Major League Soccer 2012, Week 6 Preview: Heavyweight Battle In Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, KS - AUGUST 03: Fabian Espindola #7 of Real Salt Lake battles Roger Espinoza #15 of Sporting Kansas City for the ball during the game on August 3, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Yeah, there are a lot of good matches, but Kansas City hosts Salt Lake and that's all that matters in MLS this week.

There are actually a lot of good matches this weekend. Colorado has been quietly good this season and they take on a highly-regarded Seattle team that has been tripped up at home once already this season. San Jose is third in the league and visiting a New York team that has scored 13 goals in their last three matches to give us a nice second place vs. second place battle. Chicago and Houston also square off in a match that should have big implications in the way the Eastern Conference playoffs shape up at the end of the season.

Here's the thing about all those matches: None of them matter. This week in MLS is all about Kansas City and Salt Lake. It's the best two teams in MLS, the two most entertaining teams in MLS and the best match-up MLS might have all season. This is the best the league has to offer and fittingly, it will be played at Livestrong Sporting Park, which is the best stadium in the league. Notice the trend of bests and mosts?

Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

This match is on national TV. NBC Sports Network hates us.

The Union have been Nowak-ed.

Pick: Columbus, 100-0.

New England Revolution vs. D.C. United

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

This is kind of like the above match, except it isn't on national TV. Thank god.

Pick: New England, 2-1.

Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Oscar Pareja was always going to come off as all kinds of fantasticness solely for not being Gary Smith, but sneakily, we're finding out that he's fantastic for being more than not Gary Smith. The Rapids are playing well and playing attractive soccer. To Oscar Pareja, who's not Gary Smith and more!

Pick: Seattle, 2-0.

Toronto FC vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Luckily for Chivas, they're not playing at home. Up in Canada, they actually have a chance to win. Well, anyone against Toronto anywhere has a chance to win.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Who are these guys and what have they done with the Earthquakes? The Earthquakes, well, we can finally just say it -- they're good. The Red Bulls are going to find out if their forwards can carry then even when they're out-manned in the midfield and in defense.

Pick: Draw, 2-2.

FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

At some point, Dallas is going to put it together. It may not be until David Ferreira gets back, but they're going to get it together. Montreal, well, they better hope they can play Toronto every week.

Pick: Dallas, 3-0.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

This one is for all the marbles! Okay, maybe not quite since it is still April, but it is for all the fun in the entire MLS world.

Consider the talent that will be on the field for this match. Sporting will trot out C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara, Graham Zusi, Chance Myers and Bobby Convey. RSL will go with Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran and Will Johnson. That's about as good a collection of players as you will see in a MLS match and that doesn't even include under-appreciated guys like Chris Wingert or Roger Espinoza and there is still guys like Teal Bunbury and Javier Morales, who will be on the bench or absent all together due to injury. The collection of talent in this match is just obscene.

As fun as this match is for the player, it might be even more fun to watch the tactical battle between the managers. While hardly perfect, Jason Kreis has developed a reputation as a good tactical manager, and assuming both Sporting and RSL go with their regular formations, his team will have a four vs. three advantage in the midfield. That puts the onus on Peter Vermes to make a move of his own, and while he has proven to be an excellent talent evaluator, he has not impressed anybody with his tactics. Here's your chance, Pete.

Pick: Draw, 2-2.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. PT, MLS Live

You can see MLS fans around the country starting to feel bad for LA and their rough start ... or not. Sympathy and the Galaxy don't exactly go together.

Pick: Los Angeles, 2-1.

Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo

Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, Galavision

There are maybe three attacking players worth watching in this entire match. Marco Papa is a joy, as is Brad Davis and Dominic Oduro learned how to play soccer at some point. The rest of the players are for all you people who poo-poo Designated Players and beer in a bottle.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

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