WILL Dyer’s (@W2Dyer) superb Stateside form continued last weekend with an outstanding winning four-fold. Can he continue the hot-streak?
DC United v Real Salt Lake | Sunday 00.00
It’s been a big week in MLS after the All-Stars beat Spurs 2-1 and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba signed for Montreal Impact. Goals were flying in last weekend with a whopping 39 in nine games, almost five goals-pe- game. Certainly not a boring division.
No prizes for guessing who I’m backing again this weekend. The bookies seem to be refusing to accept that DC United are one of the best sides in MLS. They gave us a real scare last weekend going 2-0 down within four minutes at home to Philadelphia but they came from behind to win for the sixth time this season and land the four-fold. Once again they’re a very backable price at 19/20 with Skybet. This is a team that’s seven points clear at the top of their division – why are they not 4/6?
DC and RSL don’t meet that often but when they do the home side tends to win. Since 2003 DC hold a W5-D3-L0 record against the Utah side at RFK Memorial. Couple that head-to-head record with their impressive home form and Real’s awful away form (five straight road losses in a row) and I think you have the look of a classic home banker.
As mentioned last week, Fabian Espindola is crucial to this DC side and if the hosts can find a more controlled start to the game this weekend then they should be in control throughout.
Jamison Olave will be sorely missed in a tough away trip like this. Salt Lake do have some dangerous players; Joao Plata is back amongst the goals and Javier Morales has been impressive this term but Real have lost three of their four long hauls to Eastern Conference sides this season and should be opposed on the road.
Orlando City v Columbus Crew | Sunday 00.30
He’s as short as 6/5 elsewhere but Bet365’s 11/4 on Orlando’s big bruising forward Cyle Larin to score anytime looks a huge price. I was quite tempted by the odds-against on OC to win but I think it’s quite likely that Larin’s involved in the goals.
Columbus have conceded two or more goals in six of their last seven away MLS games and lost 2-0 at Citrus Bowl in the US Open Cup at the beginning of the month. I think there’s a good chance OC score two or more again this weekend and Larin is the most likely; most of the attention has been fixed on Kaka but Larin also has nine goals to his tally for the season and plays the most advanced role.
Sporting Kansas City v Houston Dynamo | Sunday 01.30
KC are on the drift and I think it’s a market overreaction to Dynamo’s 3-0 win over LA last weekend. I fancied Dynamo to get something from that game and whilst 3-0 was surprisingly impressive it wasn’t that farfetched as LA have been dreadful away from home all season.
Sporting have won nine games in a row in all competitions at home and are the only remaining side unbeaten at home in the league. It doesn’t get much better than that. They’ve also kept seven clean sheets in 13 home fixtures in 2015 and with Houston losing 3-1 at Sporting Park just 10 days ago in the US Open Cup I don’t fancy their chances.
Houston have lost four of their last five road games in all competitions, the ‘Blue Hell’ will be out in force again and Dom Dwyer has hit form; what’s not to like about Kansas City? It’s not all about Dwyer either, Benny Feilhaber and Krizstian Nemeth have been rattling the goals in too, I like a team that’s not reliant on one player for goals.
Chicago Fire v FC Dallas | Monday 00.00
These two are polar opposites at the minute. Dallas have won five on the bounce in the league scoring 13 and conceding just two goals in the process. Fire however have won just one of their last nine MLS games and even that was a lucky 1-0 win over a Seattle side that had no bite without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.
Dallas know how to win in Chi Town too. Since 2002 they hold a W7-D1-L4 record over Fire in their own backyard, Toyota Park. Open that up to a standard head-to-head and it’s even more dominant with the Texans leading W14-D3-L6 in the last 13 years.
I’ve mentioned before that Jeff Larentowicz will be missed for Chicago and he’s probably out for some time with a herniated disc. Dallas blew Portland away with a 4-1 victory last weekend and I’ll happily put my faith in them again at a chunky price of 15/8 with Betway. With Diaz and Castillo scoring freely and Blas Perez yet to return to the side after the Gold Cup I think they are in a great place.
This is top of the Western Conference versus bottom of the Eastern Conference. I’ve mentioned before how much stronger the West is so this looks a no brainer regardless of venue.
DC United v Real Salt Lake – DC United to win (19/20 SkyBet)
Orlando City v Columbus Crew – Cyle Larin to score at anytime (11/4 Bet365)
Sporting Kansas City v Houston Dynamo – Sporting Kansas City to win (4/5 SkyBet)
Chicago Fire v FC Dallas – FC Dallas to win (15/8 Betway)
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