After Week 24, Columbus had cemented their position at the top of the league table, while Houston continues to prove that they are turning into a consistent power in the west.
The Revs may be a bit down after getting knocked out of the Champions League and getting steamrolled in Columbus, but don’t look for them to stay down for long. Chivas USA comes to Foxboro tomorrow battered by injuries, and New England’s injury list is gradually shifting towards the “Probable” end of things.
Columbus travels to Toronto for a game that may just claim the position as the league’s most forced rivalry. TFC has won once since June 14, doing little to suppor the notion that strong home support propels teams to better records. Columbus will be without captain Frankie Hejduk, but I’m not convinced he is the heart of the team or even the defense, and the Crew usually score enough to cover their holes in the back. Look for Columbus to keep the streak going.
Just like Toronto, Los Angeles hasn’t won since June 14, and travels to Kansas City to try to break that streak. The Wizards haven’t exactly been world beaters lately, but they usually play well at home, so count on them to earn at least a draw against Beckham’s boys.
DC has both the home field advantage and current form edges over FC Dallas, and I’m sure with as much as MLS teams care about the Champions League, they’ll be playing as full a roster as possible. Dallas needs points to keep from slipping further into the cellar, but I can’t see it happening in DC.
New York and Real Salt Lake have both been enjoying strong stretches in August and early September, but The Red Bulls may have the home edge, claiming three consecutive home wins in August. NY has been playing well lately, and Salt Lake has only won once on the road all season. The Red Bulls will triumph in the Big Apple.
Houston travels to San Jose in what is probably the game of the week. The Quakes and Orange are both red hot, and the two teams actually play a week later in Houston. I’m thinking draw on this one, with the next week’s contest deciding the mini-series.
Chicago has been wildly inconsistent, so a trip to Colorado might be the cure for what ails them (like it has been for so many other teams). The Rapids will have to fight to prove that their win over KC in their last game at Dick’s Sporting Goods park wasn’t a fluke. I forsee a draw, as Colorado fights to stay in the playoff hunt, and Chicago continues to baffle the pundits.