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MLS First Kick Schedule, TV Options, & Predictions

The three Black And Red United writers have several things in common, but two things really stand out: We all like soccer. And we all like alcohol.

We're also pretty sure that many of you share these same traits. And so we've come up with a fun way to share those two things with you, while also passing along some important information about the MLS schedule each week.

Every week, the three B&RU writers - myself, Chest, and AMT - will predict the winners of every MLS match, and we'll host a poll where you can cast a vote for the winner of each match as well. At the end of the season, 306 MLS matches will have been played, and we'll declare a winner of the B&RU prediction league - either one of the three writers, or the collective readers. Each of the three of us are putting a bottle of booze on the line (value of around $25-30 because in Adam's words "That way Martin doesn't get saddled with a really nice gin he'll have no chance of appreciating.") If the readers win the contest, we'll all share the three bottles together at a B&RU tailgate at the end of the season.

So check out our predictions, check out our previews, cast your votes, and feel free to explain your votes in the comments section below. Good luck!

Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Martin - Seattle. Chest - Draw. AMT - Draw.

First Kick drinking game: Drink once every time a) Chad Barrett shoots wide from a promising opportunity, b) Fredy Montero hits the deck, and c) every time David Beckham scowls or gestures in an overly dramatic fashion after being the victim of a run-of-the-mill foul. Make sure to DVR the game, because you'll probably get alcohol poisoning. (Chest)

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew
Martin - Draw. Chest - D.C. AMT - D.C.

I'm expecting a tight, somewhat chippy game, but ultimately I think United will be more desperate to win this game than Columbus, who appear to still be working under the impression that they're one of MLS's good teams. They aren't. (Chest)



Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC

Martin - Draw. Chest - Vancouver. AMT - Toronto.

Cripple fight? Cripple fight. It's almost too bad both teams can't lose this one. No matter who comes out on top, nobody really wins here. Not even Canada. Especially not Canada. (AMT)

New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders
Martin - NY. Chest - NY. AMT - NY.

Who's ready for the ultimate MLS announcer lovefest? Seattle might be able to fill their stadium, but at least New York will have that Red Bull logo in the stands clearly visible. (Martin)

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union
Martin - Houston. Chest - Draw. AMT - Houston.

The Union have less depth than most weekend warrior indoor soccer teams, but that won't hurt them until the injuries begin. Houston is still sorting themselves out, so Philly should be able to grab a point (I'm even tempted to say they'll win). (Chest)


FC Dallas vs. Chicago Fire
Martin - FCD. Chest - FCD. AMT - FCD

Questions abound: Why did Dallas let some of their top players leave for nothing after finishing runners up in MLS Cup? Why does Chicago insist on using a formation that doesn't match their personnel and that relegates their most exciting player to the bench? Which will be the first to name Arcade Fire's The Suburbs  their stadium's official anthem? The world may never know, but the Hoops look to walk out easy winners in the first leg of the Brimstone Cup. (AMT)

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers
Martin - Draw. Chest - Rapids. AMT - Rapids.

Can we call this one the Crunchy Granola Cup? Pleeeaaase? (AMT)

Chivas USA vs. Sporting Kansas City
Martin - Draw. Chest - Sporting. AMT - Draw.

In the "MLS's least-prominent teams" battle, I'll take the former Wizards to win on the road. I'm not buying the talk surrounding KC as a likely playoff team (with that defense, I'd be sorely disappointed to finish behind them), but Sporting's high-pressure tactics should cause endless trouble to a Chivas team that seems a long way from where Robin Fraser wants them to be. (Chest)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
Martin - RSL. Chest - SJ. AMT - RSL.

These two teams are probably shooting to make the play-in round of the playoffs so they can go to the Eastern Conference again. That's seemed to work better for both sides lately. (Martin)

LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution
Martin - LA. Chest - LA. AMT - LA.

Let's see ... LA won the Supporters Shield last year and probably got stronger in the offseason. The Revs had their two best players sent home from training camp, didn't address their biggest need (striker) and already have two probable starters (Kevin Alston and Ousmane Dabo ) out injured. LA wins this one without having to break a sweat. (Chest)