MLS Preview: June 1 games

All times Eastern.

Los Angeles (7-0-0) at Tampa Bay (6-2-0)

Location: Tampa Stadium

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Television: KTLA, Channel 5 (LA)

Satellite: Spacenet 3, Tr 15.

Previous meeting: First meeting.

Preview: The top teams in each conference meet, and both are without international stars. Carlos Valderrama (Tampa) and Eduardo Hurtado (LA) are away on duty with their national teams.

Cobi Jones will move into a forward slot in place of Hurtado; Jones has played up front previously with the U.S. national team, so right back Mark Semioli --
who has assisted on two goals this season when he's pushed up into the attacking third -- needs to support the right side.

Goran Hunjak will take Valderrama's spot as Mutiny schemer, and if he can link up with Evans Wise and Roy Lassiter, L.A.'s defense may be in for a long night. To bolster the back line, head coach Lothar Osiander will probably deploy outside players Arash Noamouz and Manny Motajo in strictly defensive roles. Robin Fraser is probably the only defender in the league who can keep up with the swift Lassiter.


Los Angeles-- Campos, Fraser, Calichman, Motajo, Semioli, Noamouz, Salcedo, Cienfuegos, Armas, Karpetyan, Jones.

Tampa Bay-- Dougherty, Pittman, Kooiman, Yallop, Ralston, McKinley, Vasquez, Hunjak, Wise, Lassiter, Viera.

Prediction: Tampa misses Valderrama as Galaxy stay unbeaten with a 1-0 win.

New England (2-3-2) at Kansas City (3-6-1)

Location: Arrowhead Stadium

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m.

Television: WABU, Channel 68 (Boston)

Satellite: None

Previous meeting: First meeting.

Preview: The Revs have won two in a row, the Wiz has lost four of five since beating Columbus 6-4 on May 2.

Mike Sorber and Frank Klopas are expected to be recovered from their strained hip flexors, although Digital Takawira is still absent due to national team duty. Alexi Lalas and Mike Burns return to the New England lineup after missing their team's 3-2 shootout win over Colorado last week. Keeper Aiden Heaney is out for one game after getting red-carded for handling outside the area last week.


New England -- St. Andre, Chronopoulos, Lalas, Burns, Weiszmann, Aunger, Woodring, Naveda, Welton, Keegan, Ukrop.

Kansas City -- Lagerwey, Bowers, Ekeme, Okafor, Reasoner, Uderitz, Chung, Preki, Sorber, Klopas, Johnston.

Prediction: Preki shines in a 3-1 Wiz victory.

Columbus (3-6-0) at San Jose (4-5-0)

Location: Spartan Stadium.

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m.

Television: Channel 53 Columbus

Satellite: SBS 6, Tr 17

Previous meeting: First meeting.

Preview: The Clash meets the only team in the league that plays on a narrower field than Spartan, so theoretically the Crew shouldn't have much trouble adapting. Columbus is missing Doctor Khumalo, who is playing for South Africa.

Still, the most important factor for Columbus is how quickly Paul Caligiuri adapts to his new team. He will play sweeper with Mark Watson and Michael Clark as marking backs. Brian Bliss keeps the defensive midfield role he played well in a 3-2 loss to L.A. on Sunday and Janusz Michallik shifts to the left side of midfield. San Jose's defense must contend with a potent front line of Adrian Paz and Pete Marino playing just behind scoring sensation Brian McBride, tied for the league lead with seven goals and two assists in eight games. Marcelo Carrera will play the attacking midfield spot behind those three

The Clash has its own potent threesome up front in Missael Espinoza, Paul Bravo and Eric Wynalda. Bravo has six goals on the season, and Wynalda personally beat Kansas City last Wednesday on a free kick and close-range volley to up his season total to four goals.

San Jose will either play four in the back, or deploy a midfielder -- maybe Tim Martin -- to shadow one of the Crew attackers. The Clash did a good job of ganging up on Preki Wednesday, flooding two or three players near him every time he received the ball, but Columbus is used to playing in tight spaces. Against the Crew, they must cut off the supply, which means shutting down Carrera and Paz and keeping an eye on Billy Thompson, whose dribbling and passing has disrupted several Crew opponents.


Columbus -- Oshoniyi, Caligiuri, Watson, Clark, Bliss, Michallik, Thompson, Carrera, Paz, McBride, Marino.

San Jose -- Salzwedel, Emenalo, Doyle, Dayak, Martin, Baicher, Iroha, Rodas, Espinoza, Wynalda, Bravo.

Prediction: Clash, 2-1.

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