MAJOR League Soccer fan Will Dyer (@W2Dyer) shares his three favourite bets from across the pond this weekend.
New York Red Bulls v San Jose Earthquakes | Saturday 00.00
San Jose make the long trip east to face the only remaining unbeaten side in the Eastern Conference, New York Red Bulls.
In what promised to be an intense season for NYRB they’ve started wonderfully well. Losing Thierry Henry to retirement and Tim Cahill to a transfer to China was always going to take some getting used to but they’ve responded in the best possible way.
Three of the Red Bulls’ four games this season have been on the road and against good sides; DC United, Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew so to come through those games unscathed and win their only home game has been a great start.
The Goonies have a long history of struggles on the road and have already lost two of their three road games this season. San Jose W0-D6-L11 of 17 away games last season and they’ve already played six games to NYRB’S four so expect the hosts to be fresher.
New York are strong at home winning 12 of 17 ties at their Red Bull Arena home in New Jersey, they’ve already translated that form to this campaign and with San Jose’s awful away record last season still in the back of their minds, I think a home win is likely at a very backable price.
Real Salt Lake v Vancouver Whitecaps | Sunday 02.30
Vancouver hit the ground with a thump last time out. It had been a long time coming as their four victories in seven games have all required a large dollop of luck. They lost 1-0 to San Jose in Northern Cali without even mustering a shot on target!
This weekend the Pacific North West side head to Utah to face Salt Lake City’s Real who are the only unbeaten side left in the Western Conference. RSL have kept back-to-back clean sheets on the road – that’s something that not many sides will manage this season and is quite promising for their prospects when hosting the Canadians this weekend.
Real lost just 1 of their 17 home games last season and look likely to make the Rio Tinto Stadium a fortress once again after beating Toronto last time out. They tend to dominate possession and chances at home, more so than most MLS sides, and that’s saying something considering the home advantage in this league.
Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution | Sunday 22.00 | Sky Sports 5
As usual I’ve got a fancy for the Sunday night live Sky Sports game. The Revs look a tad underrated for this. They are unbeaten in four, keeping clean sheets in three whilst Philly have the exact opposite defensive record at the minute; their 11 goals leaked in seven MLS games is the worst record around at present.
New England forward Juan Agudelo scored his third goal for the United States national team in midweek in a 2-0 victory over Mexico and that should boost his confidence no end.
The Union had a Thursday night game so they will be less prepared for this tie. A late equaliser from C.J Sapong tied that game against New York City 1-1, which will be a relief for a Philadelphia side that hasn’t had much joy in recent times.
Following that game, Philly now have six players sidelined including key men Fernando Aristeguieta and Maurice Edu, of whom both are listed as questionable. The former is their top scorer with three goals so it’s a real blow to the hosts.
Revs are one of the best sides in the Conference and I’m confident they’ll finish right up there with Lee Nguyen always influential in attacks and Jermaine Jones back from injury. New England won 5-3 at Union’s PPL Park last season in a match that was arguably the game of the season. Perhaps that’s the reason for Sky Sports’ coverage of the game; let’s hope for a similar result.