Our prediction contest is nearing its end, and the winner is all but assured. Second place still seems wide open though. So let's get to it.
Week 23: Chest 6, Readers 5, Martin 5, AMT 4
Overall: Chest 106, AMT 94, Martin 91, Readers 89
Chivas has been grinding out results on the road, but the narrow confines in Portland will hurt their possession-based approach. Here's hoping the game is exhausting and features numerous red cards. Sure we should beat Portland Saturday, but I'll take any advantage we can get at this point. (Chest)
Saturday August 27, 7:30 PM: DC United vs. Portland Timbers, Comcast SportsNet
Martin: DC. Chest: DC. AMT: DC.
Lots of reasons to pick los Capitalinos in this one. Charlie Davies and Dwayne De Rosario will be good and rested; Portland is coming off of a midweek game and a 3,000 mile flight; Benny Olsen might finally drop DeRo back into midfield. But mostly, this is a Timbers road game, which means it's probably a good bet to pick the home team, even one with as ambivalent a home form as United. (AMT)
Martin: Sea. Chest; Tie. AMT: Sea.
Seattle's win against Monterrey is very impressive (moreso than Dallas beating the Pumas junior squad), but it must be said that los Rayados seemed disinterested throughout. Columbus, for all their flaws, are not going to come out flat. Robbie Rogers has quietly been in form recently, and I think the Crew will find the goal they need to escape Seattle with a point. (Chest)
Saturday August 27, 7:00 PM: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo
Martin: Tie. Chest: Hou. AMT: Tie.
United fans feel right at home watching the Whitecaps. Its Tom Soehn coaching a disappointing team that doesn't live up to its potential. But I'm still going to go the wishful thinking route and pick against Houston getting maximum points anyway. (Martin)
Tuesday's earthquake made my dog throw up. Cleaning it up was unpleasant. Thus: Screw you, San Jose. (AMT)
As we saw up close and personal, a team on short rest's worst nightmare is a trip to see the (former) Wizards. Dallas is playing TFC as I write this. The Sporks will likely maintain a pace that simply asks too much of Dallas, who have been playing midweek games for what seems like ages. (Chest)
So the Fire have already captured the most prestigious record in MLS history - most ties in a season. What record will they go for next? Most fouls committed? Most dives? Most coaches fired? (Martin)
Saturday August 27, 10:30 PM: Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake
Martin: Chv. Chest: Tie. AMT: Tie.
Remember when RSL had that Aura of Invincibility going? People were talking about #theQuad for them, and they weren't joking. The Claret & Cobalt should be a lock to make the playoffs, and might even steal one of the automatic slots in the West, but losing to Toronto kind of removes any doubt about your team's beatability. Chivas USA aren't world-beaters, but they're a solid team that's improved a lot under Robin Fraser. Right now, that's enough to take a point at home from RSL. (AMT)
This is like waiting for something that you've been looking forward to for a long time. Its like the season premier of True Blood. Its going to be awesome. Sure thing. But I'm not looking forward to this match for the reason MLS wants me to. I'm just looking forward to the Red Bulls getting destroyed. (Martin)
Sunday August 28, 7:00 PM: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, Galavision
Martin: Phi. Chest: Phi. AMT: Phi.
Steve Nicol will have a flashback to the mid-oughts facing Peter Nowak and Freddy Adu, but this time he doesn't have guys like Clint Dempsey, Taylor Twellman, or Steve Ralston on his side. The Revs have perked up a bit of late, but I think the Union will find a way to bag 3 points here. (Chest)