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MLS 11th-13th July 2015


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FC Dallas DNB @ 2.19 Orlando will be missing Kaka, Brek Shea, Aurelien Collin, Darwin Ceren and Cyle Larin. These 5 scored 17 of their team goals. Yes, they still have Pedro Riberio and Rivas but I’m not too sure the duo alone can make up the loss of so many attacking players. As for FC Dallas, they won’t have the service of about 5 players, Kyle Bekker, Tesho Akindele, Blas Perez, Moises Hernandez and Je-Vaughn Watson. Perez is probably the biggest miss since he is part of Dallas attacking trio. The good thing is the pair of Castillo and Diaz is available. They have scored 10 goals and provided 9 assists. Both teams have similar defence and offence. Even though FC Dallas is a pretty poor away side, it’s hard not to back them. Orlando offence is just too weak this week.

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Portland Timbers DNB @ 2.07 Philadelphia Union injury crisis is finally ending. Key players like Sebastien Le Toux and Fernando Aristeguieta are back. Both could be named in the matchday squad. Even though Philly is not the strongest team but their recent home record is pretty good, with 3 wins and a draw out of their last 5 games. Portland Timbers is flying at the moment. They are 2nd in the form table, winning 5 out of their last 6 games. Valeri is looking sharper as each week passes. 1st choice Jamaican fullback Alvas Powell will not be available because of the Gold Cup. Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe and Paparatto are all injuries doubt but they have good replacements like Gaston Fernandez. Even though Philly is better at home defensively, I'm not sure if they can stop Timbers from creating chances. If Timbers can actually put away the chances they create, I think they will win this game.

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MLS: New York City- Toronto FC This was meant to be the debut for Frank Lampard, but a minor knock has delayed that for another 7 days +, however, the official signing of Andrea Pirlo was announced this week and the prospect of both being available soon is a major boost both for the club and MLS football in general and neither are the type to ever give less that 100%. The starting eleven today will be fighting hard to keep their places and tickets will already have been sold with the crowd expecting to see the former EPL star and this will still be a bit of an occasion. These two teams met three weeks ago in Ontario with NYC winning 2-0 , they were tactically very solid there, pressed incredibly well and David Villa who remains a top class striker took his two chances and to be honest, at 3-4 years younger than the other two "superstars" , he should still be playing at a higher level, he could score in MLS almost in his sleep ! Anyway, I liked that performance, defensively they allowed TFC little and dominated the match early and through the key middle part of the second half and on the road. The defence has also been tightened up with the signings of a pair of Spanish full backs in the incredibly experienced Andoni Iraloa and Angelino this week . With Toronto missing a lot of players today, I expect a follow up win. The visitors arrrive without Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley ,Ashtone Morgan, Jonathan Osorio and Quillan Roberts, all of whom are on international duty. This leaves them short through the central spine and with their remaining key player Sebatian Giovinco, left to carry most of the offensive load on his own, which is a big ask and will make him easier to mark. New York City -0.5 ball 2.03 asian line/Sportmarket.

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