The Back of the Net

MLS Week 9 – Preview
May 22, 2008, 12:35 am
Filed under: Week Previews

Wednesday, May 21:

  • DC United at Toronto FC: There’s not much to say about this game. The guys who were good last year going bad, and the guys who were bad last year are getting better. This’ll be a battle, but BMO field gives too much of an advantage to TFC. I predict a win for TFC 3-1.
Thursday, May 22:
  • Houston Dynamo at San Jose Earthquakes: This is going to be a very interesting matchup. Houston’s on a bit of a streak (two games), while the expansion Quakes have been subpar all year.  So who’s gonna want it more? I predict a 2-0 win for Houston.
Saturday, May 24:
  • Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas: What a spectacle of suckitude. Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses, and this is a matchup of two weeks ago. This time Dallas has the home advantage, and that gives them the victory. I predict a 2-1 win for Dallas.
  • New England Revolution at Columbus Crew: This will be the match of the week in the Eastern Conference. The Crew, being in first place overall, vs. the finally in form Revs. I think it’s time someone knocked the Crew off of their throne, and the Revs are in the perfect position to do that. I predict a 1-0 for New England.
  • Toronto at DC United: The same game played twice in one week. Same result in both. I predict a 2-1 win for Toronto.
  • Chivas USA at Colorado Rapids: Chivas are confident after a good win over DC, but so is Colorado after their Rocky Mountain Cup victory over Real Salt Lake. Chivas’ defense is still in shambles, so I expect to see the surprisingly potent Rapids offense go at them. I predict a 3-0 win for Colorado.
  • Kansas City Wizards at LA Galaxy: I have my doubts about both these sides, and I think this will be the game that settles them. And that’s why I predict a 1-1 tie.
Sunday, May 25:
  • Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls: This is the other Game of the Week in the Eastern Conference. There are two this week. These are the big dogs fighting for the top spot. I think that the Fire will finally be extinguished (clever pun, I know). I predict a 3-2 win for New York.

MLS Week 8 – Recaps and Rankings

Game Recaps for MLS Week 8:

Thursday, May 15:

  • Colorado Rapids 2-0 Real Salt Lake

This was a solid game from the Rapids, and an absolutely terrible one from Real Salt Lake. Without Javier Morales on the field, RSL struggles in all aspects. Colorado was able to exploit RSL’s weakness.

Saturday, May 17:

  • Columbus Crew 0-0 Toronto FC

What a snorefest this one was. I expected Columbus to win this one, but TFC put up a great game and got a good result for their team. For some reason I tend to underestimate TFC, but I think this game is helping me transition into their development into a solid club.

  • Kansas City Wizards 1-1 New York Red Bulls

Not a bad game for either side, but Danleigh Borman’s late-game goal kept KC from gaining another win. Both these teams are solid, and will be a sort of silent assassin to the rest of the league.

  • New England Revolution 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose continues to display the disadvantages of being an expansion side. New England had a pretty good game, and should be glad to have let James Riley go after that atrocious own goal.

  • Houston Dynamo 2-1 Chicago Fire

Houston has finally begun to wake up after it’s poor start to the season, while Chicago seems to be on the downhilll after their spectacular start. It’ll be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring for these teams.

  • Chivas USA 3-1 DC United

DC United has been absolutely horrible thus far. When will the torture end for DC fans? Chivas pulled out a solid game, especially RSL reject Atiba Harris. This kid seems to finally be getting the coaching he deserves.

Sunday, May 18:

  • LA Galaxy 5-1 FC Dallas

Wow, seriously? FC Dallas should be ashamed. It’s no wonder Steve Morrow has been fired. LA seems to be picking up. Edson Buddle, where have you been?


And now, here are the weekly Power Rankings:

  1. Columbus Crew: The Crew have got the best record, even though they just tied Toronto this week. But Toronto’s a team on the uprise.
  2. New York Red Bulls: New York has had a great year so far and they’ll definitely be a solid contender for MLS Cup. Danleigh Borman seems to be doing big things for this team.
  3. Chicago Fire: A loss to Houston brings them down, but recent weeks are what keep the Fire so high up on the list.
  4. Toronto FC: Toronto has been a realy surprise this year, mostly due to their signings. Carver may be the best thing that has ever happened to this organization.
  5. Colorado Rapids: After watching their most recent game, I think it’s pretty reasonable to put Colorado up here. They’re a solid team, no matter how thin their roster may seem.
  6. New England Revolution: They’re finally beginning to look like the old Revs again. They’re winning games, even if it is only because of James’ Riley’s comical own goal.
  7. Los Angeles Galaxy: You’d think a 5-1 win over Dallas would move LA up tremendously, but I still have doubts about this squad. Then again, the league is rigged to guarantee their entry into the playoffs, so I needn’t speculate their play.
  8. Kansas City Wizards: This team does not impress me, but they seem to be doing well for themselves. Maybe they can coast through the season into a solid playoff spot.
  9. Houston Dynamo: The defending champs are back to their winning ways, but can they continue it for a third win?
  10. Real Salt Lake: I mislabeled them last week as a good possession team. Colorado proved otherwise.
  11. FC Dallas: 2-1 to Salt Lake is bad enough, but 5-1 to the Galaxy? That’s just appalling.
  12. Chivas USA: They won, but against the current worst side in MLS. Atiba Harris showed promise, could he be the solution to their woes?
  13. DC United: These guys don’t look like 4-time MLS Cup champions to me. This organization is falling apart, and Tommy Soehn needs to clean things up.
  14. San Jose Earthquakes: Expansion side, expansion results.

MLS Week 8 – Preview

Every team plays this week, and it seems to be a pretty steady lineup of in-conference games. Here we go:

Thursday, May 15:

  • Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids: These two teams have really surprised me this season. RSL has improved immensely possession-wise, while Colorado’s addition of Christian Gomez has revamped the offense. I expect this to be an intense affair, as is always the case in this fight for the Rocky Mountain Cup. I predict a win for Real Salt Lake 1-0.
Saturday, May 17:
  • Columbus Crew at Toronto FC: Columbus has the best record in MLS right now, while TFC is just beginning to pick it up. Toronto’s new acquisitions are what has really given them the boost. Columbus has a solid core of players, with young names like Robbie Rogers causing trouble for defenses all around the league. I predict a 2-1 win for Columbus.
  • Kansas City Wizards at New York Red Bulls: These are two very strong teams who have been on a very good streak lately. The return of Juan Pablo Angel, who will be paired up with Jozy Altidore, will be a huge step forward for New York. Kansas City, in my opinion, hasn’t been spectacular, but just average. That’s why I predict a 2-0 win for NYRB.
  • San Jose Earthquakes at New England Revolution: New England hasn’t been their normal selves so far this season, but that may be due to the absence of Taylor Twellman. With him returning – hopefully at 100% – this week, New England will have a plethora of chances on the shaky expansion Quakes. I predict New England wins 3-1.
  • Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire: With the Fire being the hottest team in the league right now (no pun intended), and the Dynamo just barely getting their first win, this should definitely be a great match. The Dynamo want to show that they did, indeed, win the MLS Cup last year, while Chicago will want to keep their spot at the top. I predict a 1-1 tie.
  • DC United at Chivas USA: The worst teams in this league right now dueling to be in second to last. How fun. Chivas’ defense has essentially died due to many recent injuries, which will give DC the go-ahead to win. I predict a 2-1 scoreline in favor of DCU.
Sunday, May 18:
  • Los Angeles Galaxy at FC Dallas: This should be the matchup of the week. Dallas is coming off of a tough loss against RSL, while LA is coming off of a tough one against New York. Both teams will be hungry for it, but FCD will out-hungry LA. I predict FCD win 3-2.

MLS Week Seven – Power Rankings

MLS’s seventh week of 2008 has come to a close. This weeks results are as follows:

Thursday, May 8:

  • Chicago Fire 2-1 DC United
Saturday, May 10:
  • Houston Dynamo 2-1 Colorado Rapids
  • Real Salt Lake 2-1 FC Dallas
  • Columbus Crew 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes
  • New York Red Bulls 2-1 LA Galaxy
Sunday, May 11:
  • New England Revolution 2-1 Chivas USA


And here are the Power Rankings:

  1.  Chicago Fire: Absolutely dominated a struggling DCU team. Cuatehmoc Blanco’s goal will win GOTW easily. Chicago just seems to be doing everything right at this point. (Next Game: May 17 vs. Houston)
  2.  Columbus Crew: Robbie Rogers scores to for his 21st birthday. The Crew are the surprise of the year for me thus far. Their offense is just killing the rest of the league, although it did take them a while to pick a goal up against the Quakes. (Next Game: May 17 @ Toronto FC)
  3. Kansas City: No game this week, but the Wiz have done plenty to earn this spot. (Next Game: May 17 @ New York)
  4. New York Red Bulls: It took some late game heroics from the legend Juan Pablo Angel to preserve a win vs. LA this week, but that’s just what makes this team so good. Angel/Altidore is easily the best forward tandem in the league. (Next Game: May 17 vs. KC Wizards)
  5. Toronto FC: I’m amazed to say that Toronto may be half way decent this year. Their new acquisitions Laurent Robert, Amado Guevara, Rohan Ricketts, etc. give this team an offensive prowess they haven’t had before. (Next Game: May 17 vs. Columbus)
  6. New England Revolution: A good win, but over a crumbling Chivas side. Anyone could have scored two goals on that defense. The return of Taylor Twellman is big news, he already scored 14 minutes into his season. (Next Game: May 17 vs. San Jose)
  7. Colorado Rapids: Not a good thing to give up Houston’s first win of the season, but Colorado was just unlucky that it happened to them. They’ll get back on their horse eventually. (Next Game: May 15 vs. RSL)
  8. Real Salt Lake: Kind of a flukey win over FCD, but RSL’s had plenty of those against them in the past. This is a solid possession team that is way too often underestimated. They’ve done well at home, but can they do it on the road? (Next Game: May 15 @ Colorado)
  9. FC Dallas: The only thing that keeps them below RSL is this weekend’s game. The midfield is kinda  shaky, and the bench isn’t very strong, and yet Dallas seems to get it done.  (Next Game: May 18 vs. LA Galaxy)
  10. Los Angeles Galaxy: I’ve always thought this LA team was incredibly shallow in every way, but they’re doing well with what they have. Backham and Donovan didn’t do much against New York this week. Alan Gordon’s goal proved that he may be worth having in the league. (Next Game: May 18 @ FC Dallas)
  11. San Jose Earthquakes: This is the best expansion side we’ve seen in a while. Their defense fell victim to the speed of Columbus’ midfield too easily, and their front line lacks a true striker, but overall they’re not too shabby. (Next Game: May 17 @ New England)
  12. Houston Dynamo: Finally got a win, but were a bit lucky to get a PK so late in the game. But at least we know that Ching and DeRo can score somehow. (Next Game: May 17 @ Fire)
  13. DC United: During pre-season, I really thought DC would be at the top of the league. However they just can’t get any good play out of their talented roster. What’s up? (Next Game: May 17 @ Chivas)
  14. Chivas USA: Their defense is crumbling down to nothingness. So many injuries are plaguing them, and they may never get out of this hole. And now they transfer Carey Talley over? Good luck. (Next Game: May 17 vs. DCU)