MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER expert Kyle Worthington (@SM_Kyle) analyses the action from the weekend's football from across the pond.
Toronto vs Portland | Saturday 27th April, 20:00
A red hot Toronto FC host a floundering Portland side this weekend and it’s all set up to be a great watch.
The betting angle I’m siding with in this fixture is all to do with goals. I’ll start with the hosts.
Toronto have been free scoring since day 1 this season, 18 goals scored which is second overall throughout MLS, only LAFC topping that tally. New signing Alejandro Pozuelo is proving to be an absolute world beater, he has 4 goals in 4 games for the Canadians and is showing no side of slowing down anytime soon.
Toronto sit in 3rd place in the Eastern conference having only played 6 games, 4 points behind DC United with 3 games in hand on the Capital club.
They really have been a joy to watch going forward and with all the big guns firing on all cylinders I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
It’s at the back where they’ve been quite the opposite picture. As mentioned, they have scored 18 in 6 games but have also conceded 11 in those matches so far, not a great return defensively and they have been fortunate that they’ve been able to rely on their talent up the top end of the pitch to save them.
Portland on the other hand have been massively disappointing so far this campaign. They find themselves sat way down in 11th in the Western conference, way off where they are excepted to be.
Their record so far this season speaks for itself, W1-D1-L5. Not good at all and as I previously mentioned, its a long way away from where a club like Portland should be.
The first positive in what has been a terrible start arrived last weekend when they travelled to Columbus and won 3-1. Their first 3 points of the season and a very impressive 3 points at that, not many teams can go to Ohio and win.
Before scoring 3 last weekend they had really struggled to find the net, just 9 goals scored this season so far whilst down the other end they’ve seen double that tally cross their own line, 18 conceded.
Overall I’m predicting a very open game, it really should be an end to end affair from the first whistle to the last. I don’t see Toronto changing their ways anytime soon, yes they’re shipping goals but they’re scoring freely and it’s working well for them. Meanwhile Portland are finally off the mark in the win column and will be fired up for their trip to Canada.
Over 2.5 and BTTS 4/5 (Bet365)
Over 3.5 goals 11/10 (Bet365)
BTTS in the 2nd half 7/4 (Bet365)
Both Teams to score 2 or more goals 11/4 (Betfair)
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC | Sunday 28th April, 20:30
This one is easily the game of the weekend in my opinion as Seattle host a rampant LAFC. Again goals are on the cards.
Just 6 days after this fixture was played for the first time this season, Seattle and LAFC face off again. This time it’s LAFC’s turn to travel.
Monday nights match finished 4-1 to the black and gold in California in what was a thriller, LAFC were just good and quite frankly just blew Seattle away.
With that being said, travelling to Seattle will be a completely different prospect for the Californian’s and they’ll do well to repeat Monday’s success.
Let’s start will Seattle and I’ll get straight into why I’ve opted for the goals. Seattle find themselves 3rd in the West, 5 points behind LAFC who lead the conference although they do have a game in hand.
Seattle are another one of the sides so far this season who have conceded a few more goals than they would have liked, they shipped 11 in their 8 matches. Again like I said about Toronto in the last preview they’ve benefited massively from their offensive outfit being so good and despite conceding more goals than they would like they have managed to simply out score their opposition, 17 scored.
Over to LAFC and honestly I could sit here and praise them all day but I’ll try and keep it brief. Simply put they’ve been phenomenal, it would be wrong not to mention their marquee man Carlos Vela who is proving yet again how good he is, 10 goals in 9 games for the Mexican, simply outstanding.
LAFC boast the best defensive record in the entire league, joint with their rivals LA Galaxy, just the 7 goals conceded so far.
It’s down the other end where things get a little bit crazy, 9 games played for Bob Bradley’s side and in those games they’ve scored an astounding 25 goals. That’s 7 more than the next highest scorers Toronto. Ridiculous numbers to start the campaign and it’s showing no signs of slowing down, as previously mentioned they hosted Seattle and scored 4 earlier this week.
I’ll summarise and get to the bets, it’s a really hard one to call in terms of a final result, especially because the reverse fixture has only been played less than a week ago.
One thing I do know is that I’ll be massively shocked and surprised if we don’t see both sides giving their all for the 3 points and honestly we could see a basketball game rather than a football game in regards to how it will be played. I’ve chosen a fair few picks for this one, some being at valuable high odds.