MLS Week Two: A Look Ahead

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It is a light day in Major League Soccer, with just three matches on the schedule as MLS takes a bit of a break on this Easter Weekend.

The Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy won key Western Conference clashes on Thursday, while today offers a pair if inter-conference battles and one key Eastern Conference clash.

The New York Red Bulls have made the trip west to take on the Seattle Sounders, while the Chicago Fire look to erase the bad taste of last week's season-opening loss by beating Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Here is a rundown of today's matches, along with my predictions.

CHICAGO FIRE at COLORADO RAPIDS Rapids (4pm, Telefutura)

The Rapids opened the season with a win at Chivas USA, but a much tougher task awaits today as the Chicago Fire look to rebound after a season-opening loss to the New York Red Bulls.

The key for Chicago will be containing the dynamic Omar Cummings. Wilman Conde is just the defender to do that so the Rapids could find it tough relying on the Jamaican speedster today. They still have Conor Casey though, who should find a favorable match-up against C.J. Brown.

The Fire attack struggled for stretches against New York, but if Collins John can start today, Chicago will become that much tougher to contain. The Rapids lucked out last week in facing a Chivas USA squad that played just one forward in one-dimensional Maykel Galindo, but a potential Brian McBride-Collins John pairing could cause serious problems.

(UPDATE- Wilman Conde is out and rookie Kwame-Watson Siriboe is starting for Chicago. Without Conde, I can't see the Fire winning in Colorado). Rapids 2, Fire 1.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION at D.C. UNITED (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

New England will have to once again play without injured star Shalrie Joseph, making a win at RFK Stadium today seem nearly impossible. That is, until you remember how bad D.C. looked in its season-opening loss to Kansas City.

D.C. United should receive a boost from playing at home, and as tough as the Revs defense is shaping up to be, we see United creating enough chances to put this one away. On the offensive side, New England will struggle to create, particularly if newly-acquired D.C. defender Juan Manuel Pena is as good as advertised.

Jaime Moreno gets his season going with a pair of goals as D.C. United cruises. D.C. United 2, Revolution 0.

NEW YORK RED BULLS at SEATTLE SOUNDERS (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

Last year, the Red Bulls began their nightmare 2009 season with a 3-0 thrashing at Qwest Field. They surely remember that visit as they return to the scene of the crime.

Unfortunately for New York, Seattle may be even better now than it was a year ago, but the Red Bulls boast a much stronger defense. The battle tonight will be won or lost in midfield. If Freddie Ljungberg plays, Seattle will have enough attacking power to keep New York on its heels. If not, the Red Bulls should be able to keep up.

Seattle's defense will be tested for the first time by the forward tandem of Juan Pablo Angel and Mac Kandji, who will help the Red Bulls stay with the Sounders and take a valuable road point from tonight's match. Sounders 2, Red Bulls 2.

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How do you see today's matches going? Think the Fire can win in Colorado? Think D.C. will rebound from its ugly opener? Think the Sounders will thrash the Red Bulls yet again?

Share your thoughts below.

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13 Responses to MLS Week Two: A Look Ahead

  1. Igor says:

    I don’t think the Red Bulls can score 2 goals. If it’s a draw, it’ll be 1-1 or 0-0.

  2. DC Josh says:

    Vamos United. 2-1 to the black and red

  3. Matt says:

    I don’t see the Red Bulls putting in 2 goals tonight. Seattle’s defense is the real strength of the team.

  4. A Seattle Fan says:

    Pfff 2-2 at the mighty fortress Qwest? I always heard the mary jane was no good out there on the east coast, but your Seattle predictions just might be counter evidence.

    Come on man, that ranks right up there with claiming Zakuani is showing signs of a breakout year. The dude can’t even figure out how to make a threatening run.

  5. Sam in Puyallup says:

    No Freddie, no creative engine, no points for SSFC.

  6. kyle says:

    this will be a good test to see if the sounders can take the step and really become an elite team and deal with a good striker tandem. i see them winning 2-1 but if it were an away game i don’t know if the win would be there.

  7. rastafari says:

    Red bulls new keeper is gonna have at least 20 shots to deal with tonight.. Good luck RB’s

  8. dinomitedan says:

    uh im pretty sure its Seattle who has a hard time scoring as well. they are not scoring points left and right, and (1) game against the UNION at home doesnt really count. should be a good game, and both these times should do very good this season!

  9. RSLRob says:

    Yeah, I really can’t see Seattle dropping any points in this one. Well, if Ljungberg doesn’t play, and if one of the defenders gets a red, or maybe the Sounders would be interested in a straight up swap of Olave for Hurtado and PKs ensue. Otherwise, not a chance.

  10. seth says:

    If dane richards can keep his head up and pass/cross the ball after getting in behind the defense, then the red bulls can win this one. Ream and Petke are also gonna need to keep their composure. The red bulls are rather fragile after last season. a blowout loss would be devastating, but if they have a good performance then i think they’ll be good for the season.

  11. ManicMessiah says:

    No Robinson this week plus Angel having to play on turf this week, I’m not feeling great about the match tonight from the Red Bull perspective.

  12. EverydayFan says:

    Yo Ives,
    Two goals by NY at Qwest?
    That’s some serious disrespect right there.
    Good luck.
    You’ll need it.

  13. Martin says:

    Ives, great work as usual.
    I was looking for one of those “submit a question” posts, but i couldn’t fin done.
    In hockey, there are three refs, along with two )2) goal judges who sit behind the goal and who have the sole job of looking for when the puck gets into the goal.
    In soccer, there are three refs, but there are no goal judges. The all-important question of whether the ball passes into the goal is left up to refs who are at least 20-30 yards away.
    Why is that?