6 Bold Predictions for MLS Matches from October 3-5
October is finally here, which means the usual chaos and unpredictability of Major League Soccer will grow exponentially.
Desperation is seeping in for plenty of sides looking to secure one of the 10 playoff berths, and with four weeks left to do so, the pressure is on a plethora of teams to earn results.
With a few major clashes with playoff implications taking place in Week 30, we decided to make a few bold predictions about said matches.
Whether or not these predictions actually happen is another thing, but that won't hurt us from making six outlandish statements about the upcoming weekend of play in MLS.
Houston Will Throw a Major Wrench into the Eastern Conference Playoff Race
The one team no one is talking about heading into the final four weeks of the season is the Houston Dynamo.
Logic says that there is no way a team five points behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference has a chance, but Dominic Kinnear defies all logic in October.
The stage is set for Kinnear's Houston side to take advantage of a Red Bulls defense that was beat to a pulp by the Galaxy last weekend.
With Philadelphia already slipping up Thursday, and Toronto going out to StubHub Center for a presumed big loss to LA, the door is wide open for the Dynamo to make the situation in the East more uncomfortable than it already is.
With a victory at Red Bull Arena, Houston will move to 11 wins in 2014, which would tie them with Columbus and Toronto.
Since wins are the first tiebreaker in MLS, Houston's three points Saturday night could potentially carry a ton of weight at the end of the month.
Columbus Will Not Break Away from the Mess Around the Red Line
The Columbus Crew are one win away from separating themselves from the pack in the race for the final two playoff positions.
However, the Crew will not earn breathing room above the red line thanks to a loss to New England.
Two weeks ago, the Revolution went into Crew Stadium and fell by a 1-0 scoreline, but don't expect the Crew to surprise them again.
Depending on the result of Friday night's clash between D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City, the Revolution could gain a solid advantage for the second seed in the East.
With that on the line, and better attacking options than the Crew, New England should keep Columbus in the middle of all the chaos in the East with an easy win at home.
Pedro Morales Will Once Again Take the Reins of the Vancouver Attack
Week 29 featured a ton of big-name players stepping up to score big-time goals, and Vancouver's Pedro Morales was one of them.
Morales had scored two goals in his previous 16 games leading up to the 2-1 win over Real Salt last week, and now that his goal drought is over, he should be able to come through with a few more clutch strikes.
The Whitecaps will host FC Dallas Saturday night in a match that is more than likely a preview of the knockout game to start the Western Conference playoffs.
Last time FC Dallas played at BC Place, Morales had the best game of his season with 12 shots, five shots on target and a goal.
If the Chilean produces anywhere close to those numbers Saturday, a win should be a sure thing for Carl Robinson's side.
Chris Wondolowski Will Star Against Portland
Expect the Whitecaps to send a nice care package to Chris Wondolowski after Saturday ends.
Wondolowski's San Jose Earthquakes will host the Portland Timbers, who enter the clash at Buck Shaw Stadium one point behind Vancouver in the race for fifth in the West.
After his terrific surge following his miss against Belgium at the World Cup, Wondolowski has slowed down a bit with just one shot on target in his last two games.
With the hunger to get back on the scoresheet in front of the home crowd, Wondolowski should find the back of the net at least once against the shaky Timbers defense.
The United States international should bring a bit more confidence into this game as well since he notched a brace in the first meeting between the two sides on September 7.
Chicago Will Come out Flat After Late Thursday Equalizer
The Chicago Fire will enter Sunday's home clash with Montreal off a major emotional boost Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Robert Earnshaw earned the Fire a point with a 90th-minute chip, which delivered a massive blow to the Union's playoff hopes.
With a decent amount of momentum heading into the game against the Impact, the Fire will fail to capitalize on that and lose by two or more goals.
Montreal enters the match off a 2-0 loss to Columbus in which they were dealt a bad hand after a brutal second-half penalty call.
With some fresh legs, and a point to prove, Montreal will take advantage of Chicago's short week to earn three points at Toyota Park.
An Unsung Hero Will Win the Game for the Galaxy
For most of the season, all of the usual suspects have risen to the occasion in times of need for the LA Galaxy.
Whether it be Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Gyasi Zardes, Omar Gonzalez or Alan Gordon off the bench, there always seems to be an answer to the scoring problem.
With that in mind, we are picking an unlikely player to step up and seal three points against Toronto at StubHub Center.
We're not sure who exactly will bury the Reds on their venture out to California, but we can offer a few underrated players as candidates.
The central-midfield pairing of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas never gets enough recognition, but one of them could easily step into the spotlight.
Other candidates for the role of unsung hero include Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza or even the much-maligned Leonardo in a cameo appearance off the bench.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.