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Tough road tests for Seattle and RSL
by Ridge Mahoney, May 22nd, 2009 7AM

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[MLS PREDICTIONS] This is the second straight week of matches confined to Saturday and Sunday, with the defending champion Crew taking off as the bye team.

Seattle and Real Salt Lake have flattened out after quick starts, and are on the road to play Colorado and D.C. United, respectively.  The Galaxy has tied all four of its road games. Can it get at least a point again in Dallas? The matchup of San Jose with the former Quakes of Houston may be a mismatch, and the Revs play Toronto at BMO Field, where TFC has won only two of six games in 2009.

No ESPN2 game this week. Fox Soccer Channel gets another tasty morsel as Chivas USA heads to Kansas City, and the Sunday match on TeleFutura is a visit by the Fire and Cuauhtemoc Blanco to the Meadowlands.

(All times ET.)

SATURDAY
TORONTO FC (3-3-4) vs. NEW ENGLAND (2-2-4), 4 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
TFC laid an egg last week, losing to Chicago, 2-0, at home but with a week to brood about it, can get back on track by beating New England at home for the first time. The Revs' young pairing in central defense, Darrius Barnes and Emmanuel Osei, are doing well, yet somebody needs to score goals.
Prediction: TFC 1, Revs 0.

D.C. UNITED (3-1-6) vs. REAL SALT LAKE (3-5-1), 7:30 p.m., DK
RSL is 0-4 on the road and has been outscored, 7-0. Something's amiss and this is crunch time for head coach Jason Kreis. United has issues in goal and a few other places but the attack is clicking and should break a streak of three straight ties.
Prediction: United 3, RSL 1.

HOUSTON (3-2-3) vs. SAN JOSE (1-5-2), 8:30 p.m., DK
The Quakes took a week off to address their troubles and are on the verge of signing striker Cornell Glen, but another journeyman isn't what they need. Houston is banged up in the back and lost, 3-2, to San Jose in late March, yet is much sharper this time around.
Prediction: Dynamo 3, Quakes 0.

FC DALLAS (1-6-2) vs. LOS ANGELES (1-1-7), 8:30 p.m., DK
Another injury to Sean Franklin clouds the Galaxy's defensive situation and FCD's defenders are riddled by ailments as well. FCD showed signs of life last week by rallying to tie Seattle, 1-1, and LA drew with the Crew, 1-1. The teams tied, 2-2, on the last weekend of the season last year at HDC. Let's go with that.
Prediction: FCD 2, Galaxy 2.

KANSAS CITY (4-4-2) vs. CHIVAS USA (7-1-2), 8:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel
Both teams have strong central midfield tandems and can exploit the flanks as well. There's experience in both squads and both goalies are in good form. But Kansas City has more of its game-breakers healthy, and that could be the deciding factor.
Prediction: Wizards 2, Chivas USA 1.

COLORADO (3-2-3) vs. SEATTLE (4-2-3), 9:30 p.m., DK
The Sounders are on a run of three straight 1-1 ties and in a bit of funk of what to do about it. Freddie Ljungberg has recovered from his migraines and should return. The Rapids have had trouble putting teams away and winning games they should. Welcome to MLS.
Prediction: Rapids 1, Sounders 1.

SUNDAY
NEW YORK (2-5-3) vs. CHICAGO (3-0-6) 3 pm, TeleFutura
Big win for the Fire last week in Toronto, on the road, and on turf. But to do it again a week later? The Red Bulls are potent in attack and plagued by defensive breakdowns. Chicago won in the Meadowlands last year, 5-1, so fear won't be a factor.
Prediction: Red Bulls 1, Fire 2.

Last week: 1-6 (ouch!). Season: 29-39.



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