Friday, September 18, 2009

MLS predictions: Out of the Fog and back to winning

The Houston Dynamo are not the only ones suffering through a run of bad form in recent days. I need to come in out of the fog as well.

Three weeks ago, I was swimming along with a .452 prediction rate at 70-85, feeling pretty good about myself at 19 games above just throwing darts blindfold at a board. Since then, well, perhaps it would have been good for someone to give me a red card as well. In the last three weeks, I have gone 3-15 (2-5, 0-3 and 1-7), hardly the stuff that legends are made of.

(Of course, who was the person that predicted that FC Dallas (!) of all teams would drop a six spot on the LA Galaxy in the Home Depot Center or previously moribund las chivitas would destroy the New England Revulsion? Or, or, or... Not that I'm blaming others for my own suckitude, mind you. HAH!)

Anyway, I have six weeks to turn this puppy around, and hopefully that will begin this weekend. I need some kinda shot in the arm, and maybe Dynamo coming home for the first time in a month this weekend can return some of my mojo. Though, to be truthful, if I could just get a crystal ball that didn't have all of these hexagonal marks all over it, maybe I could see the future just a little clearer!

On to the weekend:

Last week: 1-7
Overall: 74-100 (.425 or 16 games over blind chance)

REVOLUTION at RED BULL. 2-1 New England OK, OK, Maybe I was being a bit bitter when I made that Revulsion crack above. No player makes more difference for New England than Shalrie Joseph (not even the estimable Stevie Ralston I would wager) and he was missing last week serving a red card suspension. This week, ShalJo is back and that ought to be enough for the Revs against NYRB. To be fair, New York has been playing better (even though they screwed the pooch against KC last week), and this is something of a rivalry game, so you really never know in those types of situations. The two teams do NOT like each other. But still, New England ought to have enough, even without the suspended Edgardus Jankauskuskuskuskuskus (his real name), and Wells Thompson to come home with full points.

RAPIDS at EARTHQUAKES 2-1 Colorado Hmmm. The Rapids play four of their final six games on the road. San Jose hasn't played since August. Colorado is without the thug Mastroeni (though perhaps the scum should learn from this Mastroeni about hitting someone). San Jose has made several roster moves recently and key players hurt. This one is hard to predict, except, oh, Conor Casey is playing? OK then, Colorado takes this one handily.

CHIVAS USA at SOUNDERS. 2-0 Seattle I'm sure the Amerigoats are all psyched up after pounding the Revs 2-0 last week. But I'll have to see more from them before I believe that their downward momentum has been reversed. A road win or draw at Qwest Field would convince me, but I just don't see it happening. Seattle is at full strength, coming off an impressive road win and very much in the Western title and playoff hunt. Both teams should share the same sense of urgency, but I think Seattle at home has more ability to do something about it than Chivas.

FC DALLAS at WIZARDS. 2-2 Draw Boy, what strange team this FC Frisco squad has turned out to be this year. From absolutely horrible to a pair of huge goal explosions, denying the Galaxy the top spot in the West with a six-pack of a road win with the last one, and total stink-up-the-place-itude in between. I have no idea what to make of that team. However, I also know what Kei Kamara can do when focused and motivated, which I assume he will be in his first game in KC. So I think this one is a total toss-up. My biggest prediction, this game will be unwatchable for long stretches.

TORONTO FC at GALAXY. 2-0 LAG Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Gals surrendered six goals to Frisco and Toronto took out a playoff-contender last week. You think that is going to happen again? I'm going with the safe bet here. Though this game has one of my favorite injury lines: FW Alecko Eskandarian (head). OOOH, my brain hurtzz.

REAL SALT LAKE at DYNAMO. 3-1 Orange Sometimes, when you reach rock bottom, you realize there is nowhere to go but up, and so you do. In the previous post, I went on at length about Dynamo's attempts to get out from under a blood red sky they seem to be under. And I would feel confident in their ability to accomplish same, but a quick look at the game preview shows me that the execrable Baldomero Toledo will be the ref Saturday night, so all bets are off. Still, my feeling is that the Kamara trade, Cam Weaver's return and a general feeling of homecoming will carry the Dynamo to the win here. That, and the fact that RSL is beyond horrible on the road. Just remember guys, 11 on, 11 off.

CREW at FIRE. 3-2 Chicago I think this is going to be a really good, really tough (maybe kinda chippy) legendary game. It was just a few weeks ago that I thought Chicago was about to be in the midst of a Chivas-like topple. And I am still not convinced that the team will go anywhere. However, Brian McBride is back. Sr. White is back. John Thorrington is back. Well, two out of three ain't bad y'know. Columbus is playing right now like the defending champion and the teams have tied in their two games this season, but I think Chicago knows this is the statement game, that the squad is for real as a title contender instead of just a talented pretender.

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