The ESPN networks present a rare midweek double dip, starting with a classic interconference clash between Chicago and Los Angeles at Toyota Park, where
the Galaxy has yet to garner even a tie but comes in with an unbeaten record against Eastern Conference teams.
CHICAGO (9-4-8) vs.
LOS ANGELES (7-4-10), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2/Deportes
The under-fueled Fire still had enough spark to post a 2-0 triumph in Kansas City Sunday and though it plays on two days' rest, two
injury absentees from that game - defender Wilman Conde
(hamstring strain) and midfielder John Thorrington
(groin strain) - have been upgraded to probable. Forward
and defender Gonzalo Segares
are still sidelined. A tepid home record (3-2-4, with a goal difference of zero and only eight goals scored) tempers
For the Galaxy, the injury list is a short one -- forwards Edson Buddle
(foot sprain) and Alecko Eskandarian
(broken nose) are
questionable - but flankers Eddie Lewis
and David Beckham
are suspended, which may limit the room and freedom Landon Donovan
would like to exploit.
The Galaxy has ground out results on the road all season (4-1-6) and this may be the ultimate test: it has lost all three league meetings in Toyota Park since it opened, and also lost 3-1 in the 2006
Open Cup final. Still, it is a remarkable 5-0-4 against Eastern teams this season. Prediction:
Fire 2, Galaxy 1.
RIDGE MAHONEY'S 2009
PREDICTION RECORD Last week: