MLS Preview: 4 Matches to Watch in Week 8

Juan Carlos Salas@juancsalasContributor IIIApril 26, 2012

MLS Preview: 4 Matches to Watch in Week 8

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    I'll be honest, Week 8 of Major League Soccer lacks a bit of a punch since there are very few marquee matches, and the top team in the league, Sporting Kansas City, has a bye week.

    That being said, there are nine matches scheduled for Saturday, with all but two taking place in the evening. 

    With that much soccer in compressed time, there is no way that anyone can be able to see all of the leagues matches this weekend.

    So here I am to give you which four matches I recommend you do not miss. 

New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls

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    These two frustrated teams will be facing off at Red Bull Arena and on national television (the game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network).

    New York comes in off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of D.C. United, while New England has a two-game losing streak. 

    The Revolution have most likely seen tape on how to stop Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper, who have scored the majority of Red Bulls goal but were kept silent against D.C.

    This match is very important match for the Red Bulls if they want to continue separating themselves from the pack and keep pace with the leaders of the Eastern Conference.

Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

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    The Houston Dynamo will travel to RFK Stadium and take on D.C. United, who have been unbeaten in six matches.

    Meanwhile, Houston will want to end its three-game winless streak, which includes two draws and a loss to the Seattle Sounders

    Dynamo's Brad Davis hasn't been in the lineup for the team's last two games. He will be needed against D.C., who is quickly becoming one of the strongest midfields in the league.

    At the home side, all eyes will be on Chris Pontius, who scored a hat trick against New England, to see whether he can repeat his performance. 

Seattle Sounders at Chicago Fire

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    The Seattle Sounders should be well rested after having a bye week in Week 7 as they will travel to Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire

    Both squads are currently fourth in their perspective conferences and look to climb the ladder.

    The Fire come from a hard-fought battle with Toronto FC, which Chicago eventually won. Even with the victory, it showed flaws in Chicago's defense, which will be to close the club because they don't want the Sounders to exploit them. 

    As for Seattle, it hasn't been what it used to be—a large part due to the absence of injured Steve Zakuani. The stats speak for themselves. In five matches, Seattle has only scored six goals. The offensive output hasn't been up to par with its fans.

    The Western Conference might be more difficult, but the teams are packed in closer together, so stealing three points from Chicago will be essential if Seattle wants to start climbing the table. 

FC Dallas at Los Angeles Galaxy

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    The LA Galaxy might start getting into a role and playing the soccer we saw last year. FC Dallas is continuously being haunted by injuries.

    With all their woes and successes, they will face off at the Home Depot Center in the last match of the day.

    The Galaxy are in a two-game winning streak, beating Portland and Colorado. With the defense somewhat figured out after the acquisition of David Junior Lopes, the attention now goes to offensive side.

    The biggest question for LA is: Who will step up to score? Robbie Keane has couple, and Edson Buddle only one. All other goals have come from different players, which is both a bad and good thing.

    Dallas played a midweek game against Real Salt Lake, so they will be fatigued with the extra travel. Add to that the injuries of David Ferreira, Ricardo Villar, Kevin Hartman and now Carlos Rodriguez—who suffered a dislocated elbow Wednesday night, according to MLS.

    Dallas will need to look at its youth to get the job done in Los Angeles. 

    The Galaxy need to continue its streak and move up the ladder, while Dallas will do the impossible: weather its storm and stay mid-table. Of course a win is always welcomed by the visitors.

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