THERE’S a midweek round of MLS. Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) has the best bets.
Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids | Thursday 03:00
Seattle and Colorado have already met once this season in Commerce City, Colorado. That meeting was a very open game; a total of 44 attempts on goal, with Seattle coming out on top 3-1. At first sight then BTTS looks a runner, Colorado have scored in their last six games but I think a blank is coming up for the Rapids.
Pablo Mastraeoni has lost all four of his managerial match-ups with Seattle and the Rapids have been slightly lucky to score in their last two away games at Red Bulls and Galaxy.
Indeed I think everyone’s been a bit surprised by Colorado, they’re unbeaten in five away games this season which is strange territory for a club that’s struggled without the home comforts of their mile-high ground in recent years. However, their last two away games have seen them create just five shots on target combined and I expect them to be stifled by Seattle at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle have won all of the last five head to heads and eight of the last nine previous MLS meetings between these sides in Washington State. Coach Sigi Schmid has stated that Obafemi Martins is back to his usual energetic self after two weeks out through injury and that’s a real boost to their chances.
Sounders have kept four clean sheets out of five at home this season and along with Rapids they have conceded the joint least in the Conference, nine in 11 games. I don’t expect this to be as open as it was in Colorado.
Mastraeoni looks likely to play for the draw first but I think Seattle will break them down easily enough with Clint Dempsey and Martins reunited.
Whilst Colorado have scored in all of their last six games it has only been one goal on every occasion and bar their 4-0 win at FC Dallas they have been far from prolific. Their 10 goals scored in 11 games is the joint worst return in the Western Conference.
Sounders are already quite heavy odds-on favourites and I expect that will only shorten further so I’ll boost it with the ‘Win To Nil’ market. I’m not normally a fan of this bet, I tend to opt for specific score-lines, but this could be three or four if Sounders get going early.
Portland Timbers v DC United | Thursday 03:30
Being from opposite sides of the country this is just the sixth ever clash between these two sides and will be their only meeting this season.
DC have a rather lengthy injury list and unfortunately it’s players in the same positions that are sidelined with both starters and first choice substitutes in the right midfield and striker positions likely to be absent tonight.
No Fabian Espindola is not ideal but I think Jairo Arrieta is a more than adequate replacement for him; the Costa Rican veteran is a hard working forward which matches DC’s work ethic perfectly. Whilst those injuries are an obvious disadvantage the key for me is that none of them are to United’s back four.
DC are the best defensive unit in MLS for my money and they’ve proven that this season with their 10 conceded the joint least in the Eastern Conference.
On their travels United have been just as good at the back conceding a mere five in as many games despite trips to Revolution, Red Bulls and Whitecaps. I’m confident no other side would be able to match that.
I like Portland and it’s important to remember that whilst they are ninth in the Western Conference it is a tough division and they are still just four points off the Play-Offs with this being a game in hand over some teams. Nevertheless they’ve just recorded back to back defeats on the road and won just one of their home games.
DC’s game against New England Revolution at the Gillette Stadium last Saturday was an odd one. Charlie Davies found the net for NE Revs just before half-time but two red cards for the hosts early on in the second half gave United a golden opportunity to get something from the game.
The Men In Red equalised through Jairo Arrieta and whilst it was rather disappointing that they couldn’t win the game with a two man advantage for over half an hour, I think it was largely due to the incredible efforts of Revolution’s hard working players like Andrew Farrell.
With just three wins from their opening 12 games and Fanendo Adi not taking his chances last time out I’m going to oppose the Timbers here. This is a must win game for them to start climbing the table but I feel that 9/2 does not accurately reflect the capital club’s chances and it’s certainly worth a single.