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Stressy

MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA)

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Thought it would be good to start one running thread for the season like the one we had for 2014. Perhaps this will encourage more discussion than what we are currently seeing. For May 2nd, I think there's value in Toronto FC to get a result against Philadelphia Union. By the numbers Toronto hasn't had a great start to the season. However, they have had to play every game away due to renovations at their stadium. They've also had some unfortunate calls (red cards, disallowed goals etc.) that stole points from them. In addition, they've had a few injuries and international absences to key USMNT players (Bradley, Altidore). Most players were back last week and TFC picked up a scrappy 2-0 away at Orlando. With Altidore and Giovinco, TFC is always going to be dangerous on offense. Their defense has been their downfall and most of it was due to silly individual errors. They seemed to have gained some confidence in the last game and are more stable without the constant changeover. My only line up worry here is that TFC looks set to play their back up goal keeper as the starter Bendik has a foot injury. Bendik however isn't a game changer himself so perhaps the change won't have much affect. Philly has had a terrible start to the season without as many excuses. They have 1W, 3D, 5L's while giving up 17 goals in 9 games. They have had some injury issues and it looks like a number of key players are still questionable (Aristeguieta - top goal scorer, Nogueira - important mid, Vitoria - starting CB). The coach also hinted at line up changes this week due to the poor performance thus far so we could see some fringe players given a chance. Lastly, Sapong got arrested the other day for drinking and driving and will now miss the game. He's been in okay form but is by no means their star player. This might also be a bit of a distraction for the team. On paper, Toronto FC has a much better team. Playing away in this league is always difficult and I assume that's why TFC are the underdogs. Most of the editors at MLSsoccer.com picked TFC to get the result too. Here are a few bets I like at low/medium stakes (all b365):

  • TFC -1 AH @ 6.00
  • TFC @ 3.40
  • TFC 0 AH @ 2.3

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) I like over 2.5 goals in this, both teams are unusually overish for MLS and the Toronto team news points to them being a little weaker defensively and stronger in attack. 1 point at 1.8

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Here's what I like this weekend (May 8th-11th): New England over Orlando (I'm greedy and went -1 ah @ 5.75 b365). If you're managing things a little tighter, DNB or -0 ah are likely better options. As mentioned in the post above, Orlando are an expansion team this year and they've had a poor start to the season. They have 8pts in 8 games and have lost 3 of 4 games at home. When they did get results, they were due to some garbage goals (lucky deflection, other teams gifting them). Outside of kaka, their attack is impotent. The only other player to show some promise was Molina but he just tore knee ligaments in a friendly last week and is now out for an extended period of time. From what I've read, the coach is tinkering with the line up to account for injuries and I wouldn't be surprised to see a disjointed performance. New England on the other hand are really starting to hum (4 wins and 1 draw in their last 5) and top the eastern table. They have a lot of solid attacking players and I think they will be too much for an Orlando team desperately trying to win at home. Vancouver over Philly (-1 ah @ 2.15 b365). The whitecaps started the season strong but went a little cold recently. However key players Laba and morales picked up red cards and this no doubt had an impact. Everyone is back and Vancouver is generally strong at home. I think they'll really want to prove they are contenders by getting back on track and bagging a convincing win here. Philly is in a real mess. The results have been poor and they now have a goalkeeper crisis. Their high paid goalie has been frozen out of the team by the coach, the next two picked up injuries in training and will miss out for a few games. They have now just completed a short term loan for a young keeper playing in the next division down. He did train with the team in pre season but I imagine it's going to be difficult for him. Given all the drama, poor results and the long travel to Vancouver, I think Philly is going to take a bit of a beating. Toronto over Houston (-1 ah @ 2.425 b365). Houston appears to be in a bit of a rut. They lost their last two games (both at home) including a 1-4 thrashing by Dallas. It seems they are still trying to figure out their best line up and formation and I think this could make them vulnerable on the road. Toronto has had an okay start considering they played the first 7 games on the road. Sunday is their home opener and the first game at the newly renovated stadium. I think they are fired up and want to start their home stand with a convincing win. altidore and giovinco are going to be huge threats and I would also consider giovinco any time goal scorer as he's been ace with the free kicks. Should be a good crowd of nearly 30k (I'll be there) and that should also help drive toronto on.

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Colorado Rapids vs San Jose Earthquakes Draw 3.5 Bet365 Cololrado drew their last 3 homes games. San Jose have have lost 2 out of their last 4 away games with one win coming against a Houston side that has been struggling of late. The last 3 times these two have met have all ended in a draw. No reason to go against the trend, draw again

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Colorado Rapids -0.5 @ 2.05. This is the 3rd away game in 8 days for Earthquakes, visiting high altitude place like Colorado is probably the last thing the team wants. While Rapids has not won at home this season, I certainly fancy their chance at breaking the duck.

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Chicago Fire vs Real Salt Lake Chicago Fire win @ 2.1 bet365 Great odds for the the home, they were unlucky not to come away with at least a draw against Kansas City. They won their 3 previous home games scoring keeping a clean sheet in two of those games. Real Salt Lake have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 away games

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Just a heads up that Accam is suspended for Chicago. He's been one of their better attacking threats. Game might be screaming out for unders when you consider RSL has Rimando in net.

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) NY Red Bulls - NYCFC The statistics might not show it, but NYC matches are all really open, often containing a number of chances. It just seems they are mega intent on playing attractive open football. Their main problem is converting chances and they tend to miss a ton of opportunities. David Villa always seems to be a fitness doubt these days, but with him back in the lineup I expect them to be more of a threat upfront and score at least one goal. The Red Bulls as always will attack and look to entertain their fans. They have enough proven quality at MLS level for me to be confident they find the net at least a couple of times too. When all's said and done, I think the Red Bulls will just have a little too much for their new city rivals. But for me this is a clear over 2.5 bet and as long as chances are converted, a high number of goals should be score. Something like a 2-2 or 3-2 wouldn’t surprise me. Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.0 5/10

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) Not much time so I'm going to have to squeeze this one in quickly. Quotes are B365. I'm going with a Columbus Crew -1 AH (2.750) and FC Dallas -1 AH (5.25) parlay. Columbus hosts Chicago in 30 mins. Columbus has put together some good results and are one the more favoured teams in the East. They lost last week but suffered a red card in the 33rd minute and were playing away so that's forgivable. Chicago on the other hand have had some mixed results. Last game they were up 2-0 with a man advantage since the 27th minute and ended up letting NYC tie the game. They aren't great, they have rebuilt the roster this year and the team is still trying to get it going. At home, I think Columbus should have a pretty comfortable game. FC Dallas is one of my favourites in the league. They are top of the West table and have a well oiled offense that's hard to contain. Montreal on the other hand have been playing fewer league games because of their Champions League run. That's over and now I think it's back to reality. They aren't a great team, they had to rebuild a lot in the offseason and they are dealing with a number of injuries and players lacking enough fitness for 90 minutes. Yes they beat Salt Lake 4-1 last week but I think that's a bit of a fluke result. Both teams to score might be a safe bet but I think Dallas will have too much for an average or below average Montreal and will win by at least a goal.

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) MLS: Houston Dynamo- New York Red Bulls Red Bulls will doubtless be pleased to see the back of a very disappointing month of May, they went into it unbeaten through seven games, but have taken just four points from five starts since and fallen behind both main rivals DCU and Revolution in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference. Having said that, they do have at least two games in hand on both and feel they have been playing far better than recent results suggest, but they need to get back to winning ways. They surprised a lot of people early with their high pressing, high tempo style under new coach Jesse Marsch,but coaching/scouting reports soon arrived and teams then knew what to expect and sat back a little more and whilst Marsch is sticking with his game plan, it is and already has been tweaked a little. But teams are overloading the midfield and then hitting NYRB on the break and Dynamo have the personnel to do just that. New York have looked vulnerable defensively in recent starts and are in a tough place tonight with central defender Damien Perrinelle suspended, they will have to either bring in left back Roy Miller to play alongside Karl Ouimette who has already looked suspect even along side Perrinelle , or go with Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who has not played a first team game since September and never for Red Bulls, with alternatives injured. Miller seems most likely, but he had a bit of a nightmare in his last outing in the centre. They have also been overloading the left flank a bit recently , I am not sure if that is on purpose or not, but it leaves them vulnerable on the right and Chris Duvall at right back could be in for a long evening and a left back in the middle, is hardly going to help in that regard, with his natural instinct to shift in teh other direction. So, very hard to see them keeping Dynamo out for 90 minutes. The hosts have backline problems of their own, with a central defensive partnership of Jermaine Taylor and David Horst giving huge cause for concern, the left back likes to get forward and the right has been moved across from the middle and this is very much a backline in transition, a work in progress. New York will love to see Taylor and Horst again, last time the pair faced Red Bulls was just over a year ago and they were run ragged, with NY scoring four unanswered goals, Bradley Wright-Phillips notched a hat-trick and he will fancy his chances this evening. That match was in the Big Apple, but Red Bulls have scored two or more in six of their last seven visits to Houston , with Dynamo doing likewise in five. With both teams having issues at the back, it is easy to see this trend continuing and I will opt for...... "over" 2.5 goals 2.14 asian line/Sportmarket.

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Re: MLS 2015 (USA/CANADA) MLS: San Jose Earthquakes- FC Dallas San Jose are a bit of a lucky team for me and Dominic Kinnear who is now their head coach, formerly of Houston, a favourite coach , I previewed their trip to Dynamo last month .... I last spoke about San Jose ahead of their home game with Chicago Fire, which took place around the same time as the Galaxy-Dynamo match up...... We took a fairly rare double bet there ( home to Fire the previous year), backing Earthquakes and the "over" and got the perfect result with a 5-1 home win. Not sure that we can expect quite the same result today, but I do favour another home win, Fire have failed to score in their two starts this season and once again the scheduler has not been kind with the visitors opening in LA two weeks ago, sothey have gone West-East-West coast in back to back weeks and that is very gruelling on both mind and body. San Jose have played two ultra tough road games, losing by the minimal margin at FC Dallas and then recording a fine 3-2 win at Seattle Sounders, they would have snatched your hand off for three points from those two games and there was plenty to like about both performances. In Dallas they held out for 92 minutes and created several good chances themselves, at CenturyLink Field, they were a goal down inside 18 seconds and had to play the final third of the game down to ten men. They led 2-1 at the time of Victor Bernandez's dismissal, but increased their lead shortly afterwards and held on for the win. In both games they got a LOT of crosses into the box and with Chris Wondolowski upfront, that is always going to create plenty of goal scoring opportunities. I spoke yesterday about Dominic Kinnear taking over at Quakes and he looks to have done his usual good job in double quick time and he and his team are going to be super motivated to win, on his and their home debut. That motivation is doubled as San Jose are opening their new stadium and that is always a big deal, more so for Earthquakes, as the Avaya Stadium is their first ever "soccer" specific arena. The stadium contains the largest outdoor bar in North America and that will help create an even more raucous atmosphere, amongst already noisy supporters. The venue will be jumping and the hosts can overcome a new central defensive pairing with Bernandez suspended and win this . The Quakes won that 2-1, they have been a bit hit and miss since and that is understandable for a team in transition and Kinnear will need time to work his magic, but they felt robbed of all three points in a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake where they most experienced defender struck a deft chip over his own goalkeeper for the equaliser ! RSL are a bit "rough house" and were very physical and using a lot of tricks to slow things down, a really tough place to go and get a result and it still has to be viewed as a point won. Kinnear said afterwards:"I feel pretty good. It's a difficult place to play - they're a good team. We are both fighting for every point we can get right now. Any time that you come to Salt Lake and you get a point, it's a positive. I thought at 1-0, we had a couple of chances to go a little bit farther ahead, but that wasn't the case. All of a sudden, a mix up in the back, we share the points." Midfielder Cordell Cato added: "It was a great performance by the team. We came out ready. We've got three games on the road, this is the first one, and we needed to come out with the right attitude. I think we did that. We moved a lot, and we played for each other, and we created a lot of chances." They did not allow RSL an attempt on target in 90 minutes and learned a lot from the reverse fixture which they lost in SJ 1-0 early last month and that is typical of Kinnnear, coming up with a better game plan in later meetings , always improving. He will not need a first game this evening as he could hardly know more about Dynamo in any case. Visitors to collect at least a point, a draw would probably suit both to be honest. SJE won that 1-0 and were unbeaten in three subsequent games, before losing at Toronto last time out. Kinnear will hold no love for Dallas from his time with Dynamo, as the two clubs were bitter Texas rivals and that will not have improved as FCD found an injury time winner to ruin the coach's debut in charge of San Jose back in March. Kinnear is tactically a bit of a genius and I have spoken many times about his teams improving greatly in second meetings with opponents and he will have a "winning" game plan for this evening and has called the match "huge" in terms of post season ambitions. He should have defender Clarence Goodson and playmaker Matias Perez Garcia back and whilst Shea Salinas and Jordan Stewart sat out some practice earlier this week, it was a precaution and all the team news coming into this game is positive, Mark Sherrod make his debut last week after a year out and further increases options. this is San Jose's only MLS fixture in a three week period and they are very focused on the points. Dallas arrive without Rolando Escobar and Blas Perez who are away on international duty, Perez has 41 goals and 18 assists in 92 appearances and we have spoken many times about how important he is to everything they do offensively, they are 3-3-7 in his absence in the last two years, failing to score in six, also out is suspended central defender Zach Loyd who is one of the first names on the team sheet. Winger Fabián Castillo remains sidelined, 13 wins in 22 starts when he plays, 3 defeats in four outings without him......four really big losses. Home win. San Jose Earthquakes -0.25 ball 2.05 asian line/Sportmarket. [h=1] [/h]

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Thursday 25 June 2015 Home Draw Away
maximize.gif Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders (00:00 BST) 2.37 3.5 3.38
maximize.gif Columbus Crew v New England Revolution (00:30 BST) 1.95 3.75 4.33
maximize.gif New York Red Bulls v Real Salt Lake (00:30 BST) 1.62 4.1 6.25
maximize.gif Orlando City v Colorado Rapids (00:30 BST) 2 3.56 4.2
maximize.gif Toronto FC v Montreal Impact (01:00 BST) 1.85 3.82 5
maximize.gif Chicago Fire v DC United (01:30 BST) 2 3.6 4.2
maximize.gif Los Angeles Galaxy v Portland Timbers (04:00 BST) 2 3.65 4.2

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MLS: Columbus Crew- New York Red Bulls These two met here in Columbus earlier in the season with Red Bulls winning 2-1, the last three h2h meetings have all gone "over" with an average of 4.0 goals per game. I can definitely see that trend continuing today, with Crew's last eight home starts seeing seven go "over" with both teams also scoring in seven. Red Bulls have recorded back to back New York derby wins in the last week scoring seven goals in the process, but conceding in each, they might struggle to get up a little for a third "big" game inside seven days , especially defensively ,with a whole host of players missing due to injury and international call ups, including, central defender Karl Ouimette and full backs Roy Miller, Kemar Lawrence and Chris Duvall, which means no recognised experienced left back . Duvall has played all but one game this season on the right hand side of the backline and they conceded twice there and were not so beat up across the defensive line in that match. Crew will doubtless be out for revenge having lost already at home to Red Bulls and this looks a good chance to level the score, I am a little torn between goals and the home win, but have opted for ...... "over" 3 goals 2.28 asian line/Sportmarket Pro.......alternative would be the more commonly quoted 2.75 goal line.

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