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Major League Soccer - Week 5 Saturday match previews and picks

Well the Major League Soccer season is in full swing now, we have already had 3 matches this week and there are 8 more this weekend.  Five matches will take place on Saturday and I will break them down and give you my picks for each of them in this post.  I will deal with the 3 Sunday matches tomorrow.

Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union - 2pm MT - Direct Kick

Well I think this one will probably be the best of the batch on Saturday, the Sounders found their stride last weekend against Chicago and have all the tools to be a very dangerous team.  I like what Mauro Rosales has added to their offense and if Fredy Montero can make an appearance off the bench, he could be a great late match sparkplug.  The Philly Union have simply ground out results, when they score they win, if they give up a goal they lose.  It really is that simple for them at this point 3 wins all by 1-0 scores, and 1 loss by a 1-0 score.  For me the biggest question about the Union is when will Sebastien Le Toux catch fire like he did last year?  I have to believe the arrival of Carlos Ruiz has shifted their offensive focus away from Le Toux and I consider that a mistake.

I think this one will be an exciting 1-1 draw.

the rest of the action after the jump:

DC United at Toronto FC - 5pm MT - Direct Kick

The Red's were able to hold the mighty LA Galaxy to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, and DC United were able to get a 1-1 draw with the Galaxy last weekend, so it should be easy that these two teams would end up in a draw right?  Well that would be too easy, there are two teams in the middle of their rebuilding projects and while I think DC is a bit further along in their process, I really like a couple players on both sides of this match.  I think Alen Stevanovic and Maicon Santos for TFC are exciting players to watch, and we know that Andy Najar is fun to watch and I think Blake "my name barely fits on a jersey" Brettschneider has some real potential.  We also know that it is likely that Charlie Davies will get on the pitch, and if things go to trend that he will get a late PK awarded to DC and he will convert it.

That means this one ends up a 1-1 draw.

Chivas USA at Vancouver Whitecaps - 5pm MT - Direct Kick

Well another match at Empire Field, so we know to things it will not be a shut out for either side and that we will likely see a red card or three.  Chivas have yet to find their scoring groove, they have just 3 goals in their first 4 matches, but they are facing a team that has allowed the most goals in MLS (10) so if there is a team to get your offense going it may be the Whitecaps.  You have to wonder if the Vancouver staff will keep Eric Hassli on the bench as punishment for his silly red card a couple weeks ago, or if they will risk putting him on the pitch this weekend? Chivas USA fans might be giddy with the news of Benny Feilhaber signing with MLS since they at the top of the allocation order, they should be happier that their team has gotten back to back draws and given up only two goals in their last 3 matches.  The concern is where will the goals come from for Chivas USA, Justin Braun is the obvious answer but I think the partnership with Alejandro Moreno just hasn't clicked yet.

This one will be exciting with Vancouver keeping Chivas winless with a 3-2 result.

Sporting KC at Columbus Crew - 5:30pm MT - Direct Kick

This could be an entertaining match as the SKC road show continues (stop 4 of 10), KC have scored 8 goals and given up 8 goals and their last match was the frantic 3-3 draw with Vancouver a couple weekends ago.  Columbus hasn't been nearly as exciting to watch as they are still trying to figure out a lot of things on the pitch from all the new faces in new places, they have scored just 3 goals but their defense has only allowed 3.  I think this one will really come down to a matchup of the Sporting midfield versus the Columbus defense.  I think Teal Bunbury could really shine in this matchup, his speed should pose an interesting challenge for Chad Marshall and Julius James.  It is hard for the road team to get a positive result and we saw the KC defense have a complete meltdown at Vancouver the last time they played.

This one ends up a rather bland 1-1 draw.

San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls - 5:30pm MT - Direct Kick

So this could be fun, Dwayne De Rosario earned two stars with the original version of the San Jose Earthquakes, and he now plays for a team that has a total of 2 goals on the season.  One has to believe that eventually the offensive players on the New York Red Bulls roster will start to click, there is simply too much talent on their roster for them not to score goals.  The upside for NYRB is that they have only given up 2 goals this year as their defense has kept them alive in matches.  San Jose on the other side has a team that can score and a defense that has been good but not great, the Quakes have scored 5 goals (2 for both Chris Wondolowski and Simon Dawkins, and 1 for Khari Stephenson), while they have given up 4.  I think their offense has been taken to a new level of aggressiveness with the addition of Simon Dawkins, who has taken a huge amount of pressure off Bobby Convey and should allow them to continue playing a upbeat attacking style that is much more attractive than what they played last year. 

This one could be entertaining, I see a hard fought 2-1 win for the Red Bulls.

So there are the Saturday matches, without RSL in action I am not sure how much I will actually pay close attention to, but it should be a fun day if you want to watch some footy.