Major League Soccer, Week 13 Preview And Fixtures: Welcome Back!

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 10: Assistant coach John Hackworth of the Philadelphia Union yells from the sideline during the game against D.C. United on April 10, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Head coach Peter Nowak was absent for the game. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

MLS returns after a very quiet two weeks with a full slate of games.

Tired of watching arguably the best international soccer tournament in the world? Good, because MLS is raring to go for what we're going to go ahead and call Week 13.

"But wait!" you say. "There have been matches in each of the past two weeks, dude."

Well, those don't count, so deal with it.

Anyway...onto the actual games.

Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United

Saturday, 7 p.m., Galavision

Well, this is a lot less fun, isn't it? No more Peter Nowak for us to kick around. John Hackworth seems like a genuinely good guy who might not even be crazy. Wherever are we going to put our snark? Unfortunately, it's going to be a tough start as United, believe it or not, is the top team in the East and playing some pretty good soccer last time we checked.

Pick: United, 2-1

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 7 p.m., MLS Live, Direct Kick

The Whitecaps were one of those teams that actually won while nobody was watching and are actually looking pretty good. They've lost just once in their past seven and Darren Mattocks is suddenly looking dangerous, having scored three goals in his past two.

Pick: Whitecaps, 1-0

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas

Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

In all their infinite wisdom, MLS has decided to put the two Texas teams in different conferences. So, this is the one and only game that will decide who gets to posses "El Capitan," the cannon trophy that goes to winner of the Texas derby. Dallas was basically running on fumes the last time we checked.

Pick: Dynamo, 3-1

Montreal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 7:30 p.m., TSN2, MLS Live, Direct Kick

The opening of Stade Saputo will mainly be interesting to see if grass laid about a week ago will actually stay in the ground or not. It will also give Impact fans their first chance to "greet" Eddie Johnson, who basically wanted no part in whatever he thought was going to be happening in Montreal this year.

Pick: Sounders, 1-0

New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew

Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MLS LIve, Direct Kick

As much fun as we've had at the expense of these two teams, they are kinda worth paying attention to, even if you don't really want to watch. A Revolution win puts them right back in playoff position, as the East's final two spots are totally wide open right now.

Pick: Tied, 1-1

Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC

Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MLS Live, Direct Kick

Paul Mariner finally gets his first chance as the head man in MLS and probably couldn't draw a team that's a worst matchup than this one. This could get ugly.

Pick: Sporting KC, 3-0

Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 10:30 p.m., MLS Live, Direct Kick

As weird as it may seem, one of the three losses RSL has suffered this year was at the hands of Chivas USA. And that was at home, just think what the Goats will do to them now that this game is at Home Depot Center...

Pick: Tied, 1-1

Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls

Sunday, 5 p.m., NBCSN

OK, seriously: Who was in charge of picking games for NBC at the start of the year? No offense to either of these teams, but this is not compelling television. At least Thierry Henry is back and it should be fun to see what he can do against the likes of Arne Friedrich.

Pick: Red Bulls, 2-1

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Sunday, 7 p.m., MLS Live, Direct Kick

Oh man, do the Galaxy need a win in the worst way. A loss leaves them five points behind the Timbers for last place in the West and, more importantly, eight points behind the final playoff spot. It's too early to panic, but definitely not too early to be freaking the heck out.

Pick: Galaxy, 2-1

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