushing Marvell Wynne to right back).

The Rapids attack begins with speedy Omar Cummings, who is so tough to keep a handle on. The small field for KC should help deal with Cummings, limiting his room to roam. Look for the Wizards to win at home. Wizards 2, Rapids 1.

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

A potential Western Conference final preview pits these unbeaten teams against each other.

Neither team has played to its potential this season, but something tells me this match-up will bring the best out of both teams. Edson Buddle has gotten off to a great start, but Houston's defense is tougher than any he's faced this season. That said, Landon Donovan should find success creating chances for himself.

The key for Houston will be generating chances without Brian Ching, who is out with a hamstring injury. Without him, Houston will struggle to break through the Galaxy's staunch defense. We see the Galaxy pulling the road upset. Galaxy 1, Dynamo 0.

FC DALLAS vs. COLUMBUS CREW (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

As dangerous as Dallas' attack can be, we don't see it finding success against the Crew's tough defense. Conversely, the FC Dallas defense will be hard-pressed to contain Columbus playmaker Guillermo Barros schelotto.

Jeff Cunningham should find a goal, but Columbus will find many more in a romp. Crew 3, FC Dallas 1.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

The Fire is winless after two matches, but the talent is there and the production should come here against a bad San Jose team. Collins John should wreak havoc on the Earthquakes centerbacks,while Marco Pappa finally gets off his own mini-slump. Fire 2, Earthquakes 0.

REAL SALT LAKE vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (9pm, Direct Kick)

Our pick for the game of the weekend, look for chances galore in a fast-paced game as both teams look to erase the taste of last week's tough losses.

The battle to watch is in central midfield, where Osvaldo Alonso will look to neutralize Javier Morales. Kyle Beckerman will be called on to do the same to Freddie Ljungberg.

Who wins? Seattle should find the net, with Steve Zakuani a potential scorer, but RSL is too tough at home and Robbie Findley will get his season off to a good start with some goals. Real Salt Lake 2, Sounders 1.

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Last Week's Predictions: 2-3

Season Record: 7-6

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43 Responses to MLS Week Three: A Look Ahead

  1. Jeff says:

    How dare you pick Union to lose tomorrow! No way. I don’t care if it’s a 0-0 draw, but we are not losing to DC.

    (SBI-Relax Jeff, it’s the reverse jinx. By picking you to lose, you’ll beat D.C. LOL)

  2. Chicago - Scott says:

    Only ONE paragraph on the Fire Vs Quakes game?!?!? hahah I guess it about summed it up though.

  3. Huey Bosco says:

    I’m bringing a friend to the Houston/Galaxy game tomorrow. Last time I brought him, we lost to RBNY 3-0 in our playoff series.

    Don’t make me regret this, Ives.

    (SBI-Hey, I’m picking LA to win, so you can’t blame me if you witness a Dynamo loss. You’ve been warned.)

  4. sread says:

    RSL and Seattle provided some quality matches last season. No doubt this is the game of the week. Wish I could be at Rio Tinto for the opener…go RSL!!…no snow!!

  5. GSS casual says:

    SOOO PUMPED….. Red Bulls FTW

  6. RSL Rob says:

    I’m worried, Olave broke my heart last week. And you can bet Ljungberg can sell a foul better than Landin (although he’s close to 100 pounds lighter).

  7. This Guy says:

    Lovin’ all the updates today.

    I would complain about some of the predictions but after you correctly picked RBNY over the Fire, I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

  8. skawars1 says:

    Jon Busch will be back in Chicago for the first time since getting let go by the Fire. He won’t play but worth mentioning.

  9. Jon Busch says:

    Not if I can help it.

    P.S. Since I’ve got more time on my hands now, this website is actually pretty cool.

  10. sjquakes408 says:

    I beg to differ with you Ives, Quakes will pull out a win if not a tie. Quakes are not as bad ad you paint then to be.

    p.s. Great site by the way, I appreciate your work.

  11. Sjquakes408 says:

    “not as bad as you paint them to be”

    sorry, typo, stupid iPhone keyboard.

  12. k says:

    I think a lot of these games this weekend look like draws, including Seattle/RSL, Houston/LA, and DC/Philly, so I aplaud you for picking winners.

  13. Ian says:

    lookin forward to watching the PU opener for sure.

  14. Wolfgang Depner says:

    Any word who is starting up front for RSL? What is the word on Wolff’s status with KC?

    Cheers,

    Wolfgang

  15. daggius says:

    SBI do you think Findley will get much playing time?? he barely got any last 2 weeks and didnt do much

  16. kevin says:

    link to mlssoccer.com

    maybe everyone already saw this? anyway it sounds like a really great step… nice to see their thinking about restarting the reserve league or letting guys go back and forth from the second division and MLS

  17. Josh D says:

    Oi – we’ll have none of that jinxing with DC… We’ve already got some Voodoo curse on us as it is…

  18. RedLine55 says:

    I just read that the US U17 men’s team and the Fire U16/U18 Academy Team are playing at 3pm at Toyota Park before the Fire game… and fans that want to see that can enter as long as they have a ticket for the Fire at night.

  19. Matt says:

    He had a bruised knee (allegedly) at Houston, thus he didn’t start. I think Kreis has realized that Espi and Saborio won’t work well together. It’ll be Findley and one of the other two strikers i think.

  20. piperfc says:

    Kinda dissapointed that espn2 isn’t covering any of these matches… f*ing ncaa frozen four

  21. war says:

    off topic, but Clark warmed the bench for the 90 again. Too bad he can’t come back to MLS. He, Kenny, and Adu have too much in common.

  22. irishapple21 says:

    With DC Scum playing Failadelphia, the only way there could be a positive result is if the blimp covering the game collapsed onto the pitch.

  23. Smith says:

    How dare you pick Seattle to lose! They are the greatest fans in all of football! Just look at their greem shirts!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, GOOOOO MORMANS!!!!!

  24. julio says:

    England-U.S. match threatenedEmail Print Share Associated Press

    JOHANNESBURG — A FIFA executive says a terrorist threat has been made on the World Cup.

    Secretary general Jerome Valcke commented Friday regarding an online magazine article that said “how beautiful” it would be if a bomb exploded at the U.S.-England game June 12 in the South African city of Rustenburg.

    Valcke says World Cup organizers are working at the “highest level of security.”

    The comments appeared to come from a contributor to a militant online magazine called “Yearners for Paradise,” not the usual sites used by al-Qaida and other groups to make threats.

    In the article, the author says he is not a spokesman for al-Qaida.

    *****which is why I said that Africa could not do a WC. The WC should be moved from Africa, it’s not ready. I don’t trust them taking care of our boys, The FBI needs to get on this, I bet is some stupid kid in one of those Muslim nations.

  25. Isaac says:

    I’d like to hear who everyone thinks is/will be the best strike pairing in the MLS.

  26. Charles says:

    I am wearing my Rave Green right now….thanks for the compliment.

  27. Charles says:

    What does having it in South Africa have to do with a threatened terrorist attack being worse ?

    I don’t get where you want it. Last time I was in London, I missed getting hit by 24 hours.

  28. Jayrod1111 says:

    Im going to the Revolution v. Toronto game tomorrow at Gillette…I think to myself how great it would be to go see an FC Boston v. Toronto FC game in Sommerville, a lovely suberb of Boston; In a new 20,000 seat stadium with supporters who dont have to drive to east Zimbabwe to go to a stadium that looks empty even when there is 18,000 people there…..

    But then I open my eyes….

    By the way lets hope we see Perovic play tommorow…Good Euro player who could be something in the MLS!

  29. Dlewis says:

    United gonna win over Philly, don’t kid yourselves.

  30. jose says:

    Wonder how true this story is:

    link to thesun.co.uk

    I wonder if there were also direct threats like this for the 2006 world cup or 2002.

  31. PattysCow says:

    I wouldnt be too worried. Usually nothing comes of a threat. Serious terrorist attacks come without warning…if you think about it its kinda of stupid to tell people what you’re going to do.

  32. Liverpool! says:

    N’Kufo and Montero!

  33. Smith says:

    I’m sure you look very handsome. Like the Philadelphia Eagles (yuck) gone neon at a stone roses reunion concert.

  34. irishapple21 says:

    I hear Seattle invented shirts.

  35. irishapple21 says:

    Angel and Henry

  36. Smith says:

    Yes, they did

    And Freddie Iron Lung Berg invented the people to wear them because he is God.

    Seattle is the Garden of Eden!

  37. einar says:

    I agree with the predictions and am looking forward to watch the union game

  38. Revolution489052743 says:

    I’m a Revs fan, and I’d love to see the Quakes get a point at Chicago.

  39. Revolution489052743 says:

    someday, we can only dream that the Krafts will get of their a***s and build us a nice stadium like everyone else.

    On the bright side, I’m happy with how the team looks this year. We have one of the best defenses in the MLS and Tierney and Mansally’s good form, Perovic, Boggs and Shilawski are all things to be excited about. Plus some guy named Shalrie Joseph is back

  40. Revolution489052743 says:

    good luck to the Union, should be a memorable night regardless of result

  41. jayrod1111 says:

    I think because of Patriot Place this new stadium is a pipe dream!!

  42. BSkillz says:

    Haha love it irish.

    I think after last night though, it is clear that if Twellman ever recovers (probably wishful thinking) he and Schilawski are gonna tear it up!