Major League Soccer Week 5 Preview

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Well my picks last weekend were off a bit as a number of big time upsets got pulled off by the likes of DC United and New England, then our two midweek matches went a bit more like expected as RSL and FC Dallas picked up wins. So that leaves us with seven matches on Saturday, and there are actually a number of really good matches that start early in the day and more all day long:

Toronto FC at Montreal Impact - 10:00am MT - Direct Kick & MLS Live

Toronto was the last MLS team standing in Champions League but that journey ended in Mexico as they lost the 2nd leg of their semifinal to Santos 6-2, now the Red's must quickly turn their attention to righting the ship in MLS as they are the only team without a point in MLS action. The problem has been simple a split focus and lack of scoring, with just 1 goal scored and 7 allowed their -6 is the worst GD at this point of the season. We know the team has talent but they must over fatigue and injuries if they want to get their first points of the 2012 season. Montreal will be a bit tired after travelling to Salt Lake for a Wednesday match that saw they put forth a huge effort but come up just short in the 1-0 loss. The Impact have some very good players and as they continue to learn how to play as a team they should continue to get better, this could be a huge match for them as they will have the emotion of the home crowd a regional rivalry and a struggling opponent. It is hard for me to pick a winner in this one so I am going with a 2-2 draw.

New York Red Bulls at Columbus Crew - 1:00pm MT - Univision Dep (?WTF), Direct Kick & MLS Live

Oh the love of putting a match on a network that is only carried by one provider, not sure why MLS is allowing this, I mean isn't New York one of their cornerstone franchises? Anyhow this should be an interesting match for those who can see it, the Red Bulls appear to have found their form and I am un-convinced that the Crew have any. The Crew have two wins over Montreal (1 point) and Toronto FC (0 points), so their wins are less than convincing to me. Both sides have played the Colorado Rapids, Columbus lost 2-0 and New York won 4-1, and for me the question is simple, can the Crew stop the Red Bulls from scoring multiple goals? Columbus may get a goal but I expect that the Red Bulls will get multiple, I see this one a 2-1 road win for the Red Bulls.

the rest of my previews and picks after the jump:

Los Angeles Galaxy at Sporting Kansas City - 2:00pm MT ESPN

Well the LA Galaxy drama continues, we have seen meltdowns on the field from them, and heard about them in their locker room, we know that Landon Donovan traveled with the team to KC and that David Beckham did not, can LA recover from their 1-2-0 start to the MLS season? Everyone thought the time off at the start of the season was to help them deal with Champions League, but they fizzled out there and now need to quickly regain their form as other teams are getting out of the gate hot this year. No team has a better start than Sporting KC, 4-0-0 with just 1 goal allowed and 7 goals scored. I have to wonder how LA's defense will deal with red hot sophomore C.J. Sapong, who has 3 goals already this year? I think this could be a real interesting match up as few expect the Galaxy to do much given their situation and the bar is very high for Sporting but I am going with an upset pick here and going to chose LA to get the win 3-2 in what I think will be an exciting match.

Vancouver Whitecaps at San Jose Earthquakes - 5:00pm MT Direct Kick & MLS Live

A huge Western Conference showdown between two teams finding early success, San Jose is 3-1-0 and the Whitecaps are 2-0-2. San Jose is coming off a cheeky 1-0 win at Seattle last weekend, while Vancouver is coming off back to back 0-0 draws. The Whitecaps haven't given up a goal yet this year and the Quakes have given up just 1, so on paper this would look like a defensive battle, but I think both teams are capable of big time offense as well. For Vancouver with playes like Eric Hassli, Sebastien Le Toux, and Camilo it is only a matter of time before they score some goals. San Jose will be without Steven Lenhart for this match but they still have Chris Wondolowski and I expect we might see some quality minutes from Simon Dawkins. I think this one ends up an offensive battle and a 2-2 draw.

Seattle Sounders at D.C. United - 5:30pm MT Direct Kick & MLS Live

Well it is an unlikely rivalry but it is one never the less, perhaps no match in Seattles 3 years in MLS has been bigger than their 2-1 win in the 2009 US Open Cup final over DC United, it was their first of 3 straight USOC titles and a quick way to start a rivalry. While Seattle has found success early in MLS, DC United has struggled the last few years in MLS action, and that has allowed the Sounders to hold a 2-1-0 record in MLS matches at RFK Stadium. One thing is sure these tend not to be defensive battles as the teams have played 6 times and 21 goals have been scored in those matches. Both of these teams are looking for something on the pitch, the Sounders are in a dog fight already in the West, as several teams have gotten off to good starts and DC is looking for a formula that will work on both sides of the ball. Will this be the match where DC's new striker Hamdi Salihi gets his first goal, or will they continue to rely on Maicon Santos and Nick DeLeon? For Seattle can David Estrada find the back of the net again was was his red hot start a bit of a fluke, will Freddy Montero get his first goal or assist? A lot of questions in this one and I see it coming down to a 2-1 win for DC United.

Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake - 7:00pm MT CW30, Direct Kick & MLS Live

You can check out my full match preview for this one here.

Chivas USA at Portland Timbers - 8:30pm MT Direct Kick & MLS Live

It is interesting that Chivas USA have given up just 3 goals so far this year, one in each of their 3 losses and they have scored just one goal, that in their only win of the season. It is clear that defense has been a priority of Robin Fraser this year and he has found that formula, now can they find a way to score goals? The Timbers have yet to keep a clean sheet in a match and gave up two goals in the last 4 minutes last weekend in their crushing 3-2 loss at home to Real Salt Lake. I fully expect that the Timbers are going to come out very fast and very aggressive in this match and I think that will be a struggle for Chivas USA to deal with, but their bunker and counter style worked in their only win of the season and almost worked last weekend against SKC. This one is likely to end up in a 2-1 win for the Portland Timbers.

OK, that is it, now go watch some MLS action.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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