Wednesday’s MLS Games: Preview Policy Under Review

Crikey.  There’s something about tonight’s two games – annoyed as I am they came so soon – that has me wanting to review my policy against posting previews…which I’m currently violating, of course.  I’m nearly certain I’ll catch one of the two games and find the mini-mental battle as to which to watch refreshing as a crisp light beer on a humid summer swelter.  Maybe it’s the all-Eastern Conference angle, what’s going on with the teams…whatever it is, it’s a good thing.  Some quick thoughts:

Red Bull New York v. DC United (official preview)

With Josh Gros looking like the only significant, surprise injury (and, assuming this site’s stuff is accurate, Gros really needs to consider retiring), both teams should hit this game at close to full strength.  If you go to that link, you’ll see some trepidation in at least one DC fan, something I get, but can’t say I expect.  That could either be a function of me rating DC so highly over the past couple weeks, or my persistent low opinion of Red Bull.  But there’s something in me that says DC will remember its pedigree and win.

But that’s the beauty of the anxiety in the DC camp: if Red Bull wins, the Eastern Conference standings go nuts all over again.  Ah, the drama!  And, to be clear, I’m pulling for Red Bull – and Clint Mathis, in particular.  It’s the under-achiever in me, I guess.  But I’m guessing a lot of MLS fans are watching this result, and not all of them fans of either team.

Kansas City Wizards v. Chicago Fire (official preview)

And, yet, this game contains even better story-lines.  What to make of the Chicago revival?  Is it a revival?  I only know a lot of people seem to be buying into it, myself included.  A three-game unbeaten streak looks and sounds great – especially against the backdrop of the Fire’s early season – but, look at who those four results came against: a bloodied Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, and the Columbus Crew; two of those teams suck (no offense) while the other is fading.

And that brings the discussion to KC.  The only full-time Wizards site I know sees a draw, which would feel a lot like a let-down for the home team (that’d be KC).  Chicago, on the other hand, could probably get away with calling that a success…but only till they host the Wizards this weekend. I don’t know what’s going to happen here, but strongly suspect it’ll be educational no matter how the score reads after 90 minutes.

Whatever happens, I think Chicago is the story here.  In the first game, I’m thinking it’s more about Red Bull.

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