OUR MLS man Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) is back with three more Stateside picks.
New England Revolution v Montreal Impact | Saturday 19:00
The quickest of turnarounds for Impact who head to Massachusetts to play the Revolution just 67 hours after playing in Montreal in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night against Costa Rican side Alajuelense.
Will they have enough in the tank to keep up with the Revs? New England will be desperate to get their season underway after back to back poor performances on the road.
Montreal’s Justin Mapp dislocated his elbow in the game against DC so he will be missing from the midfield too which is a blow to say the least and could make life easier for Revolution.
A lot of people are pointing at Jermaine Jones’ absence from midfield being the cause for New England’s two defeats so far, but in reality most MLS sides struggle away from home and back at the Gillette Stadium where the Revs ended 2014 10 games unbeaten, winning eight, you would expect them to put this Montreal side away.
Montreal DIDN’T win an away game in the 2014 MLS season. The only side to have that unwanted record to their name last year; they drew five games and lost 12 on the road so to think you can back New England at 5/6 with Ladbrokes, a side that made the MLS Cup final last season, seems pretty bonkers in my opinion.
Yes, Montreal have improved but they finished bottom of the Eastern Conference last season and much prefer home comforts.
Chris Tierney put umpteen balls on a plate for Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo last weekend at Yankee Stadium and New England really should have gone in at least level at half-time. I’m expecting a response in front of their home fans this weekend.
Sporting Kansas City v Portland Timbers | Sunday 00:30
Timbers hail from Portland in Oregon, a city renowned for its indie lifestyle and it seems they like to buck the trends in their football too!
Portland are one of the USA’s best away sides. In the 2014 season they scored in 14 of their 17 away games and I think they're well placed to improve on their sixth placed finish from last season.
Both teams have scored in both of SKC’s games this season and I think it’s only a matter of time before they really click in front of goal and hammer a few in.
Including the Desert Diamond Cup in pre-season it’s now six consecutive BTTS ‘Yes’ games for Kansas City. They just love open football matches.
Dom Dwyer’s not been his usual clinical self, he’s the kind of guy to punish himself with shooting practice all week long so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score one or two this weekend and answer the critics.
All three head to heads between the sides in Kansas have seen both sides score; this fixture has all the hallmarks to be the best of the bunch this gameweek.
Los Angeles Galaxy v Houston Dynamo | Sunday 02:30
Dynamo were disappointing against Orlando City last time out. They looked out of ideas for much of the game and despite Galaxy being Landon Donovan-less this season I expect them to be just as good at the StubHub Center this year.
LA won 12 of their 17 home games last season and impressively eight of those wins were by more than one goal. These are new surroundings for Houston in the Western Conference and though I think Owen Coyle will steer them to a mid-table finish this is one of those fixtures that they won’t be expecting much in terms of a result from.
They conceded 58 goals, the joint-worst in the East, in 2014 of which 33 of those were on the road. All those woeful stats combined to see Dynamo lose 12 away games last season and nine of those were by more than one goal.
Unsurprisingly the LA Galaxy home win is pretty short at 4/9 (Bet365) but you can boost those odds quite nicely with the -1 handicap and I think that’s quite wise because when LA win they tend to blow teams away. An early goal could blow the stuffing out of Houston.
New England Revolution v Montreal Impact – New England Revolution to win (5/6 Ladbrokes)
Sporting Kansas City v Portland Timbers – Both Teams To Score (10/11 Coral)
LA Galaxy v Houston Dynamo – LA Galaxy -1 (13/10 Paddy Power)