Chivas USA vs. Kansas City: Wizards scrape into this one in search of balance between attack and defense. Curt Onalfo’s squad is riding a hot striker and it is not Eddie Johnson but Scott Sealy who scored both goals against FC Dallas to secure the 7th playoff spot.
Chivas USA won the Western Conference showing character against the Dynamo and will look to grind out results as they have all year. They are competitive like their coach and scratch and claw as evidence a man down against Houston. Maykel Galindo will need to produce timely goals.
Winner: Chivas USA
Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas: Dynamo have owned neighbors to the north since coming to Houston but their is something dangerous about the law of averages. Dynamo will need to re-boot and have suffered with consistent play due to changing personel in lineup. On the plus side Stuart Holden could be an X factor in midfield. Warning: do not make this game about Carlos Ruiz, emotional control will be key and if Dynamo produce first goal against FC Dallas the “Hoops” character and desire will be tested. Game can be seen on HDNET and Channel 55.
Winner: Houston Dynamo
DC United vs Chicago Fire: What a high the Fire are on after winning the 8th playoff spot dramatically at Toyota Park on Sunday. Guess what, they are back there this Thursday and will either thrive off the emotion of last Sunday or it could be a let-down. Cuauhtemoc Blanco is the Messiah in Chi-town right now both on and off the field but their strikers Paulo Wanchope and Chad Barrett have not been up to the task to take advantage of the genius of Blanco.
DC United comes in after a loss to the Columbus Crew so the Supporters Shield winners need to get it rolling against a team that looks to win games 1-0 . Does the “trio of envy” in DC Christian Gomez, Luciano Emilio and Jaime Moreno get it going in game one ?
Winner: DC United
NE vs. NY As bad as New York have been at times the home and home playoff series really gives no one an advantage. New York matches up well against New England and should have beaten them in their most recent match at Giants Stadium.
The key to beating NE is getting pressure on their backs. Michael Parkhurst is solid but overall their backs are average after him. The strength of New York is up front with Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore who are a handful for anyone. The question is can they get them the needed service.
Claudio Reyna has been a bust through performance and injury and who would have thought that Dane Richards and Joe Vide would be so vital to their midfield? NE could be vulnerable.
Winner: NE Revolution