Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
5. MLS WEEKEND: Week 3 Game Previews
April 20th, 2007 2:50AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



By Ridge Mahoney

(Fox Soccer Channel & Fox en Espanol, Saturday, 7 pm ET , kickoff 7:30 pm ET)

A 3-0 roasting of FC Dallas last weekend and the signing of Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel has the Red Bulls (1-0-1) brimming with, uh, well cautious optimism as it hosts the defending champion. Claudio Reyna, who sat out the Dallas game with a hip contusion, is questionable, and with Markus Schopp out because of a sports hernia, the Houston (1-0-1) midfield - to which ex-San Jose stalwart Richard Mulrooney was added this week in a trade with Toronto FC - may hold the edge, though Dwayne DeRosario's contract issues have impaired his play. Dave van Den Berg and Dane Richards can test the Dynamo on the flanks and suppress the eagerness of the two Brians, Mullan and Davis, to get forward. The midfield battle may come down to whether Ricardo Clark's grace and speed can be contained by the grit and power of Dema Kovalenko and Seth Stammler. Clark and the Dynamo back line will also be wary of Clint Mathis, whose fine individual play has demonstrated the ease and effectiveness he's been able to connect with his new teammates.

(HdNet, Saturday, 8:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT.)

Fresh off their 4-2 thrashing of D.C. at RFK, the Wizards (1-0-0) face another Eastern Conference test against the first-place Fire (1-0-1). Chicago forced Rapids keeper Bouna Condoul into just two saves and scored one goal while playing 11 against 10 for 85 minutes, which shows forwards Chad Barrett and Chris Rolfe aren't yet in sync with midfielder Justin Mapp. They need to make runs and look for diagonal balls and crosses when Mapp pushes forward on the dribble. Kansas City probably won't be gifted the turnovers and errors that D.C. so generously provided last weekend, yet their pressing, aggressive style is a marked change from the more controlling style played under former coach Bob Gansler. Eddie Johnson looks like a new man, Scott Sealy is out to prove his 10 goals last season wasn't a fluke, Sasha Victorine and Kerry Zavagnin are gamers, and Jimmy Conrad isn't initialed J.C. for nothing, so Chicago needs a sharp effort to stay unbeaten, even though only once in its history has Kansas City won in the Windy City.

(Direct Kick, Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 pm PT).

The dead ducks of their 2005 expansion seasons flapped their wings last year, yet both face a tough slog to reach the playoffs this season, so if a game on the third weekend can be dubbed crucial, this is it. RSL (0-0-2) beat Kansas City, 2-1, in the Open Cup during the week to give their confidence and sharpness a boost. The HDC surface is of sufficient width to provide Chris Klein, Medhi Ballouchy and Freddy Adu all the space they could want to stretch Chivas USA (1-1-0), which has conceded just one goal in its first two games. Andy Williams came off the bench to score the winning goal in overtime against KC and might be needed in that role again. For Chivas USA, Ante Razov and Maykel Galindo are finding the same wavelength and to date, Amado Guevara has yet to really impose his talents. Francisco Mendoza has been sporadic on the left flank but he can get past people, which may leave gaps for Sacha Kljestan to score from distance, as he did in the opener against Toronto FC.

(Telefutura, Sunday, 3 pm ET/1 pm CT)

Both teams have had a full week to stew over last Sunday. The Rapids (1-0-1) fought from the sixth minute a man down and took the lead on a great goal by Herculez Gomez, only to surrender to the Fire a late equalizer and a 1-1 tie. Dallas (1-1-1) was blasted by NYRB, 3-0, in an icy rainstorm in which defender David Wagenfuhr was removed from the game after being struck in the face with a shot and Clarence Goodson came down with hypothermia. Dallas has also had six months to seethe over being eliminated in the playoffs by the Rapids for the second straight season. FC Dallas's revamped midfield is still sorting things out, but there's talent and guile in the feet of Juan Carlos Toja and Ramon Nunez. FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow handing the captaincy to Carlos Ruiz has imbued the fiery striker with a disquieting focus. Ruiz and Kenny Cooper present a severe test for a Rapids back line that added Greg Vanney, formerly of Dallas, and Ugo Ihemelu, ex-Galaxy, during the offseason. There could be confusion in both back lines and that could mean goals.

(Homes team listed first)

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
By the Numbers: MLS playoff teams since All-Star Game    
The MLS All-Star break isn't a "break" in the sense that the MLB All-Star Game is ...
MLS: All the Decision Day talking points    
FC Dallas is two-thirds the way toward the first treble in MLS history ... Seattle made ...
USL Final: Allen hat trick powers NYRBII to big win    
Former Georgetown star Brandon Allen scored three goals and added an assist as New York Red ...
Video Pick: Klopp cracks up at mixup    
Liverpool's German coach Jurgen Klopp amused himself after misunderstanding a postgame question following his team's 2-1 ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"This gesture, at 1-0, OK. Not at 4-0. It is a humiliation." -- Jose Mourinho, caught ...
USWNT: Ohai does one (second) better than Williams    
The USA overcame an early deficit to hammer Switzerland, 5-1, before 23,400 fans at Minneapolis' U.S. ...
Crowd Count: MLS breaks attendance marks    
MLS broke its record for average attendance for the third year in a row, finishing with ...
MLS: Decision Day Results & Final Standings    
FC Dallas won the MLS Supporters' Shield when it tied the LA Galaxy, 0-0. Philadelphia clinched ...
What They're Saying: Georgia teen Reuben Nsemoh    
"My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me. I wasn't perfect, ...
U.S. Abroad: Pulisic rescues Borussia Dortmund    
Christian Pulisic came off the bench to set up one goal and score the tying goal ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives