Evening Thoughts: MLS Preview

11 July 2008

Another weekend, and the football never ends. I ought to just quit complaining about the amount of football on offer on any given weekend for us in the United States. If you have ESPN360, you have the Russian Premier League (someday soon on Comcast...someday soon). Major League Soccer is on a reduced schedule, but still up and running with three games this weekend. If that isn't enough for you, there's the start of the Superliga competition.
The Third Half Chat will commence for Superliga:
Saturday afernoon from 3:55 pm Eastern to the conclusion of San Jose v Colorado.
Saturday-Sunday nights from 7:55 pm.
Tuesday (July 15th)-Wednesday (16th) from 7:55 pm

Check this blog within an hour of the conclusion of play each match night for my thoughts on each game in a return of my Stream of Conscious blogs. Depending on my schedule on Sunday morning/afternoon, I'll have some talking points from this past weekend in MLS.

Brief thoughts on this weekend's MLS games.
San Jose v Colorado. Buck Shaw Stadium hosts San Jose and is hoping to replicate not only their win at Dick's Sporting Goods park, but to replicate their last home game at Buck Shaw that saw San Jose see off Houston 2-1. With Gavin Glinton injured and Jovan Kirovski facing a late fitness test (I don't expect him to start, but to come off the bench late and only if needed), Kei Kamara may have to go in alone. San Jose have a good chance at getting all three points as Colorado's road form has been shambolic to be kind. The narrower pitches seem to do Colorado in as their wide play is neutered. Omar Cummings has to start finishing the chances he gets or I fear he'll be seeing more of the bench as the season winds down. I don't see many goals in this one, 1-0 to San Jose my prediction.

Chicago Fire v Toronto FC. Can Toronto get over the Vancover hangover? With a road form that is only comparible to Colorado, their task only gets tougher...even more so with Danny Dichio potentially out with concussion. Chicago needs a win, there is no other way to describe it. To blow it so late against Columbus had to hurt, but I think it hurt even more to find out Calen Carr won't play. When you are relegated to Chad Barrett and Tomasz Frankowski up front, Blanco could be in for a frustrting night. Toronto have to win on the road before I take them seriously, but in their short history in the league, I just don't see them doing the business, even with Chicago's depleated roster. Chicago 2 Toronto 1.

Real Salt Lake v Columbus Crew. RIce Eccles Basketball Court (as I refer to RSL's temporary home ground...October can't get here fast enough) hosts the first meeting between RSL and the Crew this season. Jason Kreis will start yet another suspension, Chris Wingert also absent for his red card against Houston. RSL is also a bit of the walking wounded with Fabian Espindola out, and Nathan Sturgis more than likely out. A win for RSL puts them a top the West while a win for the Crew get them even closer to overtaking New England.
This is a trap game to me for Columbus. The Crew have done well of late coming from behind, but in the altitude of Salt Lake they won't get that chance. RSL has done an exceptional job of late closing up shop at home though their lack of scoring has to be a worry. If it was me Kenny Deuchar would be on very thin ice. Unless Columbus can adapt to the turf (and so far this season they have not), and be a little more direct in their play, I don't see them getting the win. RSL will struggle for a goal, but I see one late here, and RSL getting it. RSL 1 Columbus Crew.

Again, join us in The Third Half Chat. If I'm in the chat, you will see the chat box as you come directly to the home page of the blog. If you would like to bookmark 'The Third Half Chat' page, I would recommend that as well. With a busy weekend of football, stop on by the chat and enjoy the friendly banter and virtural pub atmosphere.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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