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Major League Soccer kicks off week 19 with 5 Wednesday matches

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Well it may be the time of year for friendly matches with teams from overseas and while the league may work hard to get some of those on TV the reality is that Wednesday will feature 5 midweek league matches.

New England Revolution at DC United - 5:30pm MT - Direct Kick

Well traditionally this is a powerhouse match up of the Eastern Conference but these aren't typical times in the East and DC United are in 6th place in the conference while the Revolution are dead last in 9th place.  We know that New England isn't very good this year and I have little doubt that the frustration has lead to their rash of red cards, tonight the team will be without Benny Feilhaber and with Michael Kennedy in charge I would be surprised if this one ends up 11v. 11.  DC will be looking for revenge as on of their losses came at the hands of the Revolution earlier this year, but even with just a 2-2-5 record at home United will be big favorites over a New England team that is 0-6-3 on the road.  I think we will start to see the partnership of Dwayne De Rosario in the midfield and Charlie Davies up top start to click, and that could be one of the most lethal partnerships in MLS.  DC gets a win at home 2-0

FC Dallas at Toronto FC - 6:00pm MT - Direct Kick

Well this should mark the debut of some new faces at Toronto FC, new DP signings, several trades within MLS will give TFC a look unlike anything their fans have ever seen.  Here is the projected starting XI (Frei, Gargan, Harden, Iro, Borman, Sturgis, Frings, Zavarise, Martina, Koevermans, and Plata), can you tell the first name of more than 6 of those players?  If TFC can get some great individual performances from their players they might find a way to make this a match, because clearly teamwork and familiarity won't be the same on their side of the ball and the team with 4 losses in their last 5 will need a miracle tonight.  Last weekend marked the first time since week 3 that FC Dallas went back to back matches without a win.  As one of the top teams in MLS they will clearly be looking to take advantage of this road match to gain ground on the teams above them, the question is how can you play a defend and counter style against a team with very little attack.  The hoops struggled last week in a match where they dominated possession and shots, have to believe this time they won't struggle as much, a 2-1 road win.

the rest of the matches after the jump:

New York Red Bulls at Colorado Rapids - 7:30pm MT - Direct Kick

Well if you looked at this matchup at the start of the year you would have been excited, the defending MLS Cup Champions and then the team many pick to win it all this year.  Reality hasn't been that kind as the Rapids have struggled and have just a 6-6-9 record and find themselves in 5th place in the West 12 points behind the LA Galaxy. The bad news got worse as they lost Conor Casey, their leading scored with 6 goals and 1 assist for the year in their weekend 4-3 loss at Seattle.  The Rapids are 1-2-2 in their last 5 matches, meanwhile the New York Red Bulls with the highest payroll in league history are just 1-1-3 in their last 5 and 6-4-11 overall (1-2-8 on the road) and while they are in second place in the East, they would be just above the Rapids in 5th place in the West.  The Red Bulls unlike most MLS teams won't be bringing in teams to face for a friendly, instead they will head to London at the end of the month for a couple of friendly matches (they do love their Thierry Henry at the Emirates).

The numbers say this one should end up in a draw like their first meeting this year, I really doubt this one will end up a 0-0 draw and given that both teams have give up multiple goals in at least 5 of their matches and scored multiple goals in at least 6 (Red Bulls-10, Rapids 6) I am going with another 2-2 draw for these two.

Vancouver Whitecaps at San Jose Earthquakes - 8:30pm MT - Direct Kick

Well this should be interesting, the Whitecaps played their big Man City friendly on Monday night and now travel to San Jose to face the Quakes.  The Whitecaps are 0-8-3 on the road with 7 goals for and 17 allowed and they have just two wins overall, so they will be challenged to get a result against San Jose who are 3-2-5 at home and 5-6-8 overall.  These teams did draw 1-1 when they faced off at Empire Field, and this one could end in a draw as well, when you consider that San Jose have 4 draws in their last 5 matches.  You have to wonder what happened to the Quakes who have scored just 2 goals in their last 6 matches, after scoring 13 in their 5 before that.  You have to wonder if they were a better team without Chris Wondolowski who was gone on national team duty for several of their high scoring matches.  There is an upside for San Jose, they have given up just 5 goals in their last 6 matches and have 3 clean sheets, but the no goals in their last 3 matches is scary, no better team to score against than the Whitecaps who have given up 28 goals so far this year.  This one probably ends up a 1-1 draw but I am going to pick the Quakes for a 1-0 win.

Columbus Crew at Los Angeles Galaxy - 8:30pm MT - Direct Kick

The Galaxy will look to rebound from their 4-1 loss to Real Madrid this weekend by defending their unbeaten home record (5-0-5), but the Crew have a fairly impressive record at LA (7-8-4).  Last year LA won both matches, but both teams have struggled a bit on the offensive side in the last few matches as the Crew have just one goal scored in their last 3 matches and LA has just 2 goals in their last 3 matches, so you have to wonder what will happen tonight, the last goal LA scored was that amazing corner kick goal by David Beckham which was the match winner against the Chicago Fire.  Have to believe LA will find a way to get a win at home tonight, going to go 1-0 LA in this one.

There you go, enough to get you ready for all the Wednesday action.

OFF MY SOAPBOX