MLS Week 1 Picks: The Giddy Days

When the World Cup ended last summer, I spent the remainder of Major League Soccer's (MLS) 2006 season cranking out massive, linked-to-the gills previews each week (example). I still don't know why I did this. I mean, speculation is fun and all, but it's not news, really. In any case, all I really want to do is see how I do at picking wins/losses/draws. And, for the first time in my soccer punditry history, I'm getting in here at Day One so I can keep track of a record. Super.

Just a note or two (or, shit, five?) to pass on before starting (and I won't do this again - though I may link to this to remind people of the ground rules):

- I'll throw out a link to's previews for each game; perhaps in the future, I'll throw in all the game previews I find during the week, but I'm not about to promise as much. With the establishment of the Thursday game, I'm guessing I'll have to post that game early in order to get the links to's previews posted.
- I don't do specific scores and, no, I can't be taunted into doing them. I see it this way: it's the points a given team compiles that count; goal differential, goals-for, etc. all that matters, but only in case of a tie-breaker. Getting the main piece correct, just like getting the win, is what really matters.
- Because I'm wired the way I am, I can't resist saying something with each pick, but it'll be vague. I'm putting up the links to the previews precisely because I don't want to say everything.
- And, because it's so danged important, I'll certainly link to's weekly run-down of U.S. games with each and every preview. (LINK)
- And home team always come first for me.

All right. Let's get into it. It's Week 1, the one time of the year when teams are, in the truest sense, equal. And just like at the horse track, the teams are itching to bust out of the gates and run. I figure this intense enthusiasm peters out by, oh, the eighth or tenth week, before many of the teams fade - much like in the Belmont Stakes, the race that separates the horses from the ponies. So enjoy the giddy days while they last, 'cause we all know what happened to Barbaro's leg.

Colorado Rapids v. DC United (preview)
Rapids Win. I've written this a few times now, with most versions calling for a DC win; they've had plenty of time to recover since Tuesday and they're already acclimiated to altitude. But there's just something telling me the Dick will find a happy opening.

Real Salt Lake v. FC Dallas (preview)
RSL Wins - It's not a good sign that Dallas starts the season with their depth in defense already compromised by injury; there's also that suspension.

Columbus Crew v. Red Bull New York (preview)
Crew Wins - Red Bull's problems with scoring bite them here, while Columbus' new-look offense shines.
(I produced a write-up for my space on The Offside for this game, so may as well pass that on.)

Chicago Fire v. New England Revolution (preview)
Fire Wins. I cheated a bit on this one, mainly by reading about the Revs' brutal injury woes. The Fire ain't great, but they're good enough for a stripped-down Revs side. (And, for the record, the attempt to shed my Revs' loyalties isn't working as I hoped/thought it would; turns out it's more ingrained. I'm really anxious about this one and hope like anything I've got this one wrong.)

Chivas USA v. Toronto FC (preview)
Chivas Wins. - The suspicion that Toronto is still building the team points me toward a Chivas win. Home field clinches it. Still, looking forward to watching this one.

Houston Dynamo v. Los Angeles Galaxy (preview)
LA Wins. - It's nice they've got the game at home and all, but Dynamo playerrs will be lucky to be able to stand, never mind run for the full 90, after last night's exertions.

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