MLS Weekend Preview (April 12th and 13th)

Published: Apr 11, 2014 15:41pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:41pm EDT

 

Here we go again with yet another MLS weekend with Sporting Kansas City sitting out this weekend. Currently sitting in third position in the Eastern Conference they could find themselves slipping down to fifth come Monday morning.

Here is a look at this weekends matches which starts in Philadelphia and ends in San Jose on Sunday afternoon.

 

SATURDAY:

 

Philadelphia v Real Salt Lake (4pm):

Undefeated Real Salt Lake visit PPL Park knowing that a win would bring them to within a point of leaders FC Dallas, for at least a couple of hours at least. For Philadelphia, they may not face a tougher game all season. The season has not been as expected for the Union so far with the reaction to last weeks game highlighting that fact perfectly. 2-1 up with the game winding down before an Anangono goal tied the teams up. A stoppage time penalty save meant that Philly got a point, and the fans left somewhat relived.

That was against a similarly struggling Chicago side and RSL are anything but struggling. Maryland native, Kyle Beckerman, born in Crofton MD and slap bang between Baltimore and DC is certainly on the radar for the plane to Brazil for the World Cup in June, a good performance here would do his chances no harm and I think he could get to control the midfield in this game.

 

Toronto FC v Colorado Rapids (4pm):

Joint top of the Eastern Conference Toronto FC take on fourth in the West on Saturday. The question is will Michael Bradley, if he plays, be able to run the midfield. Jermain Defoe might have set the MLS on fire with his first few appearances but Jose Mari might have a say on that after his goal last time out.

In the head to head meetings between the two clubs only one game has resulted in the away side taking all the points and that was back in August 2008. Toronto were the away side that day when they won 1-0 and they were the away side again when the game ended in a goal less draw in 2011.

Everything form wise points to another Toronto win but I am sure the Rapids will also say records are there to be broken.

 

Montreal Impact v Chicago Fire (4pm):

No wins in five games for the home side and if this run continues they may have to change their name from Impact to something more appropriate. That said Chicago haven’t exactly set the League on Fire either and both sides are still searching for their first wins of the season.

Frank Klopas, Montreal coach will now welcome his old side to the Olympic Stadium against a side they have only beaten once.

A win for either side will lift a few places but for the defeated side, or both if its another draw, questions will need to be asked as to what kind of season they are shaping up to have.

 

New England v Houston Dynamo (5pm):

The opening day of the season saw these two playoff sides from last season open up their campaigns. The result that day was a 4-0 win for Houston and I am sure expectations were raised. Since then the Dynamo have won one more and lost two, scoring less goals in the combining weeks than they did on that opening day.

For New England it will be a chance to put the record straight on their own patch. Not only will a win lift them above the visitors but will put them in a very good position going forward.

 

DC United v New York Red Bulls (7pm):

Red Bull may give you wings but right now they would certainly prefer to have wins right now. Five games into the season and Henry, Cahill and co are still looking for that elusive three points. DC United have played one less game than their visitors, won one more and lost one more. It is by no means the match of the weekend but certainly is a must win for both the fans of DC and New York. Both sides will see a win as a potential launchpad for their season to really catch light but for the losers it will be back to the drawing board or prepare for a very average season.

 

FC Dallas v Seattle Sounders (8:30pm):

Four points clear at the top of the table FC Dallas welcome Dempsey and the Sounders to their house. Last season the sides met three times with Dallas losing the first two meetings before being successful at home in the Final encounter by a 2-0 score.

By contrast Seattle have been inconsistent and their five games have resulted in just as many defeats as wins and almost the same amount of goals scored as have been conceded. If Seattle were to take the points in this game then they will cut the points deficit in half. Although Dallas will remain top no matter what the score a win would put the home side a massive nine points above the visitors.

 

Portland Timbers v Chivas USA (10:30):

Hopefully the Timbers are now starting to show the scoring prowess they had promised at the start of the season. The four goals scored against Seattle last week eclipsed the three in total for the season up until that point. Yes they also conceded four, which brings its own questions, but at least they are scoring freely now.

The question for Chivas is whether their back line can be strong for this game. In Goalkeeper Kennedy and the ex USMNT defender Carlos Bocanegra they certainly have a good rear guard and it could be the rock they need to facilitate the win they need.

 

LA Galaxy v Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30):

The Galaxy were trundling along the bottom of the Western Conference with just the single point and still looking for their first win of the season until last weekend. A nice 3-0 win against Chivas last Sunday would certainly have boosted their confidence going into this game against a side with no such worries so far.

Two wins and two draws for the Whitecaps mean they are right where they need to be at this stage of the season and certainly more points in Saturdays late game will do them the world of good.

 

SUNDAY:

 

San Jose v Columbus Crew (3pm):

With the exception of the game in 2011 all the head to head meetings between these two have ended in a share of the points. On that day exactly 35 months ago San Jose were 3-0 victors and a similar result on Sunday will not only lift them from the bottom of the Western conference but give them their very first win of the season.

Columbus will not be an easy scalp though, currently top of the Eastern Conference, they will not go down easy. Another victory for the Crew will see their good start to the season continue and place a serious question mark on San Jose.


 

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Jason Bardwell
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