Friday, May 16, 2008

And now for a weekend completely different, or, staging an assault on common sense

So in place of the weekly interview segment, which no one here had time to chase down this week (Difference between a blog and a for-profit journalistic enterprise? In blogoverse, if you don't have time, you don't do it and you just move on.), it's on to some simple picks and thoughts heading into the weekend.

First, did anyone see Colorado's 2-0 win over RSL last night? How ironic that the goal that sealed it was a PK on a brain dead handball in the 80+ minute? Some days the tiger gets you and other days you get the tiger.

I like RSL, I really do. And as I wrote over on Center Holds It, they're a very beatable team, but if you take your eye off them, they can punish you for that. They're kinda like the kid swinging at you that you've got at arm's length. He can't hit, and can't hit. You get confident, look away and then Kyle Beckerman knees you in the nuts. You know it's your own damn fault you're writhing on the ground in pain, but you also know that there's no way RSL can mount an attack with this strategy. Still, man that hurts!

Dynamo vs. Chicago: As I'm writing this, there's still no preview posted on the Dynamo site. But a quick lookaround tells me everyone and their dog are picking the Fire. I have no problem with that as, if I was even pretending to be unbiased, I'd do the same thing. Chicago is at home. They're mostly healthy. Their players are fast and difficult to defend. Busch has been a monster in goal. You think you're dealing with that piss-like beer and then he comes over all Guinness on you, stopping your dead-certain-to-find-the-back-of-the-net shot. Kinda like Matt Reis, only younger. And don't even get me started on C-moc White. Though, my prediction is that over the course of the season, he'll tire like Carl Lewis in a marathon and will be nadas-ville in October.

Still, if the Orange are to prevail, what has to happen? First, Eddie Robinson and Bobby Boswell have to click all game like they did in the first half against Colo last week. The defensive perimeter around that goal mouth has to be what it was in June of 2007, the freakin' Ash Mountains on one side and the Mountains of Shadow on the other. Second, the return of solid wing play would help. But with Brad Davis still out (he is still out, right?) I think this is unlikely. And third, Chicago has been getting a lot of great press recently. Has this gotten to their heads? If so, you'll see it in a visitor-dominated first half. If not, it could get ugly. But the thought of ugly makes me unhappy, so I think realistically, another tie is in the offing here. I'll go with a prediction of 0-0. Only unlike in previous weeks, the draw might be morale-boosting.

Toronto 2, Columbus 1: At some point, the Crew are going to lose a game they're confident about. And what better time than a visit to BMO Field and the surging Reds. (Also, any chance to select a team called the Reds in homage to Hawksport Ian's Pittodrie side, I'll take.) The Crew are good, but I also think they've been playing out of their minds. I think Toronto, whose fans got into the Crew's heads in the opening week, is just the team to bring them down to Earth. The matchups I'm looking for Hejduk vs. Guevara and Marvell Wynne vs. Schelotto. I also think this will be the week where everyone says, "Hey, what is happening to Alejandro Moreno? Looks like he's slowing down." It's coming at some point, and I think it'll be in the Great White North.

New York 2, Kansas City 0. Angel is back. He and Altidore score and all the Metroredbullstar fans, despite the fact that they should know better by now -- they really should -- will feel the glimmers of hope after New York takes it to Kansas City at home in no uncertain terms. We're into May and June, which like last year, is New York's time to shine. NY's defense isn't all that, but I just don't think that KC has the firepower to take advantage on the road. The Wizards are on their way to an RSL level of suckage this year. And this game will be looked at as the moment where that became quite obvious. I hope I'm wrong because the Cauldron holds great fans, but I just got that feeling.

New England 3, San Jose 0. The days of the Quakes winning a big game on the road against a quality side will come, but not this weekend. Just like Columbus did to them at the end last week, the Revs are going to kick them until they cry and then kick them for crying. I think this game will come to being unwatchable, unless you're Jimmy Chowda that is.

DC United 2, Chivas USA 1: OK, here's the shocker pick, but I have my reasons. First, DCU is having troubles, yes, but they are just not that bad. Second, las chivitas is having troubles, yes, but they ARE that bad, so bad that they are going to singlehandedly resurrect DCU's season and take Guzano out of all summer transfer market speculation all at once. But like Dan Loney said, they are, after all, just one great Mexican signing away from solving all their worries aren't they? I know that 2-1 is always the wussy pick, but I rarely pick home shutouts and I know Zach Wells' strengths and deficiencies, as do all MLS teams. So a clean sheet on the road I will not predict. But just good enough to win, OK, I'll go with that.

Los Angeles 2, Dallas 2: Do you like defense? Well, stay home dude. Enjoy your Sunday. Spend time with your family and on no account tune in to watch this game. Freefalling FCD (you have no idea how thrilled I am to write those words) and top heavy LA start a firin' and we should all get the wimmin and chillin' out the way. Arturo Alvarez and Kenny Cooper score. Landon Donovan heals quickly and blisters the candystripers yet again. David Beckham scores, then is seen lowering his head, pleading get me to Wembley to play the US, fast. I don't know how much longer I can take this.

What do you think?

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