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The Red Bulls must win
by Ridge Mahoney, June 19th, 2009 7AM

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[MLS PREDICTIONS] With four teams participating in SuperLiga play, only five weekend league games are scheduled. (Toronto takes the week off from league play.) California Clascio rivals Los Angeles and San Jose square off in the Oakland Coliseum for the second time this season, Seattle crosses the country to play New York, Houston gets a chance to separate itself from Western co-leader Chivas USA when it hosts Real Salt Lake, and Eastern leader D.C. United continues its road trip in Colorado. For all of Soccer America's predictions, as well as TV viewing information, and to see how we've fared so far this season. ...

(All times ET)
SATURDAY
SAN JOSE (2-8-3) vs. LOS ANGELES (2-2-9) ESPN2, 4:30 pm.

The Galaxy really stunk at home last weekend in losing, 2-0, against RSL, and heads north to play San Jose two months after the teams tied, 1-1, in the same situation. The Quakes snapped their three-game unbeaten streak by losing in Seattle, 2-1, yet are looking more dangerous offensively with Darren Huckerby getting healthy and the defense is tighter thanks to Joe Cannon's excellent displays. Eddie Lewis' suspension leaves a hole on the left side of LA's midfield.
Prediction: Quakes 1, Galaxy 1.

NEW YORK (2-10-3) vs. SEATTLE (5-3-6) Direct Kick, 7:30 pm.
If Red Bulls can't win at home against a team on two days' rest againts a team that flew thousands of miles after a draining 3-3 tie, they should pack it up, dump the head coach, and release all players with non-guaranteed contracts. Seattle will be tired but does have talent and the return to midfield of Osvaldo Alonso is an element New York must squelch.
Prediction: Red Bulls 2, Sounders 1.

HOUSTON (8-2-3) vs. REAL SALT LAKE (4-6-3) Direct Kick, 8:30 pm.
RSL took advantage of a lethargic LA to win 2-0 at Home Depot Center last week but will need a much better effort to get anything out of this far tougher road test. Injuries, suspensions, international absences, it doesn't matter, the Dynamo is sharp and hungry and has more weapons firing than any other team. Even Cam Weaver is hitting the net!
Prediction: Dynamo 3, RSL 1.

FC DALLAS (2-7-4) vs. COLUMBUS (4-2-7) Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30 pm.
Road wins have been hard to come by for teams this season, but Houston won at Pizza Hut Park, 3-1, last weekend and though the Crew isn't quite as sharp across the board, it does have Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven and Alejandro Moreno in good form. FCD doesn't appear to be any clearer about how to defend against a good team and a modest four-game unbeaten streak came to an end last week.
Prediction: FCD 1, Crew 2.

COLORADO (4-2-5) vs. D.C. UNITED (5-2-8) Direct Kick, 9:30 pm.
Another stirring comeback earned D.C. a point in Seattle, but taking on the Rapids at altitude just a few days later is a daunting assignment even though Christian Gomez plays his first game against the team that traded him. Colorado comes off a bye week, is unbeaten (2-0-2) at home, and probably has the legs to run United into the ground. Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is back and recently acquired attacker Pat Noonan will be available as the Rapids start a run of nine out of 12 games at home.
Prediction: Rapids 2, United 1.

RIDGE MAHONEY'S PREDICTION 2009 RECORD
This week: 0-1. Season: 48-53.



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