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  • on April 8, 2011 -
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If you only watch three MLS games this weekend (and I know that you will watch more) these are a good three to choose.

FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids- Are Dallas really as bad as they have been so far and are Colorado really as good? Last seasons MLS Cup contenders have had markedly different starts to this campaign, with the Rapids seemingly energized by their win whilst Dallas look to be carrying the weight of defeat heavily on their shoulders and must be desperate for a win to kick start their season after picking up just one point from their first three games (the Rapids have won all theirs).

Last time out, against Columbus, Dallas lost a man early to a red card and never really recovered eventually losing 2-0. The truth is though that they are better than their results so far and you can expect them to sneak out  win and gain some measure of revenge for last year.

Philadelphia Union v New York Red Bulls-  Two teams who have hinted that they could be good without, so far, living up to the promise. Philadelphia started the season well, winning their first two games, but then came unstuck in Los Angeles despite the Galaxy being down to ten men. The fact that they didn’t get a shot on target in that match tells you much about a team that relies on a solid defence built around their new goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, and the story of their season could be one where the first goal of any game is often the decider.

The Red Bulls picked up Dwayne De Rosario (pictured above, on the right) from Toronto and he made an instant impact by setting up their goal in the 1-1 draw with Houston. The addition of De Rosario should, in theory, give New York one of the best attacking line ups in the League but coach Hans Backe has yet to settle on a formation, or style of play, that he likes. If he can get Henry, Aguedelo and De Rosario to combine well then it could be thrilling, if he can’t then they could be a total mess. Let’s call this game a low scoring tie.

Houston Dynamo v Vancouver Whitecaps- Since their opening day win the Whitecaps have gone down to ten men, gone three goals behind, and gone down to nine men in their subsequent games, so presumably this time out they will only kick with their left feet to make it as difficult as possible for themselves. In reality though they don’t need to do that because things are tough enough as it is. Hassli is suspended (again) and the central midfield that started against New England is not available. Dunfield is out injured and Khoffie is also suspended which probably means that Harmse and Thorrington will take their places, with Khalfan and Knight continuing to play out wide.

There is a chance that captain Jay DeMerit could be fit but coach Thordason must wonder if it is worth rushing him into the side and risking a longer setback, particularly when Rochat and Boxall did so well last time out. Youngsters Salgado and Tiebert are both available after their under 20s action but expect them to start on the bench. Houston have yet to win but got a good draw away at New York last time out. The result? I’ll say Houston 2-1 and hope that I am wrong.

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