As we near the mid-point in the 2011 MLS season, we've still got quite a race brewing at the top of our predictions contest.
Week 14: AMT 3, Readers 3, Chest 1, Martin 1
Overall: Chest 58, AMT 56, Readers 50, Martin 46
I thought KC's road trip was over. In any case, their inability to bury the Quakes during a dominant 1st half last week has me even more skeptical of them than I was before. The Union will never blow anyone out of the water (well, anyone but TFC), but this should be a comfortable three points for them. (Chest)
A few years ago, I was at a party at my in-laws' house for my wife's brother's girlfriend's 21st birthday. We were playing beer pong by the pool, and I was doing just well enough to stay on the table, but not nearly well enough to stay sober. Playing beer pong by the pool? Yeah, you can guess what happened. While chasing a ball, I fell in the pool. An RSL fan then accused me of diving. I guess I'd be embarrassed too if the crossbar had more impressive saves than my All-Star goalkeeper. (Martin)
Saturday June 25, 6:00 PM: D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo, Comcast SportsNet, Telefutura
Martin: DC. Chest: DC. AMT: DC.
Word on the street is that Charlie Davies is angry in practice, and he's probably looking to take it out on the unfortunate souls who have to repair the nets. Whatever you think about the dive that led to the backlash that led to the anger, we all know the next step is extra motivation, and we all know what a motivated Chuck Deezy is capable of. Now the issue will be whether United have figured out how to stop big strikers; my guess is "probably well enough for this week." (AMT)
Martin: Tie. Chest: Sea. AMT: NY.
The city of Seattle missed their opportunity to invent ALLCAPS stadium names, so they decided to invent super-generic-sounding regional ISP stadium names instead. In any event, as great and huge as the crowd in CenturyLink Field is, the place isn't the fortress you'd expect, and the Red Bulls should walk out with three points, with or without Thierry Henry. (AMT)
Saturday June 25, 7:30 PM: Philadelphia Union vs. Chivas USA
Martin: Phi. Chest: Phi. AMT: Tie.
I am so close to calling this one a tie, but ultimately I can't get the image of Michael Lahoud and Ben Zemanski both falling asleep at the wheel to hand Dallas a win last week out of my head. Philly preys on exactly that kind of mistake. (Chest)
When Rovio comes out with the MLS-themed version of Angry Birds, it's going to feature Brek Shea as the blue bird that splits into three. Dude is everywhere for Dallas, and he's blowing up the metaphorical green pigs that is the rest of the league. For those who are curious, the red bird will be Kyle Beckerman, your basic omnipresent MLS veteran; the yellow bird will be the superquick Steve Zakuani; the white bird will be the aerially-gifted Juan Pablo Angel; the black bomb bird will be Steven Lenhart, obviously the best target forward ever - just look what he did to us; and the boomerang bird will be Fred, who keeps coming and going and coming and going. (AMT)
Saturday June 25, 8:30 PM: Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Martin: KC. Chest: KC. AMT: KC.
Tom Soehn's teams never did well against KC, who were playing a somewhat high-pressure system under Curt Onalfo and then became more aggressive under Peter Vermes. I expect plenty of goals here, but ultimately the Sporks should be sharp enough (see what I did there?) to win. (Chest)
Saturday June 25, 9:00 PM: Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC
Martin: RSL. Chest: RSL. AMT: RSL.
Toronto might have a chance, if they get their fullbacks forward and their wingers help out in possession. It would also help if they weren't playing RSL or if they swapped rosters with RSL. (AMT)
Sunday June 26, 2:00 PM: Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, ESPN
Martin: NY. Chest: Tie. AMT: Tie.
There are probably some people out there who restrict their sports television viewing to only the ESPN family of networks. Those people probably think that there are only four teams in MLS. Fortunately for them, but unfortunately for all the rest of us, they'll get to see one of those four teams twice this week. (Martin)
Sunday June 26, 4:00 PM: Seattle Sounders vs. New England Revolution
Martin: Sea. Chest: Sea. AMT: Sea.
How hot does it need to be for Sigi Schmid to take the scarf off? When was the last time you saw him without the scarf wrapped tightly around his neck? I'm starting to think he's been replaced by a body snatcher, and the entry wound is above the shoulders. Or maybe he's being remote controlled from Fredy Montero's cast? (AMT)
So you're telling me Robert Warzycha had Bernardo Anor sitting under his nose all this time, and only just gave him a start last week, when the Crew could barely put together an 18 man squad? No wonder his position has become tenuous. (Chest)