The Los Angeles Galaxy will look to keep its unbeaten record intact today with a seond win in the week against the Seattle Sounders in Week Seven's marquee match-up in MLS.
The Galaxy comes off a 1-0 victory at Colorado, but the Sounders should offer more of a challenge in front of what should be a raucous crowd at Qwest Field.
LA-Seattle is just one of the weekend's top matches. New York faces San Jose in a battle of two of the league's pleasant surprises, while Houston Chivas USA clash to see which of them is a legit contender in the West.
Here is a rundown of today's matches, along with our predictions:
Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders (4pm, Telefutura)
The Galaxy rolls into Qwest Field unbeaten and take on a Sounders side that has yet to really find a rhythm or scoring consistency.
Seattle has the midfield horses with the work rate and tenacity to disrupt the Galaxy’s playmakers, while Jhon Kennedy Hurtado can offer Edson Buddle more resistence than most defenders.
Offensively, the Sounders need Fredy Montero to step up his contributions. Freddie Ljungberg did just that last week and the Swede should find room to operate yet again.
Look for Seattle to trouble a tired Galaxy side and hand Los Angeles its first loss of the season. Sounders 1, Galaxy 0.
Chicago Fire at Toronto FC (4pm, Direct Kick)
Toronto FC has been better at home (no real surprise) but the Fire may be the toughest team TFC has faced at BMO Field this season.
The Fire still hasn’t really been able to show off the Collins John/Brian McBride forward tandem, but is actually the dynamic midfield duo of Marco Pappa and Patrick Nyarko that creates the real problems. Toronto’s midfield is solid though, so it should be able to slow down the Fire playmakers.
The real question is whether Toronto can produce scoring chances against a tough Fire defense. We don’t see it happening as Wilman Conde and C.J. Brown lock up TFC’s forwards. The Fire should win at BMO, which will only add fuel to the already unhappy Toronto fans who are looking for heads to roll after a disappointing start to the 2010 season. Fire 2, TFC 0.
Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake (4pm, Direct Kick)
The Union comes off another disappointing loss, but things don’t get easier as Philly takes on an RSL squad poised to rattle off some wins after a rough first month of the season.
RSL welcomes back playmaker Javier Morales, who should find it relatively easy to cut up a Philly midfield that has been exposed in recent weeks. Forwards Robbie Findley and Alvaro Saborio should be the recipients of several chances apiece.
Defensively, RSL must keep taps on Philly playmaker Roger Torres, which Kyle Beckerman should be able to do. With Sebastian LeToux hobbled, the Union will struggle to generate chances.
RSL rolls, pulling itself back into the Western Conference race, while the Union continues to look for answers as more questions mount. Real Salt Lake 3, Union 0.
New England Revolution at Columbus Crew (7pm, FSC/FSE)
Not much to say about this one. New England, minus Shalrie Joseph, Marko Perovic and Kevin Alston, must take on a loaded Crew side that is expected to welcome back MLS defender of the year Chad Marshall and starting left back Gino Padula.
It won’t be pretty.
Stevie Nicol’s men should fight hard, but the Revs are overmatches and the Crew should have little trouble. Crew 2, Revolution 0.
D.C. United at FC Dallas (9pm, Direct Kick)
Two teams that were winless before last Wednesday, D.C. and Dallas come into this match riding some confidence after finally breaking the win column. Which team can carry it over remains to be seen.
D.C. United has the edge in creativity, but Dallas has the speed to cause problems to the D.C. defense. If D.C. can defend the potent Dallas counter, it has a chance to pull the road win.
I don’t see that happening though. Both team should find chances in a rather even game that should have some goals. FC Dallas 2, D.C. United 2.
New York Red Bulls at San Jose Earthquakes (10pm, Direct Kick)
The two most surprising teams in MLS this season face off in San Jose as the Earthquakes look to halt the Red Bulls two-match winning streak.
San Jose has done a good job of staying disciplined defensively, but Juan Pablo Angel has been playing better in recent weeks and he should cause problems for an Earthquakes back-line that should have rookie standout Ike Opara back in the lineup.
The Red Bulls defense has been stellar this season and should limit Ryan Johnson’s looks, but Chris Wondolowski is the player New York will want to contain.
The Earthquakes are tough at home, but don’t have enough to stop New York from recording another road victory. Red Bulls 1, Earthquakes 0.
Houston Dynamo at Chivas USA (10:30pm, Direct Kick)
Two teams that have been maddeningly inconsistent square off in a match that is almost impossible to predict
Will the Houston squad that plays stingy defense and attacks with energy show up, or will the lethargic side that can’t keep the ball or create chances show up? Actually, the same question can be asked of Chivas USA.
I’ll give the edge to Chivas USA at home, with Sacha Kljestan stepping up with another strong performance. Chivas USA 2, Dynamo 1.
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