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Toronto can douse the Fire
by Ridge Mahoney, May 15th, 2009 7AM
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[MLS PREDICTIONS] San Jose, stuck near the bottom of the overall standings at 1-5-2, takes its turn as the bye team during a week that features a matchup of conference leaders (Chivas USA vs. D.C. United), followed by defending champion Columbus at Los Angeles the following day at Home Depot Center. Toronto and Chicago, a point apart in the Eastern Conference in second and third, respectively, meet at BMO Field; 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup winner Houston heads to 2008 finalist New York, which knocked it out of the playoffs last year. For all of Soccer America's predictions, as well as TV viewing information, and to see how we've fared on prediction so far this season ...

(As regards to television, there is no ESPN2 game this week. Both national telecasts emanate from the Home Depot Center: Fox Soccer Channel airs Chivas USA-United Saturday night and TeleFutra shows the Crew-Galaxy showdown at high noon Sunday.)

SATURDAY
TORONTO FC (3-2-4) vs. CHICAGO (2-0-6), 4 p.m. ET, Direct Kick.
A subplot of quirky catalysts - Dwayne De Rosario and Cuauhtemoc Blanco - going head to head tacks additional intrigue to this game. TFC might be fatigued after playing USL-1 Montreal in midweek but Chicago has to lose sometime, and has lost at BMO the past two seasons.
Prediction: TFC 2, Fire 1 .

NEW ENGLAND (2-2-3) vs. COLORADO (3-2-2), 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick.
The Rapids are for real. The Revs are still not at full strength and had to play Shalrie Joseph up top for portions of the last two games; Colorado's combo of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings should give them problems.
Prediction: Revs 1, Rapids 2.

NEW YORK (2-5-2) vs. HOUSTON (3-2-2), 7:30 p.m. Direct Kick.
The Dynamo backline is missing three starters and while it's doubtful New York will ring up four goals like it did last week against San Jose, it has an edge: in four regular season and playoff games at the Meadowlands, Houston has scored just one goal.
Prediction: Red Bulls 2, Dynamo 0.

FC DALLAS (1-6-1) vs. SEATTLE (4-2-2), 8:30 p.m., Direct Kick.
The Sounders have cooled off a bit after their hot start, and had best stop losing players to red cards after the third such occurrence last week in a 1-1 tie with the Galaxy. Dallas is still searching for answers but the fans at Pizza Hut Park are tired of excuses.
Prediction: FCD 0, Sounders 1 .

REAL SALT LAKE (3-4-1) vs. KANSAS CITY (3-4-2), 9 p.m., Direct Kick.
In two meetings last year these teams produced a total of one goal, and that was an own goal. Another close encounter is likely. KC needs to do better on the road, where it is 1-3-1.
Prediction: RSL 1, Wizards 1.

CHIVAS USA (7-1-1) vs. D.C. UNITED (3-1-5), 11 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel.
Chivas is 5-0 at home, and while D.C. has rescued points this season with same incredible last-minute rallies, it is up against a defense that has conceded only three goals. But much of that is due to keeper Zach Thornton, and no goalie can save 'em all.
Prediction: Chivas USA 2, D.C. 1.

SUNDAY
LOS ANGELES (1-1-6) vs. COLUMBUS (1-2-5), 3 p.m., TeleFutura.

Just by doing the math - 11 ties in 16 matches combined - this game should end up even. LA's only home win is a narrow 1-0 decision over the Red Bulls via a penalty kick, and the Crew is coming off its first win of the season. Oh, why not go with the flow?
Prediction: Galaxy 2, Crew 2 .

PREDICTION REVIEW
Last week: 6-3. Season: 28-33.



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