Friday the 13th Week 13 MLS Preview - Fear of Sandy Duncan

The title is a botched reference to triskaidekaphobia that maybe two people in the world will get.

Oh, here's a potentially useful Power Ranking! category, for once - fewest guys missing on international duty. Boy, you'd think there was a war on, so many guys are gone.

1. Kansas City 0 (And they're at home. Wizards catching a break, finally?)
2. (tie) DC United 1 (Grandpa Lone Star)
2. (tie) New York 1 (a guy I never heard of playing for a national team most people don't realize exists...y'know, if the Bread Rolls blow it again this week, I wouldn't use this as an excuse)
2. (tie) Columbus 1 (I hope Frankie starts in 2010, I don't care how damn old he is)
2. (tie) Bizarro Chivas 1 (Kljestan. I guess since Guzan will actually be hanging around the stadium this week, and isn't scheduled to start, then Bob is letting his former team use him, and he's not technically an international absence. Reading between the lines here, look for Sacha to start against Bajastan)
2. (tie) Salt Lake 1 (Andy Williams)
2. (tie) Chicago 1 (Gonzalo)
2. (tie) Dallas 1 (Serioux, but wasn't he suspended anyway? I won't miss him, in any case)
9. (tie) Los Angeles 2 (Carlos Ruiz, and Landon Donovan using this as an excuse to duck the San Jose game)
9. (tie) San Jose 2 (Kei Kamara and Ivan Guerrero)
11. (tie) Colorado 3 (Mastro, Bouna, Ugo)
11. (tie) Houston 3 (Pat, Dwayne, Ching)
11. (tie) New England 3 (Khano, Shalrie, Mansally)
14. Toronto 5 (oh, maybe Carver did have a legit complaint after all)

TORIES v. RAPS
Intriguing. Only two citadels in MLS remain inviolate, and they're teams that (a) were lightly regarded going into the season and (b) play on surfaces resembling a gymnastics mat on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Home field advantage comes from having an unplayable surface. Yeah, I said it. With Houston already losing, and the Galaxy likely to, the Rapids can afford a minor losing streak - which is good, because they're hideous on the road. Toronto, 1-0 and fugly.

ATLANTIC CUP
This used to be The Red and Black Bowl, but the Red Bulls gave up black a few years ago (as did Dallas) - which means the league's last Red and Black team hasn't worn red in their uniforms since 1997. Why on earth would this even concern me? I need a hobby. Hey, it looks like DC United have decided to stop sucking. Well, they weren't winning championships with division titles and Supporters Shields, so they might as well try without it. I don't think Arby's is a terribly good risk, stirring home win against CUSA or no - they're a one-man band, and while that's good enough to score, they won't keep DC from scoring more. DC 3-1.

LAMAR HUNT CUP
Hope nobody broke their ankles jumping off the Crew bandwagon. Both teams are trying to preserve their season at this point, which might take away what should be a straightforward showdown between Lopez and Barros Schelotto. Losing coach probably moves to the proverbial Hot Seat. Evenly matched, high-pressure teams say 1-1 tie to me. Should be a fun day at one of the league's baseball stadiums, though.

COPA DEL GOLDEN STATE FREEWAY
Would have been Copa del Camino Real, but the game's in Oakland. Probably butchered the Spanish here, but if I can't be bothered to find a tilde on the keyboard I'm not going to go to Berlitz just for a three-sentence preview. If Landon were playing, this one would be even more of a battery acid fight than it will be - and I'd give the Galaxy a chance, because if there's one thing Landon Donovan does, it's crushing hopes and dreams of those who hate him. Don't get me wrong - I consider the Frank Yallop's administration in the post-Sampson era like being rescued from the Titanic by the Hindenburg. But there is no effin' way Yallop, Doyle, Cannon, and the Quake fanbase will permit San Jose to lose this one. They may die in the attempt, like John Henry. But this is their World Cup final. San Jose, 5-2.

THE 2005 VASE
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Owen.
Owen who?
Real Salt Lake, 0 and 5 on the road so far this year. Chivas, 4-0.

BRIMSTONE CUP
The other actual fake cup that's being contested this weekend. Chicago is unbeaten and 4-0-1 on the road, and below .500 at home. That's just bizarre. If that doesn't make picking a winner easy, then we'll have to settle for how Dallas has just been marking time until naming a new coach. Meanwhile, Chicago has three games in hand on New England as of right now - but they have to win two and not lose the other one. This should be one of the wins. Fire, 3-0.