Thursday, August 23, 2012

Three (Two) For Three: MLS Week 25 Predictions

This week, the playoff races start to heat up in D.C. and Los Angeles as the two teams in each conference’s final playoff spot look to create some breathing room for themselves. We also have a match between the two teams at the top of the Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls. That series could have implications stretching as far as the Supporter’s Shield!

Los Angeles Galaxy (11-11-4) vs. FC Dallas (8-11-8) 

William Schulz: FC Dallas’ current form has them climbing up the Western Conference table, with an outside chance of making that last playoff spot. The Galaxy find themselves in a tie for that last playoff spot, and they’ll want to create some space for themselves. Dallas have been good lately, but I don’t think they can beat LA. On the other hand, LA have been wildly inconsistent this year. Both teams walk away with a share of the points. LA 1-1 FCD

Luke Lohr: The Galaxy will be coming off a midweek Champion's League match, but I don't think the fatigue will be as much a factor as some would believe. LA is simply a better team than Dallas all around. Standings aside, player for player the odds are in the Galaxy's favor. Landon Donovan may be out with a hamstring injury that is still nagging since playing with the US National Team against Mexico. Brek Shea is the X factor once again for Dallas. Which Shea produces for FCD will be the biggest question of the match. If Shea is on his game, then the Hoops have a chance, but realistically, this match is LA's to lose. LA 2- 0 FCD

Leanne Elston: Dallas are doing their best to sneak into the playoff race, and with three big wins lately, they're going to be on a high. I think Dallas will give the Galaxy a run for their money in this match, especially considering LA will be coming off a midweek CCL game. I can see Dallas pulling off a draw at the Home Depot Center, with a couple of goals for both sides. It'll be a bit disappointing for LA, but an encouraging display for Dallas. LA 2-2 FCD

Pedro Gomes: This will be a statement game for Dallas and i feel as though they are ready to make it when they face off against LA. Dallas' wing play will cause problems all night for the Galaxy defense and if Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo can continue to harangue defenses like they have this one will come out in favor of Dallas. I don't believe that LA will be able to break down the Dallas defense on the night as Rookie, Matt Hedges and veteran, George John, have appeared to have formed a decent partnership in the back. This one will surprise some folks. LA 1-2 FCD

Sporting Kansas City (14-7-4) vs. New York Red Bulls (13-7-5) 

William Schulz: These two clubs will play each other three times before the season ends, and in my mind this series will decide the Eastern Conference. New York tend to struggle on the road, and LIVESTRONG is no walk in the park. Sporting have had a bit of trouble winning at home this season, but some of that “cup magic” seems to have rubbed off on them. Sporting’s favored back four of Sinovic, Besler, Collin, and Meyers will prove too much for New York, and I think KC manage to snatch at least one goal. SKC 1-0 NYRB

Luke Lohr: This match is proof positive that regular season matches are becoming more and more important. Sporting Kansas City are a trophy holding, fortress protected and 12th man supported squad and New York is a mediocre road team. What makes this match so difficult is that, at times, New York has been unquestionably the best team in Major League Soccer. However, their road performances often seem to be that of a team playing for a draw rather than trying to win from minute one. This trend likely continues and Sporting Kansas City takes it. SKC 2-0 NYRB

Leanne Elston: Obviously, going into Livestrong Park and getting three points is difficult, and it's especially difficult when the home side is first in the East and not keen to drop any points. This will surely be a great match pitting the top two teams in the conference against each other, and I'm not sure the Red Bulls right now are a team who can beat Kansas City at home. That said, I'm not sure Kansas City will beat New York, either. It's very close for me, and I think it's going to be close on the pitch as well. I'm going with a draw between these teams, with a goal a piece. SKC 1-1 NYRB

Pedro Gomes: New York is not a road team and LiveStrong Park is a tough place to play. However, i think if the New York defense can put out a solid showing on the road the firepower New York has on offense will bail them out once again. The wildcard in this match will be whether or not Kenny Cooper or Sebastian LeToux will get the start up top. Cooper has begun to warm up again following a bit of a dip in form. If Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty can control the middle of the park Sporting KC will have a tough time on their hands. The key for Kansas City will be putting consistent pressure on the New York defense and maintaining possession. If they can win the fifty fifty battles in the middle they may be able to sneak out a win, but i think these teams are too evenly matched in the end and Bill Gaudette will once again shine in net, denying Kansas City the victory in the late stages of the game. SKC 2-2 NYRB


1. Pedro – 10/24 – 41.6% - 1 Exact

2. Luke – 9/24 – 37.5% - 2 Exact

3. Leanne – 9/24 – 37.5% - 2 Exact

4. William – 9/24 – 33.3% - 2 Exact

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