WILL Dyer (@w2Dyer) is back with more Stateside tips here from the MLS.
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas | Saturday 00:00
Sporting have had a few weeks to forget. The last time they stepped out at Sporting Park they were still unbeaten at home but a humiliating 5-0 defeat in that game to San Jose set the tone for their four consecutive away games; D1 L3.
Dallas are in a good place with three wins in a row but we all know this division is so topsy-turvy. They won 3-0 in Columbus last time they were on their travels but Crew were without MLS’ top scorer Kei Kamara. Dallas were outshot and possessed by Columbus but found a way to win. If you give the opposition that many chances though they will take them sooner or later.
Dom Dwyer is suspended for KC tonight after a red card in Orland but in truth he hasn’t shone as well as last year and I think his absence will see Krizstian Nemeth play as the main striker here. The Hungarian has as many goals as Dwyer this season and scored twice in their 6-2 home win over Dallas in the US Open Cup earlier in the season.
The former Liverpool youngster has good feet and an eye for goal and with Dwyer’s absence it seems the bookies are struggling to get a handle on the favourites in the goal markets. Nemeth to score anytime looks a good bet at 9/5 with Betfair to me.
Nemeth scored the first goal of the game in Sporting’s 4-0 league win over Dallas back in May as well. I fancy Sporting to turn this form around now, a Play-Off spot is far from guaranteed so they need to excel here.
DC United v Columbus Crew | Sunday 00:00
I understand why the bookies have a problem with making DC short price favourites for games like this. They simply aren’t very convincing. They get outplayed regularly and gift opposition the majority of possession but the simple fact remains; they get results.
United have won nine of 14 home games this season including a 2-0 win over Crew back in May. They’ve won back to back CONCACAF Champions League matches without conceding a goal and I feel they are on the up again.
Columbus have won four of their last five away games but it has to be said they weren’t playing the toughest of opponents, in fact they’ve beaten the weakest sides in the league. Wins over the bottom three of the Eastern Conference and the 10th placed Colorado Rapids from the Western Conference.
Winning on the road in MLS is always deserving of credit but they should be forcing DC United out to 29/20 to win at RFK Memorial. I couldn’t put you off backing DC to win from behind here again too. Crew are likely to score with Kei Kamara lurking around
Montreal Impact v New England Revolution | Sunday 01:00
Revs were one of my ante-post picks for the MLS Cup and Eastern Conference so I’m ecstatic to see them gelling at the business end of the season. They’ve now won six on the bounce and are unbeaten in eight MLS games. This is a side that just three months ago were in a terrible place losing six on the bounce which just goes to show how tricky MLS can be, both to play in and to punt on!
Anyway, back to the here and now, they’re top of the league and playing great football and most importantly they are sharing the goals around; six players now have four or more. With that in mind a goalscorer bet is tricky so I’m not touching those markets.
Montreal are probably my second favourite team after New England and I usually try to support them at home but they’ve just flown back from California after fighting long and hard with 10 men for the whole of the second half in midweek and they have a raft of injury absences; Justin Mapp, Marco Donadel, Ignacio Piatti, Didier Drogba and now Ambroise Oyongo with the red card suspension.
It’s unclear at the minute how many of those players will remain out for this game so it could be an idea to wait for team news. New coach Mauro Biello is unbeaten in three after some tough fixtures too but I have my doubts about them against the best sides in MLS.
Montreal have three home games in the next seven days that will probably define their season; the pressure could get to them and that leaves the door open for Revs at the Stade Saputo. I simply cannot ignore odds of over 2/1 on a side that’s won six on the bounce. They did the job for us last time we backed them away in a 1-0 win in Philadelphia at 12/5.
Portland Timbers v New York Red Bulls | Sunday 22:00
I fancy this one to be ultra-competitive. Portland rarely lose in Oregon – they have just one defeat at home this season in 14 games but equally NYRB have amassed more points on their travels than any other Eastern Conference side and I do not see them crumbling here.
Red Bulls have scored in nine consecutive away games whilst Portland are the second lowest scorers in all of MLS so this should be tight. A draw looks on the cards to me. Timbers six in 14 at home is the highest draw ratio in Major League Soccer and both of Red Bulls last two visits to Providence Park have ended all square.
I don’t normally plump for a draw in MLS but this is a really tough weekend to get a handle of and this game just has that feeling to it. At 13/5 you can always get a good price on stalemates in this division.
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas – Krizstian Nemeth to score anytime (9/5 Betfair)
DC United v Colombus Crew – DC United to win (29/20 BetVictor)
Montreal Impact v New England Revolution – New England Revolution to win (21/10 Bet365)
Portland Timbers v New York Red Bulls – Draw (13/5 BetVictor)