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MLS 16th-20th July 2015


vasilli07
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Colombus Crew double chance @ 1.6 Chicago Fire is not the strongest home, only winning 5 out of their 9 so far. They are slowly getting some of their key players(Magee and Nyarko) back from long term injuries. Both started in the win against the Sounders and could start again. Top scorer David Accam and DP Shaun Maloney remain out. Adailton is suspended and top scoring defender Jeff Larentowicz is out and likely to leave them abit weak at the back. Colombus Crew remained winless away after getting thrashed 3-0 by Impact over the weekend. Their biggest problem has been their defence and conceding early goals. In the last 5 games, they have conceded at least a goal within the 1st 15 minutes in 4 games. It's always big risk backing a winless away team but I think Crew do fancy their chances to get something against a side whose key players are still not fully fit.

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LA Galaxy -1 @ 1.88 This game will be Stevie G LA Galaxy home debut and the crowd should be pumped up. LA was knocked out of the USOC in midweek by Real Salt Lake. Quite a number of their starters played heavy minutes but they had a bye week before that so fatigue shouldn't be too much of an issue. Supersub Alan Gordon has been called up to US team. Earthquakes has struggled without tailsman Wondolowski. In his absence, they have lost their last 3 games without scoring. Wondo has scored at least a goal in the last 3 meetings against LA. It's hard to see anything other than a LA win here. Earthquakes is an ok side with Wondo but without him, they are probably 1 of the weakest team.

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MLS: LA Galaxy- San Jose Earthquakes This is the third California Clásico inside 20 days, with honours shared so far, San Jose took the first 3-1 and I previewd that at the end of last month (notes reproduced below), a few days later, Galaxy got a little revenge with a 1-0 road win in the US Open Cup, but that competition is never a priority for LA and if it was/is revenge they are looking for, it is this evening they will have in mind. Since that win three weeks ago, Eathquakes have failed to score in three MLS starts and have looked toothless in the absence of key striker Chris Wondolowski something we touched upon ahead of the second of those games........ They put huge effort into that game and got a famous win, top scorer Chris Wondolowski got the opener there and is a massive loss tonight having since joined the national team. Also called up for Gold Cup duty is right sided midfielder Cordell Cato, a situation which is compounded as the other midfielder on that flank, Sanna Nyassi,is suspended. These are very difficuly absences to overcome especially against a team with so much offensive firepower and to have to do so following back to back games inside four days against a deadly rival and the biggest name in MLS football is too much. They got Nyassi back last week for a home game with an even more beat up Houston Dynamo, who were missing four key players and Quakes were hugely disappointing in a 2-0 defeat. They played a friendly match with Mexican side America in midweek and had the idea of the squad playing 45 minutes each, but it back fired somewhat as they picked up an injury early and then Nyassi got sent off just before half time and they suddenly got a bit of a tough work out, spending a lot of time without the ball and a man short throughout the second period. Galaxy were on fire offensively with 22 goals in six league and cup games, before a 1-0 defeat in the US Open in midweek away to Real Salt Lake, they were able to rest five players with today in mind and Steven Gerrard who played the second 45 minutes, is expected to see out 90 tonight in what is effectively his home debut and there is of course huge media interest in that and he and LAG will want the points to mark it. They received a further boost yesterday with the signing of Giovani dos Santos and he will join them after the Gold Cup, these are marquee signings and a clear indication of where the MLS is heading. Hosts have won 5 of 9 home games with Earthquakes, with all those wins coming by 2+ goals and if they are to get the points this evening, I feel it will be by a similarly convincing margin. The home side are themselves hurt by international absences and a gruelling schedule, but meet a team with similar issues and without the rotation options, home advantage and big name introduction. LA Galaxy -1.25 goals 2.13 asian line/Sportmarket.

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Toronto -0.5 @ 1.97 Toronto is another team which has struggled since the Gold Cup started. They are winless in the last 3 games. They should have beaten NYC last week with Giovinco brillance but their defence let them down. This week, Giovinco will have reinforcements after Canada was knocked out. Ashtone Morgan is likely to play while Jonathan Osorio could be on the bench. DP striker Jozy Altidore is also back after being dropped by USA. Philadelphia played really well last week but can they do it on the road? They have only kept 1 clean sheet away from home so far. This week, they are without their captain and best defender Maurice Edu. With Toronto getting a few of their players back and Altidore presence(even if he is not 100% fit) on the pitch, Giovinco should have another field day against the poor Philly defence.

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MLS: New England Revolution- New York City Last week I previewed New York City's home game with 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 ." They scored four times, but could only draw (!) and really need to get that backline in shape and Iraloa will be much more in tune with things today after a full week with the rest of the squad and he will surely have be able to pass on some advice to his team mates. Despite those defensive issues, they have lost just once in seven and meet a Revolution side who have lost their way, have won just once in 12 and lost five in a row, conceding two or more in each of those, how are they going to keep David Villa out for 90 minutes ! Second top scorer Patrick Mullins will be hugely motivated returning to his former club and there surely has to be goals in this for NYCFC. Hosts are without Kevin Alston , Darrius Barnes and Jermaine Jones with injury, centre back Jose Goncalves is suspended and they are left with just four available defenders to face the best striker in MLS football. New York City +0.25 ball 2.29 asian line/Sportmarket . I would also suggest NYCFC to score two or more goals ("over" 1.5) @ circa 2.90-3.0 general quote if you can find it.

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Portland Timbers -0.5 @ 2.03 Whitecaps will be without another key defender Kendall Waston as he was called up to join the Costa Rica squad. Another 1st choice defender Pa Modou Kah is still out with injury, that's likely to force them to start with an inexperienced pair of central defenders(Christian Dean, Tim Parker and Diego Rodriguez). Captain Pedro Morales is also likely to miss another fixture with his injury. Portland Timbers is coming home with tail between their legs after that 3-0 thrashing by Philadelphia Union. Providence Park has been a fortress for them this season, with a 6w-3d-1l record. Fullback Alvas Powell is available for selection after walking out of the Jamaican national team. That's a great boost considering they were killed on the fullbacks area last weekend. Players like Jorge Villafana, Adam Kwarasey, Norberto Paparatto, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe and Maxi Urutti should all be available after being given last weekend off to recover from knocks. I don't think Whitecaps will be an easy opposition despite all the missing players but Timbers should be able to edge it with a closer to full strength team. Real Salt Lake DNB @ 1.62 A short 1 for this. Both teams missing quite a number of players but I think Houston Dynamo will be hurt more this week especially with DaMarcus Beasley callup. He has joined up with the USA team. He provides alot of cover for Brad Davis and with his speed also cover alot of mistakes by his fellow defenders with his blistering speed.

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