October 24, 2007

Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions, Matchday 1

Thursday
Chicago-DC: 8:30 (ESPN2)
The Supporters' Shield winners are coming into this match a little banged up. Jaime Moreno is expected to start, even though he's suffering with a sprained ankle. Luciano Emilio is not as certain, he'll probably come off the bench. The Fire is coming in off their big win over LA to qualify for the postseason. They also haven't lost since Sept. 1, although there are 5 draws thrown in that run.

The teams played 3 times in '07, with DC winning one and the other two ending tied. The last two games, featuring Blanco, were the ones that ended level. As we all know, Chicago became a completely different team with Cuau in the side.

The upsetting thing about this draw for DC is that they've never beaten Chicago in the postseason. A loss in MLS Cup '98, combined with getting bounced out by identical 4-0 aggregate scores in 2003 and 2005, adds to the drama here.

I'm expecting a tight game at Toyota Park, especially considering DC's injuries. United will likely just be looking to get out of there alive.
Prediction: 1-1 (Barrett, Gomez)

Saturday
New York-New England: 7:30 (FSC)
The Red Bulls have been the better team over the last month of the season here, with only one loss in their last six. The Revs have won one of their last four.

New England won the season series, with two wins and one draw. Taylor Twellman had three goals in those games. Juan Pablo Angel had a late goal to level the last match these two played, Sept. 22 at Giants Stadium.

The last time these two played in the postseason, the then MetroStars had a 2-0 aggregate lead in the 60th minute of the second game. However, Jose Cancela led the Revs back with a goal and an assist before Khano Smith scored the series winner in the 83rd minute.

New York has to come out and score goals in the first leg, they can't count on them in New England. Everybody seems to be writing them off in this series, but I'm not so sure. Anytime you have strikers like Angel and Jozy Altidore, I don't think you can be counted out.
Prediction: New York 2, New England 1 (Angel 2, Ralston)

2 comments:

El G├╝ero said...

Chicago 1-0 D.C. United

More to come...

E. Charles Blanco said...

D.C. 2-1 Chicago

Even though Chicago has been playing pretty well, something tells me D.C. is going to be fired up after last season's debacle.