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Major League Soccer - Week 9 kicks off with 3 Wednesday matches - previews and picks

Well it is a busy week for MLS as there are 6 teams that will be in action on Wednesday and all of those teams will be back in action this weekend.  None of the matches are on National TV, we kick off with:

Los Angeles Galaxy at Philadelphia Union - 5:30pm MT - Direct Kick

Well coming off a huge match with New York on Saturday, now the Galaxy have to head to Philly to take on the Union. Last year that wouldn't be as daunting as facing a Union side that is 4-2-1 and 3-0-1 at home, the Galaxy are 2-2-2 on the road but have a -2 goal differential with 6 goals scored and 8 allowed.  The Galaxy will be without David Beckham, who leads the Galaxy with 5 assists.  He will be resting this match as LA has 3 matches in 7 days, but their busy schedule now will mean that they will have a lighter MLS schedule when Champions League comes around.  LA is still looking for a replacement for Edson Buddle and neither Juan Pablo Angel or Chad Barrett have found their grove just yet, thankfully they have Landon Donovan who leads the team with 4 goals and 1 assist.

If you would tell me that the Union would have scored just 5 goals but in second place in the Eastern Conference, I would think you were joking but they are and they have found a way to play very solid defense and get results.  3 goals is all they have given up in 7 matches and they have turned that into 4 wins, not to bad.  I do think that they still need to figure out their offense, because scoring less than 1 goal per match simply won't work long term in MLS.  I believe the issue resolves around trying to run their offense through Carlos Ruiz instead of taking advantage of a guy who last year looked like a MVP, can the Union get Sebastien Le Toux on track?  I think that this will actually be an interesting match, the Union have found a way to grind out results and I can see this one ending up in a 0-0 or   1-1 draw.

the other matches after the jump:

Toronto FC at FC Dallas - 7pm MT - Direct Kick

Toronto has never beaten FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park and while they found a way to get a win last weekend over Houston at home, can they find a way to get their first win on the road this year?  0-2-1 with 8 goals allowed and 3 goals scored is what TFC have been able to do on the road, but the team is starting to figure it out.  FC Dallas has been trying to adjust to life without David Ferreria and they have managed 3 straight results.  At home they are 2-1-1 this year, with 6 goals scored and 4 allowed, but can they get their forward to score?  Milton Rodriguez and Fabian Castillo each have just one goal, defender Brek Shea has 2 goals, so they will need others to step up.  I wonder if Eric Avilla can be a creative force in the midfield, we know that Marvin Chavez can be a player willing to attack defenses so he too will need to step up.

If the TFC defense shows up they usually get a good result, in each of the teams 3 losses they have allowed at least 3 goals.  When their offense is able to score more than 1 goals the team is 2-1-0, but without Dwayne De Rosario it has been a question mark as to who will create and finish for them?  Alan  Gordon, Maicon Santos and Javier Martina all have scored 2 goals and I think with Santos playing a more creative role in the midfield that it might be the key to turning this team around.  I think they will struggle do deal with the speed that Dallas can attack with, this one will be tough for the Red's who will likely find themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

San Jose Earthquakes at Vancouver Whitecaps - 8pm MT - Direct Kick

There are probably no two teams who need a win worse than these two and at Empire Field the matches most often are exciting. Each team has just a single win on the season, but for some reason I think that this might just be a surprising match.  I know that the Quakes were counting on Simon Dawkins to be their special player in the middle this year but with him out recovering from surgery they will need to count on others and there are few players who can create better than Bobby Convey.  I think playing Chris Wondolowski in the midfield is smart but it will be interesting to see if he find a way to become a supplier as well as a finisher.  Their defense simply must get better as they have given up 6 goals in their last 3 matches after giving up just 4 in their first 4 matches.

The Whitecaps are an interesting expansion team, they have some very dangerous players Eric Hassli should now have learned his lessons with silly fouls and cards and should take the lead for Vancouver's offense.  Camilo is a player who I think could do really good things, but he will rely on quality service from their midfield and that just hasn't been consistent enough but that is part of being an expansion team.  Their defense really has holes all over and they have given up 14 goals and unless something changes they will find wins very tough to find.  They ground out a 0-0 draw with Chicago last weekend, but at home they have scored 9 goals and I doubt it will be a shut out on Wednesday.  I think this one likely ends up a 2-2 draw as neither side get the much needed win.

Well there you have it, 3 matches for your entertainment on Wednesday night.

OFF MY SOAPBOX