IN FORM Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) gives us his best bets from this weekend’s MLS action.
Orlando City v New England Revolution | Saturday 01:00
It certainly hasn’t been the dream start Orlando City were hoping for. They’ve scored just six goals in eight games and picked up just eight points as a result.
As if that wasn’t enough Pedro Ribeiro has now been ruled out for 2-3 months with hamstring injury and Kevin Molino for the season after tearing his ACL, when it rains it pours. Ribeiro is one of just three players to have scored for the Lions so that’s a real blow. The weight is firmly on Kaka’s shoulders.
Orlando have lost their last three at home failing to score in all of those games. Revolution have found form winning five of their last six games, a run that’s thrust them to the top of the Eastern Conference.
They passed their first big home test of the season beating New York Red Bulls in Foxboro last weekend and they’re all set for another MLS Play-Offs appearance in my opinion.
Even more encouraging for Revs is that they aren’t relying on Lee Nguyen to score at the minute with Charlie Davies, Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe and Juan Agudelo all in good goal-scoring form.
I had to rub my eyes when I saw the odds on New England to win this. Indeed it’s a division that sees a higher percentage of home wins than most but I think over 2/1 on Revs to win this is madness. Madness I tell you!
They pose much more of an attacking threat than Orlando who just can’t seem to find a rhythm going forward. Revs should be pretty safe at the back in Florida too. Jermaine Jones has been covering at centre-back and he’s a cut above most players in MLS.
I’m keeping it simple with the New England win but I wouldn’t put you off backing ‘Win To Nil’ either.
Columbus Crew v Seattle Sounders | Sunday 00:30
I do quite like this Crew side and they’ve started the season well in Columbus, but whether they can keep up with Seattle is a different question. Sounders have now won four of their last five games and both of their fixtures against Eastern Conference sides. Seattle also have a good record in Columbus; W3 D1 L0 at the Mapfre Stadium, an unbeaten away record in MLS is something to be admired.
Crew’s defence is far from impenetrable. They conceded to a Philadelphia side that has struggled to find it’s feet this season and actually gave the Union far too much space on the break. I expect Seattle to set up in a similar way and take any chances that come their way.
I mentioned ‘Oba and Deuce’ last week (that’s Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey to you and I), those two are in scintillating form and incredibly have scored 11 of Seattle’s 12 goals so far this season.
I fancy Seattle’s chances in Ohio but the away win is slightly risky against a fairly strong home side and with Sounders having to travel a long way from Washington State in the Pacific North-West I’d rather chance my hand with Martins to score anytime instead.
Obafemi has scored in four of Seattle’s five victories this season and leads MLS goal-scoring charts with six goals in eight games yet he’s the same price to score as the Seattle win at 11/5. I was expecting odds much closer to Evens.
Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo | Sunday 22:00 | Sky Sports 5
This is the first of Sky Sports’ Sunday night MLS double. I mentioned in last week’s article that I’ve been waiting for Toronto’s away stint to end so that I can back them at home and I’m doing just that this weekend. The Reds have endured a run of seven away games on the trot and now they finally get to return home to their passionate fans.
Toronto have recorded back to back wins and we were very unlucky last weekend as I backed them to score 2+ rather than the win which was the bigger price, doh! That would have been the four-fold. They created a few glorious opportunities in Philadelphia and hopefully they’ve had some shooting practice since.
I thought Houston Dynamo would be in for a good season but they’ve been very un-Owen Coyle like in the last few weeks. The Orange have now conceded 13 goals in 10 games, only Philadelphia have a worse defensive record.
I’ve probably lauded Sebastian Giovinco enough already this season but it was a terrific free-kick last time out and in my books he is the most technically-gifted footballer in Major League Soccer. With his ingenuity and Jozy Altidore’s work rate and hold-up play they should have Houston penned in for much of this and at a shade of odds-on I can’t look past the home win.
New York Red Bulls v New York City FC | Monday 00:00 | Sky Sports 5
I had to add a fourth tip again this weekend as it’s the first New York derby and the Big Apple is eagerly anticipating this match-up. Sky Sports have this as the second part of their TV double and Red Bulls are rightly favourites.
NYCFC have struggled to make any impressions on MLS after nine games. They’ve lost five of their last six games and even with David Villa in the side they simply don’t have enough attacking brunt.
Red Bulls might have drawn their last two at the Red Bull Arena but they were much the better side against Colorado and the other draw was against a dogged LA Galaxy.
Towards the back end of last season they won seven in a row at home and I’m waiting for them to build a similar stretch of wins in 2015/16. They are a little too short for the average Joe in the match odds market and that price will definitely shorten come Sunday night so I’ll boost it with the Half-Time/Full-Time market.
Both of NYRB’s home wins have seen them leading at half-time and NYCFC have the most Half-Time/Full-Time defeats in MLS with four of their five losses having them behind for the majority of the game.
Orlando City v New England Revolution – New England Revolution to win (21/10 Bet365)
Columbus Crew v Seattle Sounders – Obafemi Martins to score anytime (11/5 Bet365)
Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo – Toronto FC to win (10/11 Coral)
New York Red Bulls v New York City FC – New York Red Bulls/New York Red Bulls Double Result (17/10 BetVictor)