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Chivas USA, Toronto double dips kick off Wednesday
by Ridge Mahoney, April 22nd, 2009 7:01AM

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[MLS PREDICTION] The heaviest week of play so far this season in MLS starts Wednesday when Chivas USA plays at Toronto. Week 6 features a 10-match block of games that will require several teams to play their second and third matches in spans of seven or eight days, and one team to make one of its longest treks of the season. Twice.

"This league's funny. Everyone beats everyone," said TFC midfielder Carl Robinson on the team's Web site of the matchup against an unbeaten (4-0-1) opponent. "We're going into a game with Chivas and they've won four of five, so they're a good team. But we're a good team as well even though we haven't got the results in the last three games that we wanted.

"The game's set up to be a cracker. We'll make sure it's a passionate affair, the fans will be totally behind us, and we'll go out and get that win that we need."

TFC has yet to win in two home games this season; it lost to Seattle, 2-0, on April 4 and tied FC Dallas, 1-1, a week later.

BMO Field regularly fills up with red-clad rowdies for TFC games, yet the club won just five of 15 home matches in its 2007 expansion season. Last year, it lost only twice at BMO, yet tied more games (7) than it won (6), and one of those two losses - albeit with a badly depleted squad -- was to Chivas USA (3-1).

After hosting Chivas USA, Toronto stays at BMO Field for a Sunday date with Kansas City, which hosts New York Thursday in the weekly ESPN2 nationally televised game.

Chivas USA heads back to Southern California for a Saturday game against FC Dallas at Home Depot Center, where it was last week to beat Seattle, 2-0. That's more than 4,000 air miles (2,183 miles one-way) in the middle of two home games.

Oddly, last week's bye team, Columbus, isn't one of the four teams double-dipping. That gives the winless Crew (0-2-3) some more time to heal up and focus on its meeting Saturday against Midwest rival and Eastern Conference leader Chicago (live on Fox Soccer Channel). Houston, one of three teams to get off the winless schneid last week, sits out this busy week as the bye team.

TORONTO FC (1-2-2) vs. CHIVAS USA (4-0-1)
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET (Direct Kick, GolTV Canada).

PREDICTION: A hamstring tear will sideline Dwayne De Rosario, yet TFC rookie Sam Cronin has shown he can handle the rigors of MLS. Chivas USA just keeps rolling on despite numerous injuries; it has to lose sometime, but it has won all four previous meetings with TFC and with a solid defense can probably pry out a point.
Prediction: TFC 1, Chivas USA 1.
Last week: 2-5. Season: 13-23.



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