MLS Week 2 Previews: Early Doors

With my predictive record standing at 3-4, it's time to wade into the picks for Major League Soccer's second week (ground rules and a handy list of all the games).

Though it feels too early to establish meaningful story-lines words like "Joe-mentum" and phrases like "stopping the rot" tempt my typing fingers today and will only entice more if say, the Columbus Crew builds on last week's promise by winning, or if DC comes out limp for their home opener. And, you'll notice, I subtly introduced those trends while pretending not to....clearly, I'm not to be trusted. At any rate, I suspect most the results will render such loose insinuations silly by the end of the day Sunday, especially with what I view as an upset kicking off the weekend's action. The only thing more erratic than preseason results are early season ones.

Let's get to it:

Real Salt Lake v. Columbus Crew (preview)
Draw - Unglamorous, I know. I liked what I saw of the Crew's defense in Week 1, though they'll have more to deal with in Jeff Cunningham at the very least. What will bite the Crew here is their own difficulty scoring. That said, I don't see a second scoreless game. Looking forward to this one.

New England Revolution v. Toronto FC (preview)
Revs Win - The one thing I expect the Revs to do well this year is defend. But seeing how close they came against a Chicago defense much further along than Toronto's, I can't see them failing to score here. Toronto, on the other hand, I can see failing to score till May, especially with Ronnie O'Brien still out. Then again, maybe those Brit players have more in the tank they showed last week...nah.

DC United v. Kansas City Wizards (preview) (FSC)
Draw - This one is a pure gut-call. While I can't see the roster than KC fielded in a friendly against the USL Div 1 Seattle Sounders (see "KC Wizards" section in preview) holding off DC's attack on 4 days out of 5, the Wizards out-of-the-gate enthusiasm will make this that fifth game. They'll fight like demons for a positive start and catch DC playing patiently complacent. Don't worry, DC fans; your side will snap out of it...just not yet.

Houston Dynamo v. Chivas USA (preview)
Houston wins - I see Ricard Clark listed as "probable," but, with respect to a 30-game season, I'd give him another week. I don't see that happening, but think Houston can pip Chivas without him. Not that it will be easy. Chivas will make the home side sweat, but Houston's defense will hold better, at least, or power-rankings across the Blogo-verse will need updating.

Colorado Rapids v. Chicago Fire (preview)
Rapids Win - In a game ripe for having too much read into it, Sunday's first game pits MLS's Week 1 surprise against the league's hottest player, Justin Mapp. Colorado's swagger carries them through and me and everyone else continues asking the question "is Colorado for real?"

Red Bull New York v. FC Dallas (preview not yet available)
Draw - Since my doubts about Dallas just won't leave me, I'll file my tempered expectations for their performance in this game to road-weariness. On the Red Bull side of the ball, this should be that punchless team's best chance to score; the more I consider Dallas' late-game defense last night, the more desperate it looked. But if Red Bull does score, Dallas has the guys to get it back. For some reason, though, I'm seeing a goalless draw here.

To tie a neat bow on this effort, let's rate the games another way: I'm going with Rapids v. Fire for the best (shit....did I just type that?); DC v. KC for the most intriguing story-line; and Red Bull v. FCD for the worst. Let's see if I can improve on that 3-4 record.

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