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MLS 25.07 - 27.07


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MLS: Real Salt Lake- Sporting KC Big rivalry between these two and recent encounters have been "spicy" and are always very physical. To that end alone, I feel that SKC are at a disadvantage given that they have played Saturday-Tuesday- Friday over the last week and due to injury and international call ups, could barely rotate for the midweek US Open Cup game and 13 of the 14 who played against Houston in the last league game, also featured on Tuesday when they took almost an hour to get on top of the ten men of Houston, in what was an incredibly hard fought encounter. The way the match played out meant that head coach Peter Vermes felt unable to make two substitutions until injury time and this must be a team running on empty right now and I doubt a battle against a bitter rival just three days later and on the road is going to suit them. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with the form of Sporting and their only loss in 14 starts was here in Salt Lake just five weeks ago, but nine of those fixtures were at home and of the five on the road they are 1-3-1 and that sole victory aside, it is over a year since they won on the road without a goal from Zusi or Opara who are both absent this evening. RSL are missing key players too, with Olave, Beckerman and Rimando unavailable, but they have had a free midweek to prepare solely for this and have only left Salt Lake once, for the short hop to play Colorado, in the last month and will clearly be the fresher of the two squads. They felt they played their best football of the season in the first half of the last meeting, when they really took the game to SKC and could have been 2-3 up at the break, we might well see a similarly flying start from them this evening and to be honest, I do not feel that the visitors should be favourites for this. Hosts are very strong at home and have lost just once in 26 home starts since early June last year, they pride themselves on the Rio Tinto Stadium being a fortress and with two road games up next and already six points adrift of a post season spot they see as theirs by right, this is a fixture they have to get something from. Real Salt Lake level ball 2.02 asian line/Sportmarket.

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Real Salt Lake DNB @ 1.98 Sporting KC is 1 of the hottest team in MLS now. They have only 1 loss(to RSL) in their last 14 games. In their last 10 games in all competition, they have 8w-1d-1l. RSL has a mini-revival after a clear the air meeting following the defeat to Colorado Rapids. They have since won 2 games in a row and also got 2 shutouts. Their attack will be boosted by the return of Sebastian Jaime. He has scored 4 goals in the last 6 MLS games. RSL has coped well(at least at home) so far without key players like Rimando and Beckerman. Being at home, this will be RSL last so-called 'easiest' game before they embarked on a 3 games road trip. Against a tired and weary Sporting KC, I think the odds are pretty good to back RSL here.

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LA Galaxy -0.5 @ 2.3 Houston Dynamo is already missing 2 key players Giles Barnes and DeMarcus Beasley due to international duty. This week, they will lose another 2 1st team players in Luis Garrido and Kofi Sarkodie because of suspension. Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor are injuries doubts. New DP Cubo Torres should be available though. It's hard to imagine a team as good as LA is still winless away from home. And they are the only Western conference team without a single away win. Houston is missing almost half of their 1st team, there is really no better opportunity for LA to get that elusive away win.

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LA Galaxy -0.5 @ 2.3 Houston Dynamo is already missing 2 key players Giles Barnes and DeMarcus Beasley due to international duty. This week, they will lose another 2 1st team players in Luis Garrido and Kofi Sarkodie because of suspension. Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor are injuries doubts. New DP Cubo Torres should be available though. It's hard to imagine a team as good as LA is still winless away from home. And they are the only Western conference team without a single away win. Houston is missing almost half of their 1st team, there is really no better opportunity for LA to get that elusive away win.
The arrival of Steven Gerrard strengthens Galaxy also, bet of the weekend for me, will follow. :ok
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DC United -0.5 @ 2.12 Philadelphia had a hard fought win against NY Red Bulls in midweek. Despite being a man down since the 40th min, they shown alot of resilience in dragging NYRB to pk which they won. That win could motivate them but also probably tired most of the players out. DC United is coming home after only getting a point in their 3 away games. At home, they are 7w-3d-1l. They will still be missing 1st choice gk Bill Hamid. I think Philly fatigue could have an impact on this game as they won't have too much depth. Even though DC United is not the most attractive team, they do find ways to win, especially when they are at the home. They will receive a double boost in attack with the return of Espindola from suspension and new signing Alvaro Saborio.

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MLS Vancouver Whitecaps- San Jose Earthquakes Last round San Jose were 2-0 up early, but were behind 40 minutes later and eventually lost 5-2, the two goals from Quincy Amarikwa in his second start offer hope that they can be competitive offesively this evening and they have Cato ( see above) back now and he played against Manchester United in a midweek friendly where Earthquakes were in the match for an hour ( played their starting 11 in the opening 45 mins only). They will be so much better when Wondolowski returns to action next week, but are going to have to learn to win in his absence some time. This is a tough ask for them, they have lost five straight at Vancouver and the hosts are very motivated to collect the three points which will enable them to move up to second place in the Western Conference. This is a match Whitecaps should win and they could run in a few goals, but the hosts are very short on the left flank, with left back Jordan Harvey ( cover Sam Adekugbe injured) and left winger Cristian Techera suspended, which does give SJE, who suddenly have a few options on that side ( Cato and Nyassi) an area to exploit. Hosts have conceded in 6 of 7 home starts and might easily do so again, even against Wondo less Earthquakes. "over" 2.5 goals 2.09 asian line/Sportmarket.

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