MLS really needs to help its fans out. For the first two weeks of the season, we could get over there being a dearth of interesting matches because of the early season excitement. "There are no good matches? Whatever. I'm just excited to have MLS back!"
Well, that is over.
Now fans would like some actual good matches to watch. The LA Galaxy played Real Salt Lake in the first week of the season and that was fun, but that's been the only really interesting match of the season. Match after match pits bad team vs. good team, and the results have gone as expected. Come on, MLS. Throw us a bone.
Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo
Friday, 10 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
The list of matches worth watching this week begins and ends here. The Dynamo are the only team in the Eastern Conference that has shown up to play against Western Conference opposition. Eastern teams have taken seven points from Western teams in the first two weeks of 2012, and the Dynamo are responsible for six of them, but they have done it against Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes. Let's see what happens when they play the Sounders, who waxed Toronto FC last week, although Houston did catch a break with Mauro Rosales set to miss the match with a sprained knee.
Pick: Seattle, 2-1
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, MLS Live
The Reds were a good pick to surprise people this season. They finished strong last season, had a dangerous front three and then went out and beat LA in the CONCACAF Champions League. All was looking good for Toronto, but then they lost to Seattle and Torsten Frings got hurt. Uh-oh. At least they're playing San Jose.
Pick: Toronto, 2-1
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Playing at home cannot cure being a bad team.
Pick: Portland, 1-0
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Robert Warzycha has a Crew team that is in desperate need of a midfielder with the slightest bit of creativity (go away, Eddie Gaven fanboys), a.k.a., exactly the kind of midfielder he was. Jesse Marsch has a Impact team that has a huge hole in the center of the pitch because none of their midfielders can tackle, a.k.a., exactly the thing that he excelled in when he played. How does this happen?
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live
The Union have been Nowaked.
Pick: Chicago, 100-0
Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Salt Lake is going to cruise because they are good and Chivas are not. More important, though: Chivas do not deserve to win a match until Miller Bolaños is playing 90 minutes for them. Seriously, how is he not playing?!?
Pick: Salt Lake, 3-0
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. D.C. United
Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Bad teams should not let three of their good players go play in a youth tournament that doesn't fall on a FIFA date and is in the middle of their season. D.C. let Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen and Andy Najar go play in Olympic qualifiers.
Pick: Vancouver, 3-0
Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Who would have thought that the Red Bulls would be desperate to get Rafael Marquez back? Well, they are, because they seriously need some defensive help, even lazy help. Ryan Meara can only save them so many times. At least they are back home, which is good, because the Rapids are the anti-Gary Smith Rapids. That is to say, they are watchable.
Pick: Draw, 1-1
Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, Galavision
Pick: Kansas City, 2-0.