FRESH from a stunning 22/1 MLS treble last week Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) is back with four picks this week.
Philadelphia Union v Toronto FC | Saturday 21:00 | Sky Sports 5
Saturday night, you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to kill some time waiting for the Fight of the Century at 4am. Grab a Bud Light and tune in to this Eastern Conference showdown on Sky Sports. It’s Union’s porous defence taking on money-bags Toronto FC.
Poor old Toronto, this is their seventh consecutive away game in a row. The MLS fixture list often treats sides like this, but it’s quite ridiculous that they haven’t even played a home game yet. Anyway, this is the last of that cruel run and I think they’ve actually dealt with it really well and could be worth siding with for a while.
The Reds have notched 10 goals in six games with Jozy Altidore twice bagging braces including the only goals in the game in their victory over Orlando City last time out. He was such a disappointment in the Premier League but something about his game just works in MLS. Sebastian Giovinco has also settled in very quickly and contributed 3 to their tally.
I can’t stop berating Philadelphia and though it’s been profitable it’s also been bitter sweet for me as I loved visiting the city itself. Ok Philly have played nine games which is more than anyone else but they’ve conceded 17 goals and they were all over the shop in Columbus last weekend, leaking four.
The U just haven’t found a successful recipe at the back and their style leaves them very vulnerable when they are on the front foot. The fact they’ve played nine games already is just another reason to oppose them as they must be a little wearier than their foes.
I think Toronto will find holes and given they’ve scored twice in all of their last three I think they’ll hit back of the net again here. Giovinco could have a field day, this Philadelphia defence pales in comparison to the Italian ones he’s made a career of dismantling. His pace and dribbling ability is second to none in MLS.
I’m reluctant to pull the trigger on the Toronto win, 5/2 is a nice price but it will probably shorten and I do quite like Philadelphia going forward. I think a 2-2 or similar score-line could easily sink that bet. One thing I am confident of though is that Toronto will cause Philly endless problems and I think the Canadians to score at least twice is a cracker.
DC United v Columbus Crew | Sunday 00:00
The simple fact here is that Columbus Crew have no right to be favourites to win a road game in Washington DC. DCU have won four of their seven games this term and though Columbus have won their last two games (both by three goal margins) they were against two of the weakest sides in the Conference.
The only logical reason I can find for this discrepancy in the odds is that United could be without starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid and, given that Andrew Dykstra is also sidelined, that’s a bit of a problem.
However, I’m willing to look past that. DC are the only side averaging two points per game and that tells you exactly what you need to know. They are the masters of grinding out results in Major League Soccer and have a fearsome home record.
They’ve been a very profitable side to back in the last year or so and that was reiterated with their 9/2 win in Vancouver for us last weekend.
DC don’t have too many goals in them but what they lack up front they make up for at the back and that should be key in this meeting with Crew as they are up against Kei Kamara, MLS’ in form player. Kei has been around the block for a while and though it’s great to see him scoring consistently I’m not sure he’ll keep it up.
Columbus have won three of their seven games so far but they were against sides currently placed sixth, seventh and eight; nothing to write home about.
I can’t see United losing this at RFK Memorial Stadium. They’ve been a class act for years and I’ve tipped them up for the MLS Cup at 10/1. I think there’s a good enough chance that they’ll edge this to get involved with 0 on the Asian Handicap. It’s basically a free shot at the home win, like Draw No Bet, the only way we’ll lose money is if they lose which rarely happens at RFK.
Sporting Kansas City v Chicago Fire | Sunday 22:00 | Sky Sports 5
We move on to Sunday night, Sky Sports serve up Kansas City v Chicago and it’s Bank Holiday, so no excuses. Woohoo.
Kansas City need to get a move on. Just 10 points from eight games is a lot less than most were expecting from them in the first few weeks, myself included. I won’t be inventing the wheel when I say I like the home win here but I think I’ve unearthed a few good reasons to be quite confident in this selection.
Firstly, Sporting KC have played eight games, only two of those have been against Eastern Conference sides. They drew with Red Bulls and beat NYCFC even though that was an away game.
Fire have won three and lost three and they are a prime example of the Western Conference being the stronger of the two because all three wins came against Eastern sides and all three defeats came to Western sides. Which ties in nicely for this game.
Chi-Town look to have improved nicely on last season but a trip to the oft bouncing Sporting Park is another tough game and with Kansas City scoring four last time out it’s not an ideal time to face them.
Sporting drew 4-4 at Houston last weekend, scoring four and not winning is a bit of a disappointment but it was a crazy game. There were just eight shots on target in the match and all of them found the back of the net…awful goalkeeping.
With signs of Dominic Dwyer hitting form and Chicago trekking out West I can’t see past the home win. KC might have conceded 12 goals in eight games but nine of them were away and they’ve kept two clean sheets in four at home.
New York City FC v Seattle Sounders | Monday 00:00
I’m probably pushing my luck with a fourth selection here but I just think this is a great round of fixtures and this looks another unmissable bet. New York City FC have lost four of their last five games only avoiding defeat when playing fellow strugglers Philadelphia.
Seattle Sounders have won three of their last four games, only losing at the StubHub Center to LA Galaxy, which coincidentally almost everyone does. Sounders are one of the strongest sides in MLS in all departments and that’s shining through now. Things seem to be a little more settled and predictable across both Conferences and I like Seattle to win this.
It was always going to take New York City quite a while to come to terms with Major League Soccer and I fancy them to finish bottom of the pile. If they do finish down there it will be because they can’t even make home advantage pay when facing opposition of this quality.
The CenturyLink faithful call their two star players Oba and Deuce. Clint Dempsey because he wears number two and Obafemi Martins, well, that’s pretty obvious. Those two have a knack of finding each other on the pitch and they should be able to break NYCFC down pretty comfortably. Sounders price will shorten but anything over 7/5 is a goer in my books.
Philadelphia Union v Toronto FC – Toronto FC Over 1.5 Goals (9/4 Coral)
DC United v Columbus Crew – DC United 0 Asian Handicap (15/16 BetVictor)
Sporting Kansas City v Chicago Fire – Sporting Kansas City to win (4/5 Coral)
New York City FC v Seattle Sounders – Seattle Sounders to win (7/4 Coral)
1-A Piece Refund
Place a Correct Score bet on the Philadelphia and/or Kansas City games and if it ends 1-1 Betfred will refund you.