Friday, October 16, 2009

Six on the undercard and the Main Event

Just in case you needed any help getting fired up for Sunday. And if you're looking for further inspiration there's this:

But before we get to Sunday, we'll spend some time on the weekend undercard:

Last week: 1-3
Year to date: 84-116 (.420 or 17 games over blind chance)

REAL SALT LAKE at TORONTO FC. 2-2 Draw So RSL defeats NYRB late Wednesday night (Q: Were they showing the US game on the screens at Rio Tinto before that game started? And if not, why does RSL hate America?), a result I predicted, which isn't anything to be all that psyched about. I mean, RSL at home is mediocre, while NYRB without JPA can only dream of mediocrity. Now RSL heads north of the border to a TFC team that watched its playoff dream go on life support when they let San Jose draw late in stoppage time last week (screwing with my prediction in the process like they didn't even care). Simply put, both teams truly NEED full points here. Anything less and you can cross them both off your playoff predictions. However, Toronto just seems to come short all too often this season, while RSL is woeful on the road. So, my pick is they'll go over the Reichenbach Falls together, though unlike Holmes, neither will be seen again.

FIRE at REVOLUTION. 2-1 New England If Chicago wins this game, they are in the playoffs and guaranteed to host the return leg in the first round against whomever they play. The Fire are a very good, very dangerous team that is set right on the verge of a truly awesome run. And hence, I am predicting that not only will the Fire get doused in Foxboro, but it will be costly (maybe with an injury) and painful (late strike from Shalrie Joseph or a bad, or rather, standard call from ref Jorge Gonzales). Nothing has come easy for the Fire this season, so why should playoff qualification? As for the Revs, without Stevie R, the team is a shadow of its former self. But the Fire will just not be able to crack Fortress Nicol.

CREW at DC UNITED. 2-0 Crew. Ben Olsen and Chris Pontius are out for DC, while Emmanuel Ekpo misses for the Crewtures.DC is also missing Quaranta and Namoff to injuries and has Milos Kocic in goal. DC, I know you guys are technically still in the playoff race, but let's face it. United has lost three in a row, all at home, and this game will be over by halftime. The only question is whether that will also apply to Tom Soehn's reign as DC boss.

RAPIDS at FC FRISCO. 1-1 Draw. You know, I know that FC dallas is all f'shizzle about their playoff run, and Jeff Cunningham yadda yadda yadda, and they're only two points out of the playoffs and they're at home in front of their tens of "fans," and the Rapids are missing two players to suspension. Yeah freakin' yeah. But you know what, spare me. The team is mediocrity personified. But then again, what do the Rapids have? Conor Casey, that's who, despite his completely ridiculous and worthless miss in the 9th minute at RFK Wednesday (how great would that have been?). The only question about Dallas' run is when will it end? Well, reality is here and Colorado will administer the paddle here. The draw ought to end that playoff run and at the same time complicate Colorado's.

SOUNDERS at WIZARDS. 2-0 Seattle Josh Wollf and Davy Arnaud are probable while nursing injuries, but it won't be enough. Seattle secures a berth here with a win and pulls into a (highly, highly temporary) tie atop the West. Jaqua and Montero both score off feeds from Ljungberg.

EARTHQUAKES at las chivitas 2-1 San Jose. It's no secret what result I want to happen here. I want the Earthquakes to drill these guys, robbing them of all hope and confidence, doubting not only their skills as players but continued existence as human beings. I want goat meat served from all tables in California up and down the coast, instilling the San Jose organization with a heretofore missing sense of optimism for the future. What I expect to get, however, is something totally different. San Jose is beyond awful, and while their late goal salvaged some pride for them in Canuckistan last week, I just am not sure they can pull that off against a Preki-coached side in the running for the top spot in the West. One ray of hope, take a look at this injury report (notables highlighted): CHIVAS USA - OUT: DF Jim Curtin (L ankle surgery); MF Kevin Harmse (R knee tendonitis); GK Dan Kennedy (R knee surgery); FW Ante Razov (R ankle tendonitis); MF Bojan Stepanovic (R knee injury); MF Sasha Victorine (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: GK Lance Parker (R quad strain); FW Maicon Santos (R knee injury); GK Zach Thornton (lower back strain); PROBABLE: FW Justin Braun (lower back strain); MF Paulo Nagamura (L foot contusion); FW Jesús Padilla (R ankle sprain) ... SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: MF Darren Huckerby (R hip surgery); MF Andre Luiz (L knee sprain); DF Jason Hernandez (L ankle fracture/sprain); FW Chris Wondolowski (R knee sprain); FW Cornell Glen (R knee sprain) So who's healthy in goal for Chivas anyway? That's three keepers on that list! So I'm going with my heart here and picking San Jose. Screw my record. Screw what's probable. And screw the goatlings San Jose.


GALAXY at DYNAMO. 3-2 Orange The Dynamo are going to miss seriously Corey Ashe and Cam Weaver, and who knows why Chingy did not dress for either US game, and that is the last worrisome thing you will read from me. This is going to be a game for the ages. I firmly expect that Landon Donovan will be a beast, that that English guy who's name escapes me will be delivering dead-on balls and that Donovan Ricketts will be amazing in goal. And then this is what I also believe: 30,000+ people will spur Dynamo on to a crushing win. Davis will be in full delivery mode, putting in two perfect crosses for goals to add to another one from Holden on a set-piece to rip the hearts out of those pretenders. Like the penalty save against Conor Casey earlier this season, this game will be the spur to a six-game unbeaten run (7 if you count the Isidro Metapan game next week) that ends only because the season does, with the reigning Rothenberg Trophy winners holding up the Anschutz model in Seattle. Man of the Match for Dynamo in this game: Johnny Rocco, (aka Eddie Robinson).

And just in case you guys don't get the message:

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