Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy unveils his new Friday MLS Forecast column with a look at this weekend's games.
Goodbye, Friday Five. Hello, Friday Forecast.
With the season now underway, the time is right for a scene change. Each week, the Friday MLS Forecast will break down the weekend slate and offer predictions. Nothing fancy, just straight out analysis and prediction And the number five won't be involved unless there are five games on the schedule.
Now that the introductions are out of the way, it's time to open the Forecast with week two's intriguing slate of games.
Toronto @ Columbus – 4:00p.m.
The battle for the Trillium Cup resumes at Crew Stadium. Toronto picked up an unexpected 3-2 win in Kansas City last weekend to boost its confidence ahead of the tilt. A major problem for the Canadians? Key protagonists Amado Guevara (Honduras) and Carl Robinson (Wales) will both miss the game with international duty. Needless to say, Toronto isn't the same team without them. The short-handed Crew – missing Frankie Hejduk, Alejandro Moreno and the injured Robbie Rogers – will have enough on hand to fire the first Trillium salvo.
Prediction: Columbus win.
Chicago @ D.C. United – 7:30p.m.
The rumors are false. I have not been offered a contract to play center back for D.C. United. Considering Devon McTavish and Greg Janicki are expected to miss this weekend's tilt against the high-powered Fire, I'm almost surprised the offer didn't arrive in the mail. The injury situation means United will likely shift to a three-man back line, a formation that worked better than the four-man back line did during preseason. Even if everyone was healthy, the Fire is still the better side. But add in an injury-riddled defense and it's a long, hard road uphill for D.C. this weekend.
Prediction: Chicago win.
New England @ New York – 7:30p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
New York hasn't beaten the Revs in ten meetings, but has its best chance in quite some time to do so against the injury-riddled Revs. At some point, the Revolution will stumble because they can't continue to churn out results while mustering no offense and missing half their starting lineup. Watch out for former-Rev Khano Smith ripping off one of his world-beating nights against his former team. Even if he doesn't, the rest of the Red Bulls should want to atone for a dreadful performance in Seattle last week. The streak ends here.
Prediction: New York win.
Kansas City @ Colorado – 9:30p.m.
The road team has won one of the last 17 matches in this series. And that win came for the Wizards all the way back in 2004 at Mile High Stadium. Not even the loss of Pablo Mastroeni (United States) and Ivan Guerrero (Honduras) to international duty can change that kind of juju for the Rapids.
Prediction: Colorado win.
Houston @ San Jose – 10:30p.m.
Former 'Quakes meet current 'Quakes at Buck Shaw with goals apparently at a premium. At first glance, the retooled 'Quakes strike force looks exactly like the misfiring 2008 version. Unfortunately for the Dynamo, Brian Ching's U.S. national team callup and Kei Kamara's indiscipline leaves them with Chris Wondolowski and not a whole lot else up front. Maybe the teams can work out a time share for Ade Akinbiyi.
Real Salt Lake @ Seattle – 10:30p.m.
Did someone at Real Salt Lake tick off the MLS scheduling department? As other teams played in week one, RSL played in a friendly and lost Ian Joy for four weeks with a hamstring strain. Now that RSL finally gets a chance to start its season in week two, they have to travel to Qwest Field and take on Sounders FC and Fredy Montero. Talk about a near impossible task for the Lakers.
Prediction: Seattle win.
Chivas USA @ FC Dallas – 3:00p.m. (Telefutura)
These are the kinds of games that FC Dallas needs to win in order to make the playoffs. The Goats are hobbled by injuries and deprived of U.S. international midfielder Sacha Kljestan. FCD couldn't have asked for a better situation to earn a much-needed home win. The one question for FCD: how will Dario Sala's meniscus tear affect an already unstable defensive core? Even a mediocre response should be enough to earn three points.
Prediction: FC Dallas win.
Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSnet.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.