NY: I’m mailing this week in. I’m employing the coin-flip technique. I don’t know how draw is going to factor in to this. F*ck it, I just won’t pick a draw then.
DK: Isn’t that what we always do? Mail it in. to make it simpler (cause of timing) I’m going to match up with your matches.
NY: Chivas USA v Chicago Fire: I guess home team is heads, road team is tails, so here goes: Damn it, I don’t even have a quarter so I’m flipping a nickel, but anyway: Tails = Chicago wins. I like this method.
DK: Even though Chicago sucks, so does Chivas. It’s going to be sad that this game is close in any aspect, but Oduro is likely going to notch a goal in this one, it’s harder to tell what Chivas will do – but east conference teams always fail miserably on the west coast. 1-1 tie.
NY: Toronto FC v DC United: Flip #2: Tails, again. That makes sense. TFC doesn’t seem to play as well in league play as they have in their inter, and intra, national tournaments.
DK: TFC still can’t buy a point, and DC is on a tear, DC 2-0.
NY: Vancouver Whitecaps v San Jose Earthquakes: Flippity Flippity #3: Damn it, i dropped on the floor and rolled under my desk. Re-do: Tails, AGAIN! Eh, San Jose HAS been playing well. They scored 2 in beating Union Saturday, then come out mid-week and put a 5-spot on the board to get another 3 points. Sure, why not another win?
DK: I don’t like this match up only because I’m clearly picking San Jose… they’re good, who the hell knew. 1-0
NY: LA Galaxy v New Jersey Pink Cows: Flippity Floppity Floop #4: Heads! That means that this early war-of-attrition will be won by the home side! Sure! Why not?!?!?
DK: Weirdly, I dislike LA more than RBNY, and they’ve been doing much better than LA so far (only by one game). I’ll go with a 2-2 tie. Think NY could HANDle it? No, it never gets old.
NY: Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union: Dare I coin flip this? Sure, it seems to be working so well… Heads! This means that Union will take their second straight defeat. I guess I can believe that. That turf is weird, it’s an odd time (1:30pm local), and Freddy Montero might be too much for the Union to deal with. If these picks are correct, I’m keeping this nickel and flipping it every week, but if these are wrong, I’m going to melt the damn thing down so it’s no longer a coin. There’s a lot at stake for this coin, isn’t there?
DK: Yes we beat Seattle last year… Yes that field is atrocious. Yes my retinas burn while watching games in Seattle. No nothing good will come from this. Last year’s team was vastly different than this year’s team, and sadly enough – only one of those variations included Stefani Miglioranzi. The only upside to this weekend for me is seeing the Avengers movie after the game, I fully expect a loss of 2-1. I hope to god though that something FINALLY f***ing clicks with this team….
Dan – 17 out of 30
Nick – 13 out of 30
DK: This week we’re going to incorporate a special guest pick set of our dear, beloved friend, Johnny “Vegas”. Let’s see if he’s as sharp as we are.
Dan – 13 out of 25
Nick – 12 out of 25
DK: There’s a reason why we’re not in Vegas.
NY: Damn right. There are better sports books for soccer in Europe anyhow.
DK: Well here we are again. I’m getting to these picks late as usual… I need to start slacking off work more often.
NY: MORE often?!?!? Is that possible?
DK: Game of the week should be KC vs RSL. 5 and 0 versus 5 and 1. Top of east verse west. KC has only allowed 1 goal in 5 games, and RSL has only allowed 4 in 6 games. RSL’s only loss so far came at the feet of Chivas, so consistency can be a question, but that was a couple weeks ago. Neither team is going to take the other lightly, and this will probably see some decent amount of scoring chances from both teams. This one can really go either way, but a tie is most certainly out of the question. I’m going to go with KC over RSL 3-2.
NY: In Seattle v Colorado, I’m going to take a one week break from my assertion that Seattle always wins at home. I’ll say 2-2 draw for this one.
DK: 2nd pick is going to be Dallas over Montreal. Hands down. I don’t think I have to go into much detail as to why, even though Montreal can take you by surprise. Dallas 2-0
NY: New England v DC United ought to be an easy one for DC, with NE’s Shalrie Joseph suspended for the match. I foresee much bad dancing from DeRo. 3-0 DC wins.
DK: 3rd pick is Toronto and Chivas. Now that Toronto can focus on the MLS regular season, will they go back to their normal level of suck that we’re accustomed to seeing? Not likely. I’ll put my money on Toronto finally getting their first points against Chivas 1-0.
NY: RBNY hosting San Jose is going to be ugly. As if it isn’t bad enough for the ‘Quakes that they have to travel cross-country for this, they’re running into the We-Play-Much-Better-Without-Luke-Rodgers NY side. Henry finds some way to net a couple more cheap goals and earn Player of the Week honors yet again. 4-1 RBNY win
DK: 4th pick is one of those gimmes that probably will slap me in the face. LA versus Portland. Bottom of the west coast (who knew that LA was at the bottom – supporters shield my ass). Whatever has befallen the Galaxy, I’m certain good ole Bruce – I look like a Bond Villain – Arena will start lighting some fire under peoples asses so that the golden child of the MLS won’t go 1-5-0. My suggestion, start with the money piled up to pay Donovan and Beckham. LA over Portland 1-0.
NY: Chicago v Houston is going to be a more competitive match than most this week. That’s because Brad Davis won’t be playing, leaving Houston with a midfielder shortage. This wouldn’t be a problem for them if Peter Nowak was their coach, because he would just play some forwards out of position there. That guy’s got the answer for everything (I wouldn’t have been able to say that line without laughing, which is where typed text works better). 2-1 Chicago Fire win.
DK: This one never gets old – and by that, it means it does. The only thing we do know is that there is one less midfielder to randomly pick who might even ride the bench, yet alone start. Hopefully Torres gets a fast and full recovery. Anyway – I would say that we get to see Garfan back in that ill-fated LB position, as Lopez is likely with his national team. Other than that… Yea. I don’t know either. What I do know is that something was starting to click in that last match against Vancouver, but unfortunately it wasn’t shots. Columbus isn’t that great either, and word on the interwebz has it that even Columbus fans don’t think this is going to be a stellar game, as both teams have went on the decline – don’t let Columbus’ 2 wins fool you, those were games they were supposed to win (Montreal, TFC). What I think? I think we’ll finally notch our first win. The shots will pour forth as if the Bearfight Brigade converted into Jersey Shore wannabes. Union 2-0.
NY: Yes, Columbus and Philly are having similar seasons right now, but Union will only go as far as Freddy Adu takes them, which will not be good enough. I just can’t see them scoring 2 goals right now without Torres involved. I’m picking this to be a 1-1 draw.
DK: KC 3-2 RSL; Dallas 2-0 Montreal; Toronto 1-0 Chivas; LA 1-0 Portland; Union 2-0 Columbus
NY: Seattle 2-2 Colorado; NE 0-3 DC; NY 4-1 SJE; Chicago 2-1 Houston; Union 1-1 Columbus
This is the weekly post where Dan and Nick square off to see whom can better predict the outcomes of 5 matches from the MLS slate. The email happened as follows:
Montreal v Toronto; Columbus v New York; SKC v LA; San Jose v Vancouver; DC v Seattle; RSL v Colorado; Portland v Chivas
DK: Not like I’ve been posting anything on the blog to begin with, but it’s still nice to not have to worry about a “pregame” post commenting about how we don’t have faith in the team (read: Management).
NY: Dan, just because Union don’t have a match doesn’t mean that you and I can’t poorly predict the outcomes of the rest of the MLS weekend slate. Let’s begin, shall we?
I’ll take Union’s 2 biggest geographic rivals, New York and DC to start. New York seems to have been buoyed by the fact that Luke Rodgers is not going to be able to return to the team due to visa problems. He seems like a jackass. New York, on the road, is going to continue their We-play-better-without-Luke run of form and defeat their hosts, Columbus, 3-1.
DK: I think NY IS better without Luke – seriously, I hate the guy… then again there aren’t many opposing strikers that I don’t hate. But NY is traveling to Columbus, who doesn’t look too awfully shabby, but they’ve only played 3 games, and one was Toronto. I’ll still give it to home field advantage and say that Columbus over takes NY, but 2-0. That, or Henrey places the ball in the net a few times (note: I didn’t say kick).
NY: DC United looked scary-good last week, and they are hosting Seattle, which should dedicate this match to the memories of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, both of whom died on April 5, in 1994 and 2002, respectively. Ok, so they won’t, but wouldn’t it be otherworldly awesome if Sounders donned a flannel-pattern kit for this match as a tribute? Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as a postgame concert? Might be the only way that DC would sell as many tickets as Seattle averages. Be that as it may, this will be the game of the week, with DC winning 3-2.
DK: 2nd pick is the teams from states in the middle west that fall into a whole in the map. RSL vs Colorado. RSL is at home, but they just recently played Montreal on Wednesday, and won only 1-0. You’d think they’d notch a few more goals on that one, but you can’t complain about a team with a 4 win and 1 loss start (I wish I could talk about a team with that start). This is early to call, but obvious as a possible playoff match preview and the current battle for top of the West. Note: RSL has a 6 game unbeaten street against Colorado, and I think this will continue on to 7. RSL over Colorado 2-1.
NY: Civil war! The first MLS regular season meeting between Montreal and Toronto will be a snoozer. TFC is still seeing visions of Herculez Gomez scoring goals creeping behind their centerbacks, and Montreal hasn’t found their MLS-level game yet. However, they earn a draw, 1-1, based on home field advantage.
DK: I too think that Montreal and Toronto will be a tie. It’s just how much of a level of bore and ‘potential’ do you want to witness for this match. Leave it in Canada and let us not suffer a 0-0 game.
NY: Runner-up for match-of-the-week is Sporting Kansas City hosting LA Galaxy. It’s the runner up because LA is not playing well right now, otherwise, it’s a 4-0-0 SKC hosting the defending MLS Cup Champions. I see SKC winning this one 2-1, and staking early claim to the title of early frontrunner for this year’s title. And, commence fanning the rumor flames that KC can exercise their contractual rights to Herc Gomez to bring him in on-loan once the Clausura is over, and he likely wins the title there, too.
DK: Again we’re picking the same outcome. SKC at home is similar to what LA was last year. Not only that, SKC has momentum – and talent. Right now LA only has piles of cash. Even though I doubt Gomez will come back to play for KC at any point in time, in the near future KC will easily handle what LA brings and Kamara will notch 2 goals easy. 2-1 also.
NY: And I need a relative gimmie, so I’ll close with Timbers hosting Chivas. It’s well-documented through these posts what my opinion of Chivas is. I know they didn’t follow orders 2 weeks back in beating RSL, but that was an aberration. That idiot with the chainsaw will get to celebrate a home victory, and cut into that log a few times in doing so. Portlandia 3-1.
DK: Yes Portland’s at home, and that buffoon will likely have fun celebrating a few goals (seriously, what are you compensating for with that chainsaw) – but I don’t want him celebrating with that chainsaw. I get the gimmick, I get the tradition, I just don’t like it. And in that I’m saying that he won’t be celebrating and this will end in a 0-0 tie. Don’t you like the way I make my picks?
NY: And in closing, with a bonus prediction, I’ll predict that Union don’t lose this weekend. It might be the only thing I get right.
Summary: NY: Columbus 1-3 New York, DC 3-2 Seattle, Montreal 1-1 Toronto, SKC 2-1 LA, Portland 3-1 Chivas USA
DK: Columbus 2-1 New York, RSL 2-1 Colorado, Montreal 0-0 Toronto, SKC 2-1 LA, Portland 0-0 Chivas USA
Score – Dan 7, Nick 8
DK: Well, last week was completely miserable… I didn’t get shit right.
NY: That’s because your luck has run out. I’m in front on the scoreboard, the way it should be.
DK: Hopefully not run out enough to win the lottery tonight.
DK: Since I have to right my sinking ship, I’m going to pick LA vs New England. New England squeaked one out last week at home, but now they have to play LA in LA. We all know how that works out for east coast teams. 2-0 LA just because they’re LA
NY: DC v FCD: Andy Najar is away on Honduran international duty, and Brek Shea is just back from US international duty. I think DeRo nets one, and Dallas gets one. I call a 1-1 draw, in a match that may have more people on the field than in the RFK Stadium stands.
DK: Chivas vs SKC. Chivas did the unthinkable, unimaginable, the incredible… ok I didn’t watch the game whatsoever. But they defeated RSL last week (much to the demise of our pick count) – one of the last teams you would think Chivas could defeat. Well, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, and Chivas is not that good of a team, and SKC is that good of a team with many attacking options (I’m still scratching my head as to why RSL didn’t score though). SKC will easily walk into LA and take a win from Chivas, and stay undefeated. 3-1
NY: Seattle v San Jose: Seattle wins at home. I know San Jose defied my prediction last week, it won’t happen again this week. Seattle at home 2-1
DK: This is the only time I’m going to pick RBNY. Still surprised at their manhandling of Vancouver, but if they did that to Vancouver at home, they should easily take apart the expansion side of Montreal in that wasteland they call home (or Harrison). New Jersey Pink Cows will get the win, while acting and looking like they are the top class of the league – when we all know they aren’t. 2-0
NY: Portland v RSL: Interesting contest, considering RSL losing last week, and having to go on the road in a difficult setting. I will pick a 1-1 draw here, as well.
DK: Toronto vs Columbus – Toronto, all though they have been playing well at BMO field, is more concerned about Santos and the Champions League than MLS right now. Columbus will come in and wipe the floor with TFC. 2-1
NY: Colorado v Chicago: A matchup of two teams that we’ve already seen play against Union. I was more impressed with Colorado, plus they’re playing at home, so I give this one to the Rapids, 2-0.
DK: We have the team. We have the players Nowak wants… now it’s just implementing the fuck out of it. We also need to score that 2nd goal. If we don’t, all is for lost. But I’m going to say this will come down to a 1-1 tie. Le Toux, if he plays, won’t be spectacular (neither will be our team).
NY: Union need to take the attitude of Gabriel Gomez on themselves. He’s fiery, determined, and skilled. If the whole team plays the way he does, they will win. I don’t expect them to, therefore, I see this ending 1-1, only because Vancouver will not have Eric Hassli. If he was in the lineup, the ‘Caps would win this outright.
LA 2-0 New England
Chivas 1-3 SKC
NY 2-0 Montreal
Toronto 1-2 Columbus
Union 1-1 Vancouver
DC 1-1 Dallas
Seattle 2-1 San Jose
Portland 1-1 RSL
Colorado 2-0 Chicago
Union 1-1 Vancouver
Stay tuned later for our match ‘pre’view
All went well for Dan minus his Union pick, as he went 4 for 4 prior to the Union loss. Nick caught back up due to his union prediction. Scores Dan 4 – Nick 3. On to week 2!
NY: San Jose v Houston: Lingering from last year’s playoff defeat of the Union, I still don’t like Houston. I know they won a road match last week, but that was against Chivas. There might not be a worse team in this league than Chivas. Therefore, I will say that Wondo nets one for the ‘Quakes, and the match ends in a 1-1 draw.
DK: As I would normally pick this match and say Houston over San Jose, Houston not scoring a goal til the 92nd minute against Chivas is going to make me walk away from this one. Instead I’m going to pick Kansas City over New England. I’m basing this on SKC holding strong and proving that they are and will be the top of the East (that counterattack is hard to stifle) and the New England is still rotting from the inside out in all areas of management, playing, and so forth. 2-0 for Sporting at home.
NY: FC Dallas v Portland: Lingering from last week’s defeat of the Union, I still don’t like Portland. Dallas did well to frustrate PCNJ last week, but Portland isn’t a bunch of whiny, complaining quitters. This being in Dallas, I think FCD takes this 2-1.
DK: I’m just going to say that I’m going to pick most all other league matches. The ones you picked are likely going to be close ones. I don’t think Portland can out match DC like the way they outplayed the Union, but it goes without saying that they are completely match fit and this will be a good match to watch.
My 2nd match is going to be Montreal and Chicago. Chicago had a bye in the opening week and will be well rested. If you include the fact that their starting line is still intact from last year, they are already miles ahead of the Impact… but what amount of impact (see what I did there) will a ‘record breaking’ crowd for Montreal do for the home team? I don’t think a bunch of French Canadian fans will make that much of a difference. I’ll say Montreal will finally tally a goal, but lose 2-1 to Chicago.
NY: Real Salt Lake v New York: RSL dominated a tired LA Galaxy 3-1. They might double that goal-scoring output against a team who seemed to only have 2 players who cared against Dallas. Ok, maybe not quite THAT bad, but RSL wins again, either 2-0 or 3-1.
DK: 3rd pick for me is Seattle verse Toronto. Both played the 2nd leg of the CONCACAF Champion’s league Quarterfinal Wednesday night. Seattle, being thoroughly embarrassed by Santos – Toronto overcoming the “goliath” in LA. One’s confidence is likely shattered, the other is walking on air. Both are going to have their fair amount of travel-lag and fatigue between Wed and Saturday. I don’t think the home field advantage of plastic and fluorescent colors will help Seattle against the confidence TFC will have after beating LA at home. 2-1 TFC.
NY: Chivas v Vancouver: Chivas sucks. Sebastien Le Toux will become Sebastien Le Two in this one, and all Union faithful will shed a tear into their green beer.
DK: Far too obvious. Vancouver played solid soccer in their opener. Can’t do anything but agree with you on this one. The gimme pick of the week – Vancouver wins 2-0
NY: Union v Colorado: Union found it tough to navigate the midfield against Portland, and they will be faced with Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni in the central midfield which won’t make things any easier. I’m setting the yellow card over/under at 4.5. That same over/under applies to number of times we will collectively nearly crap ourselves because a Colorado right winger gets behind Porfirio Lopez. Unless something changes miraculously from Monday to Sunday, I see this as another loss for the U, at BEST a draw. Second verse, same as the first, Union 1-2 Colorado.
DK: I’ll stop being a homer for once and I’m going to get flack for this as well. There’s no possible way we’re going to play as a team. We look like we’re in 2010 form, minus someone attempting to fly like superman (yes, I’m never going to give up on referencing David Myrie’s performance). We have no midfield – literally they almost disappeared. Our strikers were too far depressed into our defensive half, providing few outlets for any possible counterattack (which we never had). And our defensive line looks surprisingly shaky – granted that after Portland’s tying goal we started to panic and play the long ball – something of which we again, never had – and opened ourselves up more for constant pressure did NOT help ourselves defensively. Colorado is a tough team to beat, even with Casey Connor out for who knows how long. 2-0 Colorado. The only thing that could save us is home field advantage, Colorado travel lag, and MacMath showing us the same performance he did in goal last year. But all signs point to no win.
SJ vs Hou – Tie
FCD vs Por – FCD 2-1
RSL vs NY – RSL win
Chivas vs Van – Van win
UNION vs Colorado – loss
SKC vs NE – SKC 2-0
Mon vs Chi – Chi 2-1
Sea vs TFC – TFC 2-1
Chivas vs Van – Van 2-0
UNION vs Colorado – loss
In an effort to cure boredom, and lack of content on the blog, Nick and myself are going to pick a set of 5 games weekly. Naturally, being a degenerate gambler, I had to make sure that something was in it for the victor. So – the one dollar wager is on!
The rules are simple – 4 games a week are free to choose, and the 5th pick of the week will be that week’s Union game (if there is no Union game, we pick a different game). Only the final outcome of the match will matter, not any predicted score. So if we say Union win 5-1, but only win 1-0, the point is still ours. Scores will only be used for a possible tie-breaker. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season will have bragging rights – which won’t matter because Nick will still say (rightfully) he has more knowledge than I do.
DK: Vancouver vs Montreal – Impact, what impact. Montreal is new. Vancouver has a team set, and with the prime addition of Le toux will likely come out on top in this match. I don’t think Montreal is ready enough as a team, and won’t be so until mid season (prove me wrong). Vancouver 2-0
NY: Vancouver vs Montreal??? What is this, the National Hockey League? Beat it with this two-teams-from-north-of-the-border nonsense. This is the only game that I chose to look at different than yours. I’m looking at RBNY @ FC Dallas. This game is about the late-season charging Pink Cows against Brek Shea and company. I see this one ending in a draw. Henry will be in form after a surprisingly successful return run with Arsenal, and Brek Shea will want to produce for his club team before he gets shipped off to try to win his country a medal.
DK: I don’t need your damn hassle.
DK: DC vs KC – What can’t you say about KC? They’re going to look to try to match and even top last season’s success – and they are road tested from last year (albeit to a fault). It’s the season opener, and getting the first win on the road will set them apart from the rest of the eastern conference quickly – as that often became the downside for East coast teams (with the new format though, expect this to change). Unless DC can get De Rosario to break out with multiple goals, KC is looking like the victor. 2-1 KC.
NY: Sporting were very impressive once they actually got to play games in a consistent venue. The question is: did KC benefit from playing at their comfy, new home, or did they benefit from the fact that no one in their right mind would enjoy visiting Kansas City? I’m not sold either way. The only problem is that DeRo is really the only bullet in the DC gun, which I expect to be shooting blanks in this first week. SKC ftw.
DK: LA vs RSL – LA is coming off a CCL quarterfinal match on Wednesday, although being the number one team in the league – RSL is well rested and not one to take lightly. LA will have the home crowd and the start of a new season behind them, but their minds may still be on the CCL. I’ll predict RSL to take advantage of fresh legs and win 2-1
NY: Galaxy did, indeed, already play this week, but I see this as a good thing. I think it has put them in a rhythm, which I expect to carry over to this game. It’s the beginning of the season, therefore I don’t see the heavy schedule running the players down too much. It would be a big problem 2 months from now, but the team is fresh at present. I expect LA to win this game, but probably just 1-0 because RSL is no slouch defensively.
DK: Chivas vs Houston – I took an easy pick, sue me. Chivas can easily be described as a bottom feeder team. Houston’s only fault may be under-estimating them at Chivas’ home. Although, one can be a welcome mat for only so long – but I don’t expect things to change that drastically anytime soon. Houston 2-0.
NY: Shockingly, I’m going to agree with DK. This also saddens me. Any thought of Houston taking a team lightly during their season-opening match will be doused with the memory of Danny Califf netting the game’s only goal in 2011’s season-opening match. I, also, think Houston will win 2-0.
Portland vs Union
DK: 1-1 tie. Portland gave Cooper to RBNY in the offseason, and Union lost a lot of franchise stars. This will likely be an even matchup – even though the addition of attack minded players will help the Union, Nowak is obviously going to play a tight defensive strategy to counteract any plausible success. Expect the inevitable confusion between players in the lineup.
NY: I pick this as a loss for the U. Too much change among the personnel responsible for scoring goals. Freddy Adu is being depended on heavily for leadership, but he hasn’t played with this team long, and seemed, at times, to be at odds with teammates during matches. He has had the training time with his team now, but I wonder if they can gel early enough to get a win in a venue with dreaded narrow pitch. Such a field was their undoing in Houston’s Robertson Stadium, where they couldn’t find the space and couldn’t play the aerial game. They were forced to pass vertically and deep, which lead to choppy possession and not enough goals. Unfortunately, I expect more of the same in this one. I ABSOLUTELY hope both myself and DK are wrong and Union win this match 5-0, but I’m very skeptical of the moves Nowak has made during this offseason and need to be shown by the team that they know how to win.
1: Vancouver over Montreal 2-0
2: KC over DC 2-1
3: RSL over LA 2-1
4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
Union : Tie
Pick 1: RBNY / FCD Tie
Pick 2: KC over DC 2-0
Pick 3: LA over RSL 1-0
Pick 4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
What a crazy match. Fifteen minutes in, I’m buying shots for people, and fifteen minutes after that, I’m looking to break the bottle over someone’s head. Marfan to the rescue but jeez, that could have gone a bit more smoothly. Union secured 3 points in the end, which was the most important part of the night. Both sides took turns looking like the better team. Both teams made errors and both took advantage of the other’s errors. And Seba Le Toux…… can’t even say begin to say how great it is that he’s returned to his 2010 form. It may very well come to be that the shipping out of Carlos Ruiz was the MVP of Le Toux’s season. The defense has to deal with the counter attack better, as Andy Najar’s equalizing goal was far too easily conceded. But, we’re focusing on positives here, and that means I’m taking these 3 points and moving on to Sunday…..
PREVIEW: UNION VS. CHIVAS USA
Sunday, October 2, 8pm from the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, CA, on The Comcast Network
Union can breathe a bit easier after securing those 3 points against DC United, however, that doesn’t give them a play-like-crap-because-it-doesn’t-matter card. This match, and every one until the end of the season, matters. Union only have today and Saturday off before having to play late Sunday afternoon (California-wise).
Union will be dealing with a fairly desperate Chivas side, whom Union beat when they played in Chester back on June 25th, 3-2. Chivas sit 4 points behind the final playoff spot, and they’d have to pass by 4 teams to get in. They’ve only got 3 matches left to pull it off. Juan Pablo Angel has played well with his third team of the season, and I expect him to key any charge Chivas will attempt to make towards a wild card spot.
Union, while in a better position, are far from in the clear. They have a game in hand over Sporting KC, but that game in hand, essentially is this match. And this match is a cross-country flight and a match 3 days after another match against another desperate-for-the-playoffs DC United side. I worry that they may not have enough in the tank to pull this one out. I do not, however, worry about Seba anymore. He’s back in double-digits for goals on the season, and is working his way back into the discussion for the team’s most valuable player. The other important development recently, and for the season as a whole, is that the more Farfan, the better. Union have played very well with both brothers on the pitch at the same time. They add creativity and quickness with their feet that helps in attack and possession. Their versatility and ability to play defense has helped tremendously, and this will be key against Chivas. They may be counted on to play more than 1 position in a game.
I feel, after the DC match, that Union have a better than 50/50 shot at winning in LA. Le Toux will score again, and MacMath will clean his act up. I think it’s either a win or tie. I don’t see Chivas being able to beat them, so hopefully 3 more points are on the horizon for the end of the weekend.
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union
46-Jacobson is in the game, for Mwanga. Probably good so that he gets to rest his shoulder and not take an unnecessary knock
47-Should Justin Mapp ever meet the Wizard of Oz, he’ll ask for better ability from his right foot. He gives it away because he was waiting to play the ball with his left, again
48-Dan K. keeps texting me stuff about Thornton’s weight. He’s making fun of him like Zach Galifinakis got made fun of by Mr. Chow in The Hangover.
49-Chivas made their 2nd sub. It doesn’t appear to matter yet
51-Union look competent and confident in defense. I’m not used to this
52-Mapp struck a cross with his right foot and it was harmless. So, he really isn’t holding out on us, his right foot does suck
53-This promises to be a boring half, with Union having a 2-goal lead. Then again, I don’t think I want to see Chivas give Union a reason to make it interesting
54-Chivas just made their last sub. And that’s the first time I heard Bornstein’s name. He crossed a ball beautifully, and the guy who came on 20 seconds before makes a poor first touch and give a goal kick on a really good goal chance
55-Williams gets forward and gets his head on a Fred cross, but the ball wasn’t forward enough and the shot goes for a goal kick
56-Union are pressing now. I like it. Le Toux gets a great run down the left off a 1-2 but his cross goes unanswered
57-Another chance, this time off of a Moreno cross. Thornton got a hand on it, and it was cleared. Maybe telepathically, Union heard me call the match boring. From my keyboard to their ears!
58-Sebastien, my co-ed team is playing at 6:35 tomorrow and we could use some goal scoring
58-What?!? It’s worth a shot
59-Chivas’ pushing forward is opening them up to all of these Union attacks. I think Union getting a 3rd g-11 oal is imminent.
61-Califf with a clear off of a rare Chivas build-up. *yawns*
61-Seba doesn’t stop, he plays at one speed, the whole game, regardless of the score. It’s great
61-The more I hear the name “Bornstein” associated with a Chivas chance, the better I feel about Union getting a clean sheet
63-Tommy just mentioned the Sons of Ben! Because some guy from Chivas shot about 100 feet wide and the SoB’s were chanting at him for it
66-Smyth compliments Knighton’s leg again, for his goal kick length. Sounds like a man-crush to me
68-A Chivas player got a yellow for continuing a frustration moment at Le Toux. Not smart. The river is right there. Fancy a swim???
69-GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!!!!! Le Tooooooooooooux!!!!! Off the free kick that was stupidly given. It was deflected on the way in, but great strike, and well deserved
70-11 minutes ago, I noted that a 3rd goal was imminent. Hehehehe, I was right
72-Le Toux with another blast, but Thornton got behind that one. Good save by him.
75-Okugo on for Fred. Defensive move. And Fred gets a chance to receive his due adoration. And I like the move. All good things
77-Torres on for Mapp. Another move I like, just because it’s Roger
79-Apparently, according to Dan K., the River End is chanting the score in Spanish, tres a cero
81-Tommy just complimented the fan support for Union. I like this lots. Oh yeah, Knighton just cut off a cross, thwarted another chance. Ho hum
83-Smyth just noted Chivas have 1 shot on target thus far. Very nice
85-The River End are “ole”ing each completed Union pass. That’s pretty funny. A product of being in the unfamiliar position of being up by 3 goals. It’s a franchise first
86-Le Toux down after a tough challenge. Got bodied by a Chivas player late to the challenge
88-Jacobson is warned about a rough tackle. It gives Chivas a corner
89-Bicycle kick! Union cleared a Chivas chance with a bicycle kick. Awesomeness
89-Chivas get a shot, but Knighton is up to the task. Parries the save off to his right. Well done, but only the 2nd shot on target, according to Tommy Smyth
90-AND THAT’S THE MATCH!!! Roger Torres clears a chance with another bicycle-esque kick, and the referee blew the whistle.
Knighton earns his 2nd shutout. I think Chris Seitz is going to see lots of the bench for the rest of the season. Union really look like they’re coming together and having an idea of how they should play. They scored three goals off of set pieces, which is something they haven’t done much this season. Their goals came from the run of play, for the most part. Now, we’r eseeing a transition, to a team that is a threat every time they possess the ball in the offensive half. I can’t wait for this team to take shape in the 2011 season. A great victory for Union 3-0 over Chivas USA.
0-I like the lineup. Williams is going to be a fixture at outside back. Now, he needs to create goals, not just chances. Harvey is fine, as long as he doesn’t get beat for a goal. I don’t want him becoming the Union’s version of Jonathan Bornstein (who happens to be on Chivas USA). I’m looking for Le Toux to net one today, Mwanga to put in another, and I’d like to see Mapp get on the scoresheet too. And it would be nice if we could keep the Goats from putting one behind Knighton
0-The Commodore Barry Bridge looks majestic on this sunsplashed afternoon. Yes, I really just complimented a bridge, get over it. My colleague, Dan K., is in attendence and is allegedly in the River End. Hopefully he brought his singing voice with him.
0-We’re about ready to go, Union are in their blues, Chivas looks like a team of candy canes
1-Tommy Smyth! I love his commentary style.
2-This is going to be interesting. The feed I have of this game doesn’t show the clock so I’m going to be completely guessing.
2-Harvey passes to the advertising boards in screwing up a 1-2 play. Dumbass
3-Mwanga gets released and his touch betrays him over the end line. Ah, phooey
4-Chivas’ Espinoza took his eye off the ball and let it go over the sideline. Ha ha!
5-Chivas getting good offense going here. A cross thankfully wasn’t connected. Harvey did good 1-on-1 work to concede a corner. Corner was cleared easily. Not a great start for the home side
7-Union seem to not be able to get Chivas off the ball right now, kinda riding out the storm
7-Chivas’ Braun hit a shot that looked like he was auditioning to take David Akers’ kickoff responsibilities
9-I was led to believe that Chivas was a bad team. It’s not looking like that
10-We’re in one of those periods where Union need to move the ball a little faster
11-Nagamura for Chivas strikes one wide
12-Union get into the offense a little bit, but a bunch of sloppy play let Chivas regain the ball
14-Not sure if Union are confused, sloppy, or sluggish. Possibly some combination of the 3
15-……and this is why I love Tommy Smyth. He notes that Le Toux looks a bit lost out wide. REALLY?!?! Like I haven’t written about this before
16-(text message from Dan K.) Chant: Oh Philly U….you got what I need. We’ll love you to the end. Defend the River End.
16-That’s in the style of “Just a Friend” for those of you who couldn’t figure it out
17-Knighton makes a tremendous play in coming out outside of the 18-box to slide tackle a ball and clear it.
17-Le Toux with a cross that Moreno heads wide. Shame, great play by Seba
18-Minor confusion as Knighton had to use his feet to clear
18-Do Union have a optometrist sponsor? I think they need it, they keep passing to the guys in the other shirts
19……and on queue, Tommy mentions that Union are not recognizing the open player because they’re rushing things. I lampoon their eyesight, but Tommy and I are on the same page, and I like that.
20-Knighton with an easy save, thought there are some saves here that haven’t been “easy”
21-I think Califf and Orozco Fiscal pass the ball back and forth so that the television audience has time to get another beer. It’s as good a reason as any
23-Mapp earns a free kick that he created, but it gets cleared and immediately becomes a counter-attack. Thankfully, the shot went wide. Knighton still hasn’t had to do much
25-Migs earns a corner. Mapp to take it. Better than Le Toux
26-GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!!!! Alejandro Moreno!!!!! Mapp with the assist of the corner. Textbook corner kick to header. And Tommy Smyth called the net the “onion bag.” I love it.
29-Union still applying pressure. Williams throw to Mwanga gets a nice header over the defender but it bounced to the keeper before Danny-boy could play it again
30-I just saw a play in the Alabama-Arkansas game where it looked like the receiver broke his leg but he just rolled an ankle. I thought it was worse. Sorry for the interruption
31-My online feed is now buffering. Aaaaaaah!
34-Tommy just complimented Harvey’s defending. *snickering*
36-Moreno created a good chance but his nifty first touch is cleared for a throw
38-The River End is making fun of Zach Thornton’s weight. I’m sure he’s less than appreciative
39-Moreno’s on the ground again, what a surprise
39-But he did earn a free kick which Mapp turned into another good chance, but he just overshot the header
42-The game’s gotten a bit boring, other than Moreno taking an elbow to the head and Fred kicking some Chivas guy in the stomach while he was on the ground
44-Mapp gets a card for playing the high ball and kicking a Chivas player in the process. Oh well, it is but a flesh wound
45-That guy is still down. Just getting helped off the field now.
45-Knighton gets a save. Easy play though. That leads to a the outlet to Moreno who gets fouled by the guy that Fred gut-kicked, Trujillo, who gets a yellow for his troubles
45-GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!! Fred!!!!! Off of the rebound!!!!! Le Toux takes the free kick, low as always, and Moreno gets a deflection. Thornton is unable to catch the shot, and Fred was Johnny-on-the-spot, crushing the rebound into the back of the net. And that is the last play of the half.
Amazing first half from Union. They didn’t play well for large portions of this match, but have made their few opportunities really count. They’re showing much better poise in their finishing, as 2 beleaguered players, Alejandro Moreno and Fred, are the goal scorers. I’ve ripped them many times on this blog, but they have really showed well today. Good on them. More in the second half.