Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nine minus one, Week 23 (!) predictions

(Thanks to Nigel Brooks for that image.)

So what with the CONCACAF Champions League game last night, as well as El Escorpion's signing (which may just be even better than this Orange Scorpion), it completely missed my notice that there was indeed an MLS game last night. Not only that, it's one that has some import on Dynamo.

Chicago proved once again how eminently beatable they are at home, losing 2-0 to the Gals on goals from Mike Magee (Did you see his cutback before putting it on frame? Sick.) and Landon. LAG is now only five points back of Dynamo with a game in hand. They could be two points back as they also play Saturday, this time with that British guy we've all been hearing so much about back in midfield.

The LAG-Fire game was the first of an amazing nine MLS contests in Week 23. (Hey, I had no idea about all this weird stuff about the number 23. One ironclad rule about religious sociology, humans will believe anything.) So without further ado, let's get after it.

Last week: 3-3 (with one game, the Amerigoats' 2-0 pasting of NYRB, exactly right!)
Overall: 67-80 (.456, or 18 games above blind chance)

REVOLUTION at SOUNDERS. 2-1 Seattle The Revs are without Stevie Nicol on the bench again, while the Sounders are without Tyrone Marshall on the field. You tell me which is worse. As the game goes on and New England looks around, seeing another team with NFL ties but playing to a packed house, Seattle will get behind them and score. High hopes: If Fredy Montero gets a yellow, he sits this weekend. Same for migraine boy Ljungberg (assuming he plays at all). (And I do not in any way disparage migraine suffering. My wife gets those and they are not anything to dismiss out of hand.) But with Baldomero "Dynamo-killer" Toledo blowing the whistle, watch him award yellow to every Sounder except Montero.

GALAXY at DC UNITED. 1-0 DCU Hmmm. I meant to write "1-0 LAG" there and for some reason my hands revolted and typed DCU. OK then. I go with my hands. Still, LA has been great recently while DC has been rubbish. Did you see their loss against Toronto last week? Best not. But DC is always tough at home, and since they really played only half a game against Maraton, maybe they're rested. Whatever. Go DC, I guess.

WIZARDS at EARTHQUAKES. 2-0 San Jose Slowly, as the game goes on, it begins to down on Peter Vermes that Curt Onalfo was probably the least of KC's problems. To quote Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain, "She can't sing, she can't dance and she can't act. She's the triple threat." They'll make San Jose look good, no mean feat.

TORONTO FC at CHIVAS USA. 2-1 las chivitas Jesus Padilla, that Americano, will perform well, but what really leads to this result is that the Reds are terrible on the road. Chivas finally broke their long, looong non-winning streak in Giants Stadium last week, but then again, isn't a game against NYRB that just what any doctor would order when presented with a streak like that? Anyway, where was I, OH YEAH! This game. Chivas struggles and maybe DeRo bombs another one over Zach Thornton (like this one), but the Amerigoats should win this one.

FC FRISCO at NYRB. 2-0 Dallas Did you see that game that NYRB played against Chivas last week? This team really is as bad as all that. So candystripers, this one's for you.

RAPIDS at FIRE 1-1 Draw So is this the weekend that Chicago's 2009 dream goes down the tubes? First Soumare and Hamlett dust it up in the locker room, then the Galaxy embarrass them, and then finally Colorado comes in and grabs a draw (and possibly a win, which is what I wanted to pick at first before I changed it). Very possibly. To be fair, the fire is still only four points back of the idle Crew (Idle? In a weekend with nine games!!?!?!??) this weekend, and with a win here will be putting serious pressure on the East leaders. But I think you'll see the difference in the East between the Crew and everyone else here.

REAL SALT LAKE at REVOLUTION 1-0 New England Just like I said about the Sounders last week, I will not pick RSL to win a road match until they do it. (And look how that worked out. Hmmm.) And I am sticking with that, even against a hobbled and overworked Revolution team.

SOUNDERS at DYNAMO. 3-1 Houston No matter how they did last week, I don't think the Sounders, playing their second game in three days, are going to be able to walk into Robertson and pull off a win here. Landin may or may not have much time to train with his new teammates, but if he does play, pairing with the Flyin' Hawaiian up front and Holden directing the service (Did you see that ball last night that led to the goal? I've watched it today five times just to see it again. Wow.), I think Dynamo will overwhelm Seattle at home. Added to that is that Dynamo really is none too happy with Seattle after those two short-handed losses against them a few weeks ago. Orange trumps green here.

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