Friday, September 14, 2012

Three For Three: MLSR Predictions

Another week filled with matches vital to the Eastern Conference playoff race. D.C. United and the Columbus crew will be competing for the fifth and final berth, albeit against different opponents. Elsewhere, slumping Vancouver will travel to Dallas and try to keep the gap between fifth and sixth from getting any smaller… Exciting, isn’t it?

New York Red Bulls (13-7-7) vs. Columbus Crew (12-9-6)

William Schulz: This one is difficult for me to predict. I don’t think the Crew’s defense is up to the task of stopping New York’s star-studded offense, but I don’t think New York has the defensive ability to stop Columbus either. I think it’s going to come down to the goalkeepers, and I have to fancy Gruenebaum. Crew with the shocker. NYRB 1-2 CLB

Luke Lohr: Tough to tell which team is actually the powerhouse of the eastern conference right now. Columbus lacks the stars, sort of. Higuain continues to impress but can he combat the talent comprising the New York Red Bulls? Unlikely. The match is at Red Bull Arena and will be a chance for New York to stake their claim as contenders once again. NYRB 2-1 CLB

Leanne Elston: This is bound to be a great match. Aside from the 2-0 loss to New England, Columbus is on a hot streak right now, and taking points off New York could be crucial for them if they want a place in the playoffs. The Red Bulls won't be looking to drop any points, though, of course. I see goals in this game and a draw at the end of the night. NYRB 2-2 CLB

Pedro Gomes: I think New York will make an emphatic statement in two ways for this game. The first will be that they are still a mighty force to reckon with at Red Bull Arena. The second will be that the Columbus Crew were not as well put together as everyone was previously making them out to be. I think the fact that New York has had a long break to rest their key veteran legs and the added time to get acquainted at practice will come show well during the game. NYRB 3-1 CLB

D.C. United (12-10-5) vs. New England Revolution (7-14-7) 

William Schulz: Oh, D.C. United. What happened? You were in playoff position with games in hand a few weeks ago, now you’re on the outside looking in. Fortunately for the black and red, the struggling Revolution are coming to town. I have a hard time imagining New England taking one point from this one, much less three. DCU 2-0 NE

Luke Lohr:  United is a team in despair right now. The loss of De Rosario puts the onus on Olsen's men in such a way that they'll have to use it as a rallying point. They have talent on the team but the problem comes down to consistency. The match is at RFK, however what's most puzzling is which opponent may show up. New England has questions swirling around their players and happiness. Benny Feilhaber supposedly wants out, Lee Nguyen is talented but alone and Saer Sene is prone to bouts of ghosting around the field. This match looks to be a battle for teams in desperation. DCU 1- NE

Leanne Elston: I hesitate to use the term, but this is a must-win game for DC United. Dropping points at home to the Revolution is, at this point in the season, simply unacceptable for a team that has the playoffs in mind. That said, I think United will get those much-needed three points. I think they'll still concede, but ultimately New England's offense won't be enough to offset DC's. DCU 2-1 NE

Pedro Gomes: The New England Revolution are in trouble and facing DC United at home is not the way to dig out of it. DC United are a powerful offensive force and I think their defense will finally have an opportunity to put a solid shift in against a struggling team. I don't see New England mounting much of a coordinated attack for any long periods because I see DC hitting them hard and early in the match. DCU 2-1 NE

FC Dallas (8-12-9) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (10-11-7) 

William Schulz: Vancouver is slumping hard, having lost all four matches they’ve played in the last month. Dallas aren’t the rising star they were a few weeks ago either, but are still hold the advantage as far as form goes. Last time these two teams met, Dallas walked out of BC Place with three points and a clean sheet. The stakes are high, but Vancouver simply don’t have what it takes right now. FCD 2-0 VAN

Luke Lohr: Vancouver wins this. Not because they've been playing especially well or that Dallas flubs this one. This is the match that Vancouver decides where their season ends up and Martin Rennie's men will decide their post-season here. Perhaps not mathematically, but with effort, heart and getting the job done. Dallas is a much stronger side than started the season, but expect Vancouver to put forth the type of effort that reminds us why they were talked about in the leagues elite. FCD 1- VAN 2

Leanne Elston: Vancouver simply aren't cutting it right now, and Dallas are doing their best to make right some of the things that went wrong earlier in the season. I think that, bolstered by their home crowd, Dallas are gonna pull this win out. They already held Seattle, a much stronger team than Vancouver, to a draw, and I think Vancouver is going to have a hard time with this one. FCD 1-0 VAN

Pedro Gomes: Dallas will come away with an easy victory in this one. Vancouver is a team grasping at straws at the moment in every aspect of the game. Their offense has sputtered, their mid-field has been overrun, and their defense has struggled. Dallas' late season surge has been courtesy of David Ferreira and I think he will once again guide this team to a comfortable victory. Vancouver will be left shaking their
heads and hoping to just make it into the play-offs at this point. FCD 2-0 VAN

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