Wow, what a week for the readers. Proving that it pays to cheat (okay, not cheat, but that whole honor system thing clearly didn't work out), along with the apparent influx of Sounders fans voting for Seattle over D.C. in that poll, the readers made a major move up the standings.
We'll give you our predictions and sarcastic previews tomorrow, but vote now for this week's packed slate of matches.
Week 27: Readers 8, Chest 6, AMT 5, Martin 4
Overall: Chest 116, AMT 108, Readers 104, Martin 98
Robin Fraser added some speed after United exposed his glacial starting line-up on the 10th. Unfortunately, his plans were again ruined very early in the match, which underlines a different problem for the Goats. This game will not be as easy as our visit to the HDC - which was a bit deceptive - but it's still a bad match-up for Chivas. (Chest)
United fans will certainly keep their eyes on the score of this game with particular interest. Its our opponent on Saturday (with Javier Morales poised to return any week now) against our top rival both in the playoff race and in historical terms. Here's hoping RSL goes for broke in beating the Bulls and is too tired to play its best this weekend. (Martin)
Wednesday September 21, 10:30 PM: Portland Timbers vs.
While the Timbers might actually make the playoffs, doing so will be futile unless they can somehow steal home advantage. JELD-WEN is the only place they know how to win. Speaking of that, sorry 'Quakes. (Martin)
Gut feeling. I think the Union have the mental fortitude to be the kind of team that grabs a late goal to equalize at KC. The Sporks will be the better team, but they struggle with finishing games. (Chest)
Ah, the Texas Derby. What should be one of the greatest rivalries in MLS hasn't really been all that competitive, at least not as far as trophies are concerned. But only one of these teams appears to be in the hunt for a trophy in 2011, and that's the team that will win on Saturday. Rather easily I presume. (Martin)
Saturday September 24, 7:30 PM: D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake
Martin: RSL. Chest: Tie. AMT: Tie.
I blame the schedulers as much as anybody (except, y'know, the team) for United's inability to win consecutive games. If they'd just schedule us a couple of cupcakes in a row, we could just move past it. Also: if they'd schedule us against a team of 4'11" players, I'm sure we could score a headed goal, too! (AMT)
Saturday September 24, 7:30 PM: Columbus Crew vs.
Bruce Arena's most recent masterstroke is the surprise, seamless integration of forgotten rookie Paolo Cardozo, which has only boosted LA's ability to possess and create. It's hard to pick against LA in any fixture at this point. (Chest)
Saturday September 24, 7:30 PM: New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers
Martin: NY. Chest: Tie. AMT: Tie.
So the Best Team Ever Assembled (On Paper) finally got another win, and they went ugg-o to do it. Know which team is built to win ugly and capitalize on set pieces? Give you a hint, the coach's name rhymes with Kahn Brencer. (AMT)
Saturday September 24, 9:00 PM: Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Martin: Clr. Chest: Clr. AMT: Clr.
The Earthquakes have badly fallen off their 2010 form due to the long-term injury of Chris Wondolowski. Wait, what? Wondo has been healthy the whole year? And he's scored a crapload of goals yet again? Something isn't adding up in San Jose, and Frank Yallop is probably going to pay for it this offseason. (Martin)
Saturday September 24, 10:30 PM: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders
Martin: Sea. Chest: Sea. AMT: Sea.
In which the Sounders claim The Only Trophy That Matters And Everybody Else Can Suck It, the Cascadia Cup. (PS Let's Go 'Caps!) (PPS Anybody know how to mimic a horn blast through type? I feel like my joke would have come across better with the full hockey reference.) (PPPS I promise not to parenthetically break the fourth wall ever again.) (PPPPS Starting now.) (AMT)
Saturday September 24, 10:30 PM: Chivas USA vs. Toronto FC
Martin: Tor. Chest: Tie. AMT: Tor.
Having lived through this summer's "Robin Fraser for Coach of the Year" talk and Toronto's Sixth Annual Summer of Woe, I'm as surprised by this pick as you are. But the teams' fortunes have certainly reversed over the last several weeks. (AMT)
Chicago isn't going anywhere, but the Revs are simply not good enough in the back to play the possession-based 442 Steve Nicol has been using of late. Look for the Fire to expose New England's flimsy back four throughout this one. (Chest)