MLS Weekend Preview: August 24-25

Saturday, August 24

Kansas City at Columbus

Location: Ohio Stadium. Kickoff (ET): 7:30 p.m. Television:
KFYC-TV Kansas City. Satellite: SBS 6, Tr. 17.

Series History: May 2 at Arrowhead Stadium -- The Wiz win the highest scoring game in MLS history when they beat Columbus 6-4; June 8 in Columbus --
The Wiz win another thriller, 4-3 in a shootout.

Injuries: Kansas City -- D Uche Okafor (strained patella tendon) and D Diego Gutierrez (bruised knee) are probable, M Frank Klopas (strained hamstring) is questionable; Columbus -- G Bo Oshoniyi (strained shoulder), D Ricardo Iribarren (bruised knee), and D Paul Caligiuri (flu) are probable, G Pat Harrington (sprained ankle) is questionable, D Brian Bliss (strained Achilles, pulled groin), D Shane Battelle (ruptured PCL), and M Billy Thompson (torn ACL) are out.

Of Note: The league's top offense (Kansas City) squares off against the league's most porous defense (Columbus).... However, with Brad Friedel now manning the nets, and Ricardo Iribarren providing muscle and leadership on defense, Columbus has won four straight and have been playing superbly.... Adrian Paz has worked his way back into the starting lineup for Columbus and is back among the league's top scorers.... Preki is still the top scorer in the league, but Mark Chung and Digital Takawira have been doing the most damage for K.C. recently.


Kansas City -- Lagerwey, McKeon, Okafor, Bowers, Gutierrez, Uderitz, Sorber, Preki, Chung, Takawira, Johnston.

Columbus -- Friedel, Clark, Iribarren, Caligiuri, Smith, Yeagley, Warzycha, Maisonneuve, Khumalo, Paz, McBride.

Prediction: Another great one in this classic rivalry -- 4-2 Crew.

Sunday, August 25

Tampa Bay at D.C. United

Location: RFK Stadium. Kickoff (ET): 3:00 p.m. Television:
Univision. Satellite: Spacenet 3, Tr. 5.

Series History: July 12 at RFK Stadium -- Marco Etcheverry scored the only goal in United's 1-0 win; Aug. 7 at Tampa Stadium -- Etcheverry had a pair of assists and Raul Diaz Arce scored twice as D.C. thrashed Tampa Bay 3-1.

Injuries: Tampa Bay -- F Giuseppe Galderisi (strained Achilles) is probable, D Steve Pittman (bruised knee) and F Roy Lassiter (hip flexor) are questionable, D Cle Kooiman (broken cheekbone) and M Peter Hattrup (torn ACL and MCL) are out; D.C. United -- D Jeff Agoos (sprained foot), D Eddie Pope (sprained foot), M Richie Williams (strained calf) M John Harkes (strained calf) and M Marco Etcheverry (bruised quad) are probable; G Jeff Causey (sprained lower back), and F Steve Rammel (sprained foot) are questionable, D Mike Huwiler (aggravated groin), M John Maessner (strained neck) and M Jesse Marsch (broken ankle) are out.

Of Note: Without Steve Pittman and Cle Kooiman, the Mutiny defense had a shaky outing in Wednesday's 4-2 loss at New England.... Marco Etcheverry should be licking his chops as he's already has a goal and two assists against the Mutiny.... The return of Olympians Eddie Pope and Clint Peay has stabilized the United defense.... Pope, in particular, is playing well, and has notched a goal and an assist in his last two games.... Tampa Bay has already clinched a playoff berth.


Tampa Bay -- Dougherty, Yallop, Hejduk, Vasquez, Ralston, Backman, Valderrama, McKinley, Wise, Galderisi, Hunjak.

D.C. United -- Simpson, Peay, Pope, Agoos, Gori, Williams, Sanneh, Harkes, Etcheverry, Diaz Arce, Moreno.

Prediction: Steadily improving D.C. gets a 2-1 win.

Colorado at San Jose

Location: Spartan Stadium. Kickoff (ET): 7:00 p.m. Television: Prime Sports Rocky Mountain. Satellite: SBS 6, Tr. 17.

Series History: May 8 at Spartan Stadium -- Paul Bravo and Jeff Baicher scored in San Jose's 3-1 win; July 17 at Mile High Stadium -- John Doyle scored his first MLS goal in San Jose's 2-1 win.

Injuries: Colorado -- M Steve Trittschuh (broken toe), M Chris Henderson (strained hamstring), M Scott Benedetti (sprained ankle), M Josh McKay (strained ankle) and F Richard Sharpe (stress fracture) are probable, F Shaun Bartlett (hyperextended knee) is doubtful, D Marcelo Balboa (bruised foot), D Troy Edwards (groin surgery), D Ian Butterworth (bruised foot), M Dominic Kinnear (knee surgery), and M Roy Wegerle (strained calf) are out; San Jose -- D Troy Dayak (hip flexor) and M Paul Bravo (strained groin) are probable, M Paul Holocher (torn ACL) is out.

Of Note: Colorado enters this crucial match plagued by injuries yet again.... Roy Wegerle, Ian Butterworth, and Marcelo Balboa did not make the trip, while Shaun Bartlett's hyperextended knee leaves him doubtful for the match.... Bob Houghton has called up midfielder Ed Pinon and forward Raimo DeVries from the USISL's Raleigh Flyers for the match, with Pinon expected to start.... More bad news for Colorado -- midfielder Dominic Kinnear underwent season-ending knee surgery last week, and defender Matt Kmosko will miss today's game because of a yellow-card suspension.... San Jose's shootout win over Dallas on Thursday certainly wasn't pretty, but it did end a two game losing skid for the Clash, who also beat Dallas for the first time.... Expect another physical matchup as John Doyle and Troy Dayak tangle with Colorado's Denis Hamlett and Scott Cannon.... San Jose's high-scoring tandem of Eric Wynalda and Paul Bravo have been shut out in the last five games.... This matchup has critical playoff implications, with the Rapids trailing San Jose by four points for the final spot in the Western Conference.


Colorado -- Woods, Bates, Hamlett, Cannon, S. Henderson, Rodriguez, Trittschuh, Pinon, C. Henderson, Benedetti, Harbor.

San Jose -- Liner, Martin, Dayak, Doyle, Emenalo, Baicher, Rodas, Lewis, Espinoza, Bravo, Wynalda.

Prediction: Waldo breaks loose in San Jose's 3-1 win.

Dallas at Los Angeles

Location: Rose Bowl. Kickoff (ET): 7:30 p.m. Television:
Prime Sports Southwest (delayed until 11:00 p.m. eastern). Satellite:
Satcom C1, Tr. 10

Series History: July 17 at the Cotton Bowl -- Jason Kreis scored twice and Leonel Alvarez had two assists as Dallas throttled the Galaxy 5-2.

Injuries: Dallas -- D Tom Soehn (torn ACL) is out; Los Angeles -- D Dan Calichman (sore hamstring) is probable, F Jose Vasquez (re-injured foot) is out.

Of Note: Both teams are hoping to rebound from shootout losses suffered earlier in the week.... Both teams are also chasing Kansas City for the Western Conference lead.... Dallas will be without Mexican star Hugo Sanchez, who was red-carded against the Clash on Thursday.... Los Angeles has lost three straight and five of its last seven.


Dallas -- Dodd, Farrer, Santel, Ibsen, Lozzano, Sonora, Alvarez, Kreis, Haynes, Elliott, Eck.

Los Angeles -- Campos, Calichman, Fraser, Salcedo, Semioli, Vanney, Cienfuegos, Armas, Jones, Karapetyan, Hurtado.

Prediction: Galaxy break out of their slump with a 2-1 win.

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