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National team duty shakes up MLS clashes
by Ridge Mahoney, June 5th, 2009 7AM

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[MLS PREDICTIONS] National team call-ups will stretch the depth of many MLS teams this weekend. Chivas USA will be missing two starters when it hosts Seattle, as will Houston for its match against the Fire, and the Rapids for their visit to Salt Lake City. The Galaxy is only four ties away from tying the league record (13) as it heads north of the border to Toronto, and D.C.'s 2-0 win over New York Thursday keeps the Red Bulls four points back of sixth-place Columbus with both teams facing tough road games against Eastern Conference rivals. For all of Soccer America's predictions, as well as TV viewing information, and to see how we fared last week. ...

 

(All times ET)
FRIDAY
CHICAGO (5-1-6) vs. HOUSTON (5-2-3), 8:30 p.m. ET, Direct Kick

Brian Ching is injured and Ricardo Clark is in town, but with the USA, and, though the Fire is shorthanded, too, the home team holds the edge even without Cuauhtemoc Blanco, whose on Mexico duty. Chicago wants to atone for its 3-0 home drubbing by Dallas last Sunday, yet will need its 'A' game to get all three points.
Prediction: Fire 2, Dynamo 2.

SATURDAY
TORONTO (4-4-4) vs. LOS ANGELES (1-1-9), 4 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
These teams share a short but intense history. TFC won at HDC last year, 3-2, and also won, 2-0, at BMO Field. Attacking catalysts Amado Guevara and Landon Donovan will play a few hours after this match in the USA-Honduras qualifier. Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter is suspended, again, and that helps tip the scales in favor of the home team. Barely.
Prediction: TFC 2, Galaxy 1.

KANSAS CITY (4-4-4) vs. COLUMBUS (2-2-7), 8:30 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
The Crew, trailing KC by three points, can erase that deficit by winning, but after tying its last three road games by 1-1 scores in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten run, might accept that result again. However, the Wizards have tied their last two home games by the same score and must prove they can win consistently at home.
Prediction: Wizards 2, Crew 0.

REAL SALT LAKE (3-6-2) vs. COLORADO (4-2-4), 10 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
The late call-up of Conor Casey to the U.S. team leaves the Rapids short up front and also in midfield (Pablo Mastroeni), and offers RSL a prime opportunity to end its six-match winless streak. But with just one goal in the last four games, something is amiss, so maybe Yura Movsisyan gets back into the starting lineup and Javier Morales gets back in the groove.
Prediction: RSL 1, Rapids 1.

CHIVAS USA (7-2-3) vs. SEATTLE (4-2-5), 10:30 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan are with the U.S. national team, yet Chivas USA is getting healthier and is at home. Despite losing to Chicago, 3-2, in the final seconds on May 24 at HDC, Chivas USA is sharper than the Sounders, who have tied five straight and just aren't as tightly knit without midfielder Oswaldo Alonso.
Prediction: Chivas USA 1, Seattle 0.

SUNDAY
FC DALLAS (2-6-3) vs. SAN JOSE (2-7-2), 3 p.m.ET, TeleFutura

The battle of the Western Conference bottom-feeders finds both teams soaring high on one-game winning streaks. The return of Darren Huckerby, who's been out for nearly two months with a strained quad, would certainly spark the Quakes. FCD isn't nearly as good as beating an exhausted Fire, 3-0, last week would suggest, and Coach Schellas Hyndman is suspended.
Prediction: FCD 2, Quakes 2.

NEW ENGLAND (3-3-4) vs. NEW YORK (2-8-3) 6 p.m. ET, Direct Kick
The Red Bull Horror Road Show pulls into Gillette Stadium sporting a 0-5-1 slate away from the Meadowlands. The Revs scratched past D.C., 2-1, last weekend in the last minute; this one could be just as tight, but RBNY ain't D.C., and must play this one on two days' rest.
Prediction: Revs 3, Red Bulls 1.

RIDGE MAHONEY'S PREDICTION 2009 RECORD
Season: 38-48

 



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