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.
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
As I’m sitting at home watching the USA vs Jamaica match, I figured I might as well put up a post of the travesty that was last night.
Philadelphia Union lost to Vancouver Whitecraps… i mean Riot… i mean.. whatever. 1 nothing. Vancouver’s goal, albeit nicely struck (easily a goal of the week candidate) was sour in every sense of the word, like sour gummi worms.
At first, I thought we were in for a good game. I liked the referee prior to this game (Alex Prus), he was decent in the game at PPL so I figured it would be a well officiated game. Union have been making decent lineups from the get go, so before the game I had a great feeling.
Then I saw Miglioranzi in the lineup. Paunovic, our newly acquired 2 1/2 year retired, 33 year old serbian.
Being an away game i was on twitter with all the fellow union fans on their computers or smart phones. I myself was at a computer… needing a new beer I came back to this tweet which my response started a craze:
Philly Soccer Page
Anyone have a good reason Mwanga shouldn’t start? Or anything official?
@phillysoccerpg old serbian and old migz
Apparently my response of the fact we have an old serbian began a hashtag joke frenzy you can see here at brotherly game. Again thanks for the credit.
This was a welcome distraction, as well as Andrew from The Union Dues coming up with #rememberthetimemigs comments that were painfully funny only because they were heartbreakingly true (“Remember the time when migs was taken off and mystified me as to why? i don’t” ). Needless to say, a game where the majority of comments are heckling your own players doesn’t bode well for game reviews…
In between me yelling at Hassli to go back to Green Street and making jokes about anyone and everything, the refereeing was atrocious. Plenty of hard tackles,scissor tackles from behind, and inconsistent calls that are consistent with the MLS officiating. But sadly, we can’t blame this game on officiating alone. So who can we blame it on? Our defense? Offense? The other team?
Well, our defense was good. Our offense had their own pressing moments, but hardly any shots on goal… and any shots on goal were by Carroll, so they are in the list of blame. Vancouver played terribly, in every sense of the word – nothing pretty about their play, and they weren’t at all good. So what could possibly be the problem?
Unless of course he’s on a coke binge and it’s his 5th day awake, what in god’s name makes you think the lineup last night is any good at all. We have Paunovic who is new being paired up with Le Toux. Okay, experienced striker who is 2 1/2 years rusty, with someone who is on a dry streak this year. Experience may overcome the odds, if he played his position and not deep in the middle of midfielders… so we had Le Toux who runs all over, and Paunovic who is receeded, we clearly have no one to feed any counterattacks to. Atrocious.
Not only that, we threw Miglioranzi back into the mix i suppose to say “Yes, you’re still on the team”. He is as wanted in the lineup from fans as a colonoscopy.
So with a lineup that was destined for a come from behind game, the surprise appearance of a professional referee being an MLS referee, and members of Vancouver playing like they are prepping for a UFC match, it was an ugly game for everyone. Very few chances created by the Union, we were set to fail from the beginning with another lineup scratching our heads, and a worse performance than we did in FC Dallas.
Only a few plays are worthy of comment:
Vancouver’s goal -
It’s hard to say, but our defense lapsed in thinking allowing Rochart to make a strike from outside the box into the far side out of Mondragon’s reach. Someone on twitter asked if he was 5 years younger would he have made that save. The answer is no – mostly because it was a good challenging strke and the only thing that could have allowed Mondragon to save it would have been his postioning on the angle, which was maybe only a step too far to the wrong side.
Mondragon on defense -
Twice this man ran out into the run of play on a ball, and twice left the net open scarily giving us all agita. Luckily enough vancouver is that bad – once losing the ball before any threatening play, and the second time our defense collapsed into the box and proved their worth by blocking the shot out of bounds before it could get near the goal.
Most everything else could be summed up from other analyses – Migs gives up the ball too many times, bad passes. No offense, no shooting. What is Nowak thinking. ETC, ETC. The only thing we can take away from this game is a bitter taste in our mouth, a feeling of being cheated, and wondering why we lost a 3 points that should have been a given.
Okay, this is real late.. I know. No matter, sorry for the 2 people who read this.
In an attempt at tweeting while at a bar, you can see, it didn’t work out very well… Neither did the glass 3/4′s full of Cider that ended up on the floor, but who’s noticing. And because this is late, and I’ll be at the game tomorrow, this is commentary of last week’s game, and a preview for our Home Opener!
Who: Vancouver Whitecaps
Where: PPL Park – Beautiful downtown Chester
Time: 4:00 PM EDT
This is our test against an expansion team that you would not dare to call an expansion team. Winning last week against Toronto 4 – 2 shows that the Whitecaps have one thing on their mind, scoring. As last year, and last week has shown, we still need to work on that, scoring. Not just scoring, but creating chances. This includes possession. We had a meager 31% possession time for the game, and that’s not good for any team trying to create something. We were lucky that Houston wasn’t as well put together as they may have been made out to, but a more solidified central defense (Where the hell did Califf come from) and some lucky chances (See you in Chicago Oduro) we were able to come off with a win. Needless to say, we should have had many more GOOD chances last week than the Sheanon superman throw-in. With a shaky midfield of Migz and Naka that we are chalking up to just the start of the season, we need to control the ball more. That means better mid-field play, better passing, and completing through balls. It’s understood that our players, about 60% new may not be completely in sync as of yet, but pick up games have had better pass connections than the Union had last week. If we’re going to win, we can’t take Vancouver lightly, nor allow them possession of the ball, since their primary goal is to..score a goal. An attacking team is never one to take lightly, and I would expect our Midfield and Defensive line to be tested by constant counter attacks and a pressing defense.
Speaking of our defensive line being tested, at the moment it seems as though its depthe will be. as of the writing of this blog Danny “I should have been this good last year” Califf is questionable with a problem with his knee and Gonzalez is listed as probable with a problem with his hip. As i expect Califf to play since there has been no other word other than a bigsoccer.com list, it does call into question – what are we going to do if they can’t play? Califf and Valdes were our strong central defense last week, if Califf is out – and Gonzalez being on the maybe list, what exactly are we going to do? We have enough problems as of now worrying of Williams will be out of position, or if Harvey will be caught flatfooted on the sides. We can’t afford a weak center.
As depth of our backline is our only problem (in depth) Vancouver is something to snicker about. They have 2 players out for National Team call ups with Jay Demerit and Michael Boxall, with 3 other guaranteed players out due to injury, one being Shea Salinas who will have to wait another year before a return to Philadelphia (unless we see them in the playoffs). They also have Thorrington listed as doubtful, and Teibert is Questionable. That is a total of 7 players on their roster. How much this will effect them, one may not know, but we will see.
Our midfield seems to be a slight issue. As Mapp played a consistent game, Naka and Migs played… well, up to their par. Naka didn’t have any good set pieces to strike, and the one that he did was awful. As he is pressing and working for the consistent Mid Starting position, as the Union feel good articles present, his play when pressed almost begs to differ. Better control of the ball and sight of the play needs to be present, and please don’t dribble the ball more when a player comes after you. Migs on the other hand was consistent… to last year… which isn’t saying much. It was shocking someone found a picture of him on the pitch during the game because it was almost as if he didn’t have any effect on the game (I’m not trying to knock on the guy, but I noticed everyone in my drunken stupor on Saturday except for him). Carroll, on the other hand, seems to have had an okay game, but may be having trouble with just getting into the flow of the team. This is something that will probably improve as time goes on, and lineups switch.
Ruiz and Le Toux up top need better services. As their skill is in no question, when pressing on goal, the ball needs to get to them for chances to be made. Last week, this didn’t happen often and when it did, there was either miscommunication or lack of awareness on either end. Again, something that should actually improve as time goes on. One thing to note is that Ruiz may have to watch out for being set up into cheap foul calls on him, like the elbow last week. As the elbow to the face is a legitimate yellow card, 95% of the time (meaning most of the time) the defender in that situation will jump for the ball or move out of the way. The fact that the defender just stood there was either through idiocy, or intelligence, and resulted in a yellow on Ruiz, and even for Dynamo fans calling for a red. Aside from that, Ruiz seems to be able to hold his own, and just need to get more in sync with any through balls for him.
This should be a good match through and through, which I will be enjoying in section 121 tomorrow. I’ll see you all there.
Prediction – 2-1… either way. I myself am picking the Union.