MLS Predictions and Previews (June 30 games)


Here are Soccer America Associate Editor Poul SwainÆs predictions for the games on June 30: Dallas 3 Los Angeles 2 D.C. United 2 Colorado 1 Miami 3 Columbus 2 New England 1 San Jose 2 Chicago 2 MetroStars 1 Kansas City 2 Tampa Bay 2


(all times ET) Saturday, June 30 (4:00 p.m.) - Los Angeles Galaxy at Dallas Burn (ESPN) Season series: Series tied 0-0-1 (Series tied 0-0 in aggregate goals); All-time regular season series: Los Angeles leads series 8-11-2 (Los Angeles leads 42-30 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: Los Angeles: F Cobi Jones (4g, 6a = 14pts); Dallas: F Bobby Rhine (4g, 6a = 14pts) Did you know?: The Burn's 19 points through 13 games equal the best start in team history. They also accumulated 19 points through 13 games in 1999. Key players out: Los Angeles: D Greg Vanney (U.S. national team), F Cobi Jones (U.S. national team); Dallas: Antonio Martinez (Meniscus surgery - R) Notes: The Galaxy will have Simon Elliott, who has missed five MLS matches, back in midfield after a prolonged stay with the New Zealand national team ... The Galaxy may have to deal with the loss of defensive leader Greg Vanney and leading scorer Cobi Jones to the U.S. national team ... After this match, Dallas will begin a stretch of four straight games against teams currently under .500 ... This contest could be a high-scoring affair as the Burn feature three of MLS' top 11 scorers, Bobby Rhine, Ariel Graziani and Jason Kreis ... The Galaxy counter with Luis Hernßndez, who scored a pair of goals in last week's 2-0 victory over the MetroStars. KEY MATCHUP: Galaxy D Danny Califf vs. Burn F Bobby Rhine: Rhine has been one of the hottest strikers in the league, leading an offense while taking some of the focus off Kreis and Graziani. Califf, the Galaxy defender with the most pace, will likely be called upon to stop the surging Rhine in the Los Angeles end of the field. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Paul Tamberino; Assistant Referees: Robert Fereday (SAR), Misail Tsapos (JAR) Saturday, June 30 (7:30 p.m.) - Colorado Rapids at D.C. United (FOX Rocky Mountain, Comcast Sports Net) Season series: First meeting; All-time regular season series: United leads series 8-3-1 (United leads 31-19 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: Colorado: John Spencer (8g, 3a = 19pts); United: F Abdul Thompson Conteh (8g, 1a = 17pts) Did you know?: With three assists last weekend, Colorado midfielder Ross Paule leads MLS with nine assists this season. Key players out: Colorado: D Chris Dawes (Jamaican national team), D Robin Fraser (U.S. national team); United: M Ben Olsen (ankle surgery - B), M Bobby Convey (U.S. U-20 national team) Notes: The Rapids have improved their attack greatly over the last two games, thanks in large part to the acquisitions of Raul Diaz Arce and Chris Carrieri, as well as the recent trade for Carlos Valderrama ... Despite scoring a combined six goals in their last two games, the Rapids did not earn a victory in either match ... Colorado has not won a game since beating Tampa Bay on May 12 ... D.C. has gone 3-7 during their last 10 games, which includes a disappointing 3-2 loss to lowly Tampa Bay last weekend ... First-year United midfielder Stephen Armstrong, impressive in three matches as a left-wing midfielder, had his first MLS goal in the defeat. KEY MATCHUP: Colorado F John Spencer vs. United D Eddie Pope: In the Colorado attack, Diaz Arce has taken some pressure off of Spencer, who has a four game goal-scoring streak. However, the Scotsman must still be marked closely and that job will likely fall to Pope, United's best one-one-one defender. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Gerry Corrie; Assistant Referees: (Jorge Reyes SAR), Kermit Quisenberry (JAR) Saturday, June 30 (7:30 p.m.) - Columbus Crew at Miami Fusion (WSYX - 6) Season series: Series tied 0-0-1 (Series tied 0-0 in aggregate goals); All-time regular season series: Columbus leads 6-4-1 (Columbus leads 21-15 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: Columbus: M John Wilmar Perez (3g, 6a = 12pts); Miami: F Diego Serna (10g, 8a = 28pts) Did you know?: On the three occasions the Crew have played a man down, they are undefeated, going 2-0-1. Miami is also undefeated in the only game it has played a man down (1-0 victory over New England). Key players out: Columbus: F Brian McBride (U.S. national team), GK Tom Presthus (U.S. national team), D Ansil Elcock (Trinidad & Tobago national team), F Edson Buddle (U.S. under-20 national team), F Jeff Cunningham (red card suspension); Miami: G Nick Rimando (U.S. national team); D Carlos Llamosa (U.S. national team), D Pablo Mastroeni (U.S. national team), M Chris Henderson (U.S. national team) Notes: This game could come down to which goalkeeper returns from U.S. national team training camp first ... Miami's Nick Rimando, who leads the league in wins and is tied for the lead with five shutouts, and Columbus' Tom Presthus are vying to back starter Kasey Keller in Mexico on Sunday ... The Crew have won two straight behind a revitalized offense, which has scored eight goals in the last two matches ... Columbus earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Dallas last weekend, despite playing the entire second half with just 10 men after Jeff Cunningham was sent off ... Miami has been the best team in MLS for most of the season, having gone 8-0-2 in its last 10 matches ... This contest will be the first MLS game at the venerable Orange Bowl in Miami ... The Fusion hope to have some of their U.S. national team contingent return for this match, otherwise newcomer Brian Dunseth may see significant time in the Miami defense. KEY MATCHUP: Crew M John Wilmar Perez vs. Fusion M Jim Rooney: Rooney has recorded a point in seven straight games, one short of the Fusion club record. The veteran's first responsibility on Saturday will be to stop the Crew midfield, led by an improving Wilmar Perez. The Colombian has become the offensive leader of the Crew attack, already notching 12 points after earning just nine points in 2000. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Ricardo Salazar: Assistant Referees: Francisco Sanchez (SAR), Chip Reed (JAR) Saturday, June 30 (7:30 p.m.) - San Jose Earthquakes at New England Revolution (FOX Bay Area, WB - WLVI) Season series: San Jose leads 1-0-0 (San Jose leads 3-2 in aggregate goals); All-time regular season series: New England leads 8-7-1 (San Jose leads 30-28 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: San Jose: F Ronald Cerritos (4g, 5a = 13pts); New England: M CatT (5g, 2a = 12pts) Did you know?: A win or draw in this match will allow San Jose to equal D.C. United's league record seven-game road unbeaten streak Key players out: San Jose: F Landon Donovan (U.S. U-20 national team), D Jeff Agoos (U.S. national team); New England: F Wolde Harris (Jamaican national team), M Andy Williams (Jamaican national team), M William Sunsing (Costa Rican national team), M Yari Allnut (foot surgery-R), GK Juergen Sommer (ruptured Achilles tendon-L) Notes: New England will look to avenge an earlier 3-2 loss to San Jose at Spartan Stadium in which the Revs nearly rebounded from a 3-0 deficit by scoring two goals in the closing minutes ... The Earthquakes have their eyes set on extending the team's 11-game unbeaten streak, but will have to do it without center-back Jeff Agoos, who will travel with the U.S. national team for its World Cup Qualifier in Mexico ... Agoos' absence will likely be covered by Jim Conrad, who will step into a central defensive role alongside Troy Dayak ... Revs midfielder CatT will likely shoulder the offensive load against a San Jose defense which has not allowed a goal in 212 minutes. KEY MATCHUP: San Jose M Manny Lagos vs. M Braeden Cloutier: Both Lagos and Cloutier have excelled going forward this season, but in this match they'll both need to pick their chances carefully in order to avoid leaving their team exposed on the left and right respectively. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Kevin Terry; Assistant Referees: George Vergara (SAR), Bill Dittmar (JAR) Saturday, June 30 (8:00 p.m.) - MetroStars at Chicago Fire (ESPN) Season series: First meeting; All-time regular season series: Series tied 3-3-0 (Series tied 10-10 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: MetroStars: F Clint Mathis (7g, 5a=19pts); Chicago: M Dema Kovaleno (5g, 5a = 15pts) Did you know?: The MetroStars are 12-3-3 record with D Daniel Hernandez in the starting lineup. Key players out: MetroStars: M Richie Williams (U.S. national team), F Martin Klinger (strained hamstring-L), F Clint Mathis (torn ACL-R), D Mark Semioli (strained hamstring-R), D/M Steve Shak (torn MCL-R), M Petter Villegas (sprained MCL-L); Chicago: D Carlos Bocanegra (ankle sprain-L), D C.J. Brown (groin strain-L), F Hristo Stoitchkov (hamstring strain-L), F Josh Wolff (foot stress fracture-L) Notes: Octavio Zambrano's squad heads to Chicago looking for its first road win of the season ... Currently 0-4-2 away from Giants Stadium this season, the Metros have been outscored 9-3 on the road this season ... Chicago is 4-1-2 at home this season, with the team's only loss at Soldier Field coming at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy ... Dealing with the Fire's Dema Kovalenko and Peter Nowak will be a chief concern for the MetroStars, who will be without defensive midfielder Richie Williams ... Chicago must also deal with injuries on the defensive end, as C.J. Brown was unable to finish the match against New England ... Unless the Colombian duo of Alex Comas and Adolfo Valencia can get untracked, major changes could be coming for the MetroStars. KEY MATCHUP: MetroStars M Tab Ramos vs. Chicago M Jesse Marsch: In the absence of Mathis, Ramos has been the MetroStars' most dangerous offensive threat ... With Armas gone, Marsch will likely assume a more defensive role in the midfield in order to keep Ramos from igniting the attack. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Alex Prus; Assistant Referees: Chris Strickland (SAR), Paul Scott (JAR) Saturday, June 30 (8:30 p.m.) - Tampa Bay Mutiny at Kansas City Wizards (ESPN) Season series: Kansas City leads 1-0-0 (Kansas City leads 2-1 in aggregate goals); All-time regular season series: Kansas City leads 9-6-1 (Kansas City leads 25-24 in aggregate goals) Leading scorers: Tampa Bay: Mamadou Diallo (7g, 3a = 17pts); Kansas City: M Matt McKeon (4g, 1a = 9pts) Did you know?: Kansas City has an eight-game unbeaten streak against the Mutiny dating back to 1998. Key players out: Tampa Bay: D Chad McCarty (broken ankle-L), D Scott Cannon (IT Band irritation-R); Kansas City: F Onandi Lowe (Jamaican national team), F Gary Glasgow (Trinidad and Tobago national team), D Nick Garcia (red card suspension), GK Tony Meola (strained abdominal muscle), F Mo Johnston (strained neck) Notes: After finally snapping the team's seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against D.C. United on Saturday, Tampa Bay heads to Kansas City looking to add to the Wizards' four-game skid ... Kansas City will attempt to find comfort at Arrowhead Stadium, where the team will play nine of its last 14 regular season games ... The Wizards have posted a 3-1-1 record at home so far this season ... Roy Lassiter must regain his scoring touch for the Wizards, but he'll have to do it without the assistance of his strike partner Onandi Lowe, who has rejoined the Jamaican national team ... Kansas City will also need to cover defensively for the absence of Nick Garcia, who received a red card in Saturday's loss at San Jose. KEY MATCHUP: Tampa Bay F Mamadou Diallo vs. Kansas City D Peter Vermes: Without Garcia's tenacity on his right, Vermes will likely face even more pressure from Diallo. Unless the veteran can organize the Wizards defense, Diallo could make it a long night for Kansas City goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi. SCHEDULED REFEREES: Referee: Sergio Vega; Assistant Referees: Roger Itaya (SAR), (JAR) Steven Davidson
Next story loading loading..