Friday, July 3, 2009

To the Death! MLS predictions

With the recent spate of celebrity, ah, moving-ons, what better theme than that for this week's MLS predictions, now that I'm back from vacation and ready to be back in the flow.

With the quicky picks from the Hill Country last week, I'm at 40-57, a .412 mark, increasing my lead over blind chance to a season-best eight games. So I'm starting to feel my oats here, leading to a wild bout of celebrations, much like this guy here:

Well, hopefully, not like that.

On to the picks:

Alright, aliright, RSl has started to play better, I'll admit it. And even though those guys ticked me off earlier in the season but losing winnable games right and left, maybe they are starting to turn things around. But even if they did not, a home game against the RBNY of the Wild West? Well, let's just say it would take a selling job of the first order to convince me that RSL will not win this game. Kinda like this one:

UNITED at CREW. Columbus 2-0 Columbus at home, just one point back of DCU in the Eastern Conference race. The defending champs are rolling. Call-ups might play a big role in this one as Columbus is without Robbie Rogers and and Chad Marshall, while DC suits up minus Santino Quaranta and Dejan Jankovic. However, injuries might be worse as DCU will not have Jaime Moreno, and probably not Luciano Emilio, while Fred is just coming back from an injury. That tilts it over to Columbus and GBS, who will score one and assist on the other, as is his wont. His game is oh so pretty, though perhaps not as pretty as:

FIRE at RAPIDS. Chicago 2-0 The string of clean sheets continue here. The Fire return after a three week MLS layoff missing only Bakare Soumare and Logan Pause, while the Crapids are without both Colin Clark and Omar Cummings. Chicago has their share of problems, true, but I think Colorado is on a free fall to Nowheresville. Colorado just doesn't have a Carson to come bail them out on this one.

DYNAMO at WIZARDS. 2-1 Orange. I will not hide the fact that I am nervous about this game. Even though we've got Rico back, it's no small thing to be missing this list of guys: Ching, Holden, Hainault, Barrett and Waibel. I think that's going to leave Kinnear with a lineup of


Bench: Akinbiyi, Oduro, Cruz, Hayden, Hall, James

The good news is I think this is still more than enough to beat the Jimmy Conrad and Davy Arnaud-deprived Kansas City Wizards. With Espinoza and Christman also out, you begin to see how the Dynamo's depth beats any other team's in MLS. It's the kind of insurance you just can't leave home without these days, right Karl?

RBNY at FC DISASTROUS. 1-1 Tie Oh. My. God. You know, there are those of us who defend MLS all the time. I really do think it is, like Grant Wahl said on World Soccer Daily once, to the rest of the world's leagues like a mid-major conference in the NCAA. But then you get a game like this that comes along and it just makes the job that much harder. Not only that, but loko at this absence list:

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS - OUT: DF Steve Purdy (R knee); MF Alvaro Sanchez (R ankle); DF Daniel Torres (R hamstring); MF Marcelo Saragosa (R hip); PROBABLE: GK Dario Sala (L knee) ... NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: DF Kevin Goldthwaite (groin); DF Carlos Mendes (L hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: FW Juan Pablo Angel (R hamstring); FW Macoumba Kandji (R hamstring strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DAL: Kenny Cooper (USA, CONCACAF Gold Cup) ... NY: Dane Richards (JAM, CONCACAF Gold Cup); Alfredo Pacheco (SLV, CONCACAF Gold Cup)

What's left are two groups that are not so much quality soccer teams, but they play ones on TV. Eventually, it's all just an impression, like this guy:

REVOLUTION at GALAXY. 2-0 LA. When was the last time the Galaxy were clearly the superior team? They might just be this time, when you look at the New England injury list (Castro, Shalrie, Ralston, Twellman, etc. etc.). Not only that, but Donnovan is back and LA will be playing new acquisition Eskandarian. The Galaxy will miss Donovan Ricketts, but then again, with New England's makeshift attack corps, whoever is between the pipes for LA might not have much to do. LA should make out like a Smooth Criminal on the night.

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