Beckham's arrival, plus predictions

It’s a fantastic weekend for sports in Utah. There’s Jazz fever after Friday’s Game 6 win, and with excitement building to Sunday’s Game 1 with the Lakers. In the soccer world, there’s a fairly important match as well today, I’m not just talking about the 3A high school playoff soccer game I’ll be covering in Park City either. The Galaxy are in town for tonight’s 7 o’clock clash, it figures to be an electric atmosphere with David Beckham in the mix.

Beckham was the focal point of a press conference at the Sandy stadium site on Friday, and while he did say all the right things and entertained the media, the progress of the stadium is what impressed me most. I’ve tried to provide periodic updates on this blog about the stadium progress (now 70 percent), but standing inside the stadium yesterday dwarfed by the canopy overhead it made me realize how beautiful the stadium will truly be.

As for tonight’s match, I asked RSL defender Chris Wingert yesterday about how the team would try and slow down Landon Donovan, whose scored eight goals already this year. Wingert simply said, ‘our offense is our best defense.’ He believes if RSL can expose L.A.’s defensive liabilities early and possess the ball well, the team should be in good shape.

Gareth Law (sports writer) and Keith Campbell (photographer) are reporters from The Scottish Sun, and they’ve been in town all week doing stories on Kenny Deuchar and the build-up to the Beckham clash. In the paper all week, they’ve been building the match as Dr. Goals vs. Golden Balls.

……

Here are my predictions for this weekend’s games, and after a respectable 3-3 showing last week I’m on my way back to respectability. Home teams are an impressive 20-9-7 this year, so I’m going with all home teams this week, except San Jose. I won’t start picking them until 2009.

MLS Saturday Predictions

Chicago (0) at New England (2) — Despite injuries, the Revs continue to play quality soccer.
Kansas City (1) at Columbus (2) — How can you pick against the best team in the league at home. The Crew can’t really be the best in MLS, can they?
Chivas USA (1) at Houston (3) — The drought ends tonight against Chivas’ porous defense.
L.A. Galaxy (2) at Real Salt Lake (3) — With L.A. in the mix, goals will be scored, but I’m pegging Deuchar to score a pair in the win.
FC Dallas (2) at San Jose (0) — The Quakes were always going to be underdogs, but it’s even worse now that Ryan Cochrane is out with a concussion sustained in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

MLS Sunday Predictions

D.C. United (1) at Colorado Rapids (2) — A trip to Colorado isn’t what D.C. needs to climb out of the Eastern Conference cellar.

Record to date: Correct 13, Incorrect 20.
Note: I’m counting draws in my record, therefore picking a draw that results in a winner is considered incorrect.

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