[MLS PREDICTION]ESPN2 televises a pair of games this week, starting with an interconference match Wednesday between four-time MLS champ D.C. United and expansion Seattle.
SEATTLE (5-3-5) vs. D.C. UNITED (5-2-7), 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
The Sounders beat San Jose, 2-1, at home last weekend and are strengthened by the return from suspension of forward Nate Jaqua and defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Also back is midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who played the last 15 minutes as a sub after sitting out a month with a strained quadriceps. Seattle missed his crisp, confident play at holding mid, though he may not be fit enough to start this match. Namesakes Fredy Montero and Freddie Ljungberg scored last week to punctuate their best performances in the past month.
D.C. is also coming off a 2-1 home win. Its triumph over Chicago lifted D.C. atop the Eastern Conference and ran its unbeaten streak to 10 games. Josh Wicks marked his fourth straight start in goal by saving a Brian McBride penalty kick to preserve the victory. Jaime Moreno did not travel with the team for a two-game road trip that continues in Colorado against the Rapids on Saturday.
Prediction: Seattle 1, D.C. United 0.
RIDGE MAHONEY'S 2009 PREDICTION RECORD
Last week: 6-2. Spot-ons: 2*. Season: 48-52.
*D.C. United-Chicago 2-1, Toronto FC-New York 2-1.