Friday, October 19, 2012

Five MLS games to watch this weekend

We're getting down to the nitty gritty here in the MLS playoff chase, one that's been strangely and hopelessly anticlimactic this year (heard a stat that nine of 10 teams currently in playoff position were there in May). In any case, here's five games to tune into this weekend as the playoffs creep over the horizon like a slovenly, hungry beast.

The Dirty Pirate limbers up.
LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes

The showstopper this weekend, the one you need to see. Shame it's on Galavision, which means you have to watch it through the fuzzy haze in the non-HD wilderness. This game is a delicious entree for a few reasons. None are bigger than Wondo's pursuit of Roy Lassiter's goals record of 27. Wondo's at 25 with two regular season games left, and MLS is reportedly flying Lassiter to the Bay Area for the game. Why? It seems unlikely that Wondo either ties or breaks the record against LA, but MLS appears keen to frame a moment here if he does. Which is fine. It's also the home finale for the 'Quakes, who break ground Sunday at the Coleman Avenue site where their new 18,000-seat stadium will rise into the crisp bay air. And, it's the California Clasico, which has already produced two absolute classics this season. That enough story lines for you? Don't miss it. If only MLS Live could simulcast with Galavision for fans who desire English commentary...

Philadelphia Union at Houston Dynamo

Philly's season is over, but the Dynamo have plenty of chips still on the felt. Houston needs to extend its 24-game unbeaten run at home (and Boniek Garcia will likely have a lot to do with that) if it hopes to squeak into the playoffs ahead of Columbus. Meanwhile, Philly is actually on a fairly positive run of form with wins in its last two, and the spoiler role is an obvious one. The Crew are just a point back with two games remaining, meaning the pressure's on the Dynamo to get the result, which, honestly, they probably will. But will a draw be enough? Which brings us to...

Columbus Crew at DC United

Huge game for both sides. Of course Columbus needs wins to keep up with Houston, but perhaps the more compelling storyline here is United. DC can secure passage to the playoffs for the first time in five years with a win or a draw, and recent history is certainly on United's side. They boast the second-most prolific offense at home in the league with 34 goals and a +19 goal differential at RFK. Columbus kept its postseason hopes alive against SKC before the international break with a theatrical equalizer from Eddie Gaven in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw. Probably won't be enough now. The Crew need wins.

Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps

Portland's turbulent season is well over, which focuses the glare squarely on the 'Caps. Vancouver was dreadful in August and September. They lost five of seven and went winless, which allowed former postseason also-ran Dallas to creep back into the picture. Only FCD has struggled to pick up full three-pointers when necessary, leaving the 'Caps with a slim four-point hold on the fifth playoff spot with two games left. Vancouver showed signs of shaking off the rust in a 4-0 win over Chivas before the break, but, yeah, it's Chivas. And this is a Cascadia Cup tie, so anything's possible. If FCD can get a result from Seattle and Vancouver loses to Portland, we're going to have an interesting final day of the regular season on our hands.

Colorado Rapids at Chivas USA

Hahahaha. Just kidding. (Go watch SKC-NYRB instead).

- Will Parchman


Tom said...

I've finally figured it out. Becks is going to be Guy Fawkes for Halloween!

rose said...

MLS Live could simulcast with Galavision for fans who desire English commentary.

paul said...

I believe only with a win Portland claims their first Cascadia Cup when all three clubs were competing. The two that they've won were against Vancouver alone in USL, as Seatle had "expanded" to the MLS during those seasons.

dikranovich said...

bravo dc united!!! this is a dangerous team and they have the best right back in MLS.

dikranovich said...

pacman, i really like this new playoff format and it makes for some real good soccer over the next weeks.

the wild card game between #4 and #5 adds alot of spice. its funny, but no team in the east will have a greater impact on the playoffs than philly. this team has two games in the next week and both have huge playoff implications.

amazingly, dc united has a shot at the top spot, but it will take a union victory at livestrong, and a dc united win away, by at least three goals.

my prediction is...... lot of exciting games

dikranovich said...

ps; if im freddy adu, id find out which sports shrink ej went to and get myself there pronto.

i dont know if you guys saw the sounders/ dallas game, played in front of almost 40k last night, but ej is making thirty yard cross field diagonal passes that have him looking like andreas pirlo. actually, ive been making these passes on fifa13, with a nice triangle through ball to the farside runner, with devastating effect.