6 Bold Predictions for MLS Matches from August 22-24
As the playoff push rolls on, there are bound to be a few surprising results across Major League Soccer.
While surprising results are nothing new to the league, there are a few shocking predictions that some may not be willing to make about the upcoming matches this weekend.
That is exactly what this article is for, as we make six bold predictions about what will occur over the next three days in nine games across MLS.
Cubo's Mexico Call-Up Will Give Him Confidence, but He Won't Score Again
Erick "Cubo" Torres received a call-up from Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera Thursday, which is a big step for a Major League Soccer player, even if he is with Chivas USA on loan.
Torres has scored 14 goals for the Goats this season, but he has failed to find the back of the net in the last four matches.
Chivas USA will head to New England in search of its first goal in 366 minutes, but that may be hard to come by against a Revolution team that is in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.
Another blow to Torres' scoring chances came Thursday, when Mauro Rosales was shipped up to Vancouver in exchange for Nigel Reo-Coker.
Rosales contributed eight assists in his time with the Goats, and the last-place team in the Western Conference needs to find someone to provide up front for Torres in his absence.
Seattle vs. Portland Will Rival April's Eight-Goal Shootout
One of the most enthralling matches of the season came back on April 5, when the Sounders and Timbers played to a 4-4 draw at Providence Park.
In that game, the scoring began in the third minute and ended in the 87th minute on a Clint Dempsey penalty.
Both defenses have improved since that game, but so have the respective attacks that Dempsey and Diego Valeri will lead on to the pitch in Portland.
Dempsey has done well up front with Obafemi Martins, and Chad Barrett has been a solid contributor off the bench as of late.
For Portland, Valeri is the driving force of the attack, but his role moving forward could be overshadowed by Darlington Nagbe, who entered as a substitute last week against New England.
If Nagbe can play for a substantial amount of time Sunday, the match could open up due to his pace in the midfield.
D.C. United Will Steal at Least a Point at Sporting Park
For the second consecutive weekend, an Eastern Conference showdown will occur at Sporting Park.
This time around, Sporting Kansas City will host D.C. United in a battle of the top two sides in the East.
Although we make Sporting Park out to be an impenetrable fortress, the defending champions are 5-6-1 at home in 2014.
Ben Olsen's side come into the match looking to prove a point that they can play with the big boys of the league after they were thrown around by Real Salt Lake two weeks ago.
If D.C. is to get at least a point out of Sporting, it will have to rely on the combination of Fabian Espindola and Luis Silva.
In the 118 minutes the duo has played together in 2014, Silva has five goals, which amounts to a goal every 23.6 minutes.
Montreal Will Upset New York
This is about as bold as a prediction can get, even in the topsy-turvy league that MLS is.
Montreal enters Red Bull Arena off a win at home over Chicago in league play Saturday, and a win in the CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday.
Despite going through a busy schedule, the Impact will be able to take a big win away from New York, who is coming off a bye week.
This may seem like a complete long shot since the Impact have not won a single road game in 2014, but they do have a ton of momentum behind them at the moment.
Alan Gordon Will Score a Late Winner at Home for the Galaxy
This prediction is not as far-fetched as the Montreal one, but it does require Alan Gordon getting on the pitch for the second time in four days.
Gordon, who was acquired by the Galaxy from San Jose last week, scored an equalizer in the 68th minute against Colorado Wednesday before Landon Donovan scored the game-winner 12 minutes later.
With so many options at the forward position, the entrance of Gordon into Saturday's home match with Vancouver may only happen if the Galaxy are looking for a winner.
That could happen at StubHub Center against a Vancouver side that possesses a strong defensive lynchpin in Matias Laba, who can disrupt the best attacks in the league on his best day.
If Bruce Arena's side are tied or down around the 70th minute, like they were Wednesday, we could see Gordon make another cameo to attempt to hand his new team three points.
Real Salt Lake Will Be the Team to Shut Down Fabian Castillo
Making a trip down to Texas to play in the summer is a brutal task for a team like Real Salt Lake already, but having to deal with the menacing pace of Fabian Castillo adds more difficulty to that task.
Luckily for the Claret and Cobalt, they have a few defenders who can cause plenty of trouble against the speedy left-winger.
Castillo has lined up on the left wing, and in a more central role, over the last few weeks, which presents RSL with the task of defending a versatile player with more than one defender.
Tony Beltran will be handed the opportunity to shut down Castillo on the wing, but the containment of Castillo will come down to the duo of Nat Borchers and Kyle Beckerman, who should be able to clog the middle and force Castillo outside.
If Castillo is kept exclusively on the wing, RSL will have a better chance of keeping his threat to a minimum.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.