MLS nut Will Dyer (@W2Dyer) is back to share his best bets from the action across the pond.
Houston Dynamo v Orlando City | Friday 23.00
There’s too much hype about the new franchises in my opinion. Orlando City spurned a few chances in their MLS debut last weekend and though they should have had a penalty mid-way through the second half they didn’t push on. New York City scored through Mix Diskerud and whilst it was a good goal, I thought the Lions were lucky to get a last-minute equaliser through Kaka’s deflected free kick.
Prior to their newfound MLS status they really struggled when away against MLS teams in the US Open Cup; losing four out of their five road games in that competition since 2011. They don’t strike me as a side that will be well accustomed to getting results on the road but because the bookies don’t have much idea on how they will fare, the odds on the Houston win are fairly generous.
Dynamo ended the 2014 regular season quite poorly but at home they were actually quite good winning five of their last eight in Texas and now under Owen Coyle they got off to a great start beating the useful Columbus Crew at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
Most importantly Houston beat Orlando 3-0 in the pre-season Carolina Challenge Cup; expect them to translate that form to this fixture and run out comfortable winners. Keeping a clean sheet against Crew last weekend was great. There should be plenty more to come from that defence and another seems likely in this fixture.
I think last season was just a blip for The Orange and I fully expect them to qualify for the post-season this time around, whereas I have Orlando down to finish ninth in the Eastern Conference in my season predictions.
Aurelien Collin is suspended after his red last weekend which gives Orlando problems at the back and less experience in their ranks. I was thinking about playing it simple with the Houston win and wouldn’t put anyone off doing that but I think there is great value in Houston -1 on the handicap (16/5 Paddy Power).
FC Dallas v Sporting Kansas City | Sunday 00.30
This looks one of the ties of the round. These two have thrown up some crackers in recent years with all of the last six head-to-heads seeing both sides score and a total of 23 goals. Dallas are reliable scorers at home.
They got off to a good start with a win last weekend at their home ground the Toyota Stadium albeit against strugglers San Jose. Sporting Kansas City however created umpteen chances but Dominic Dwyer was not his usual clinical self in front of goal. I expect him to combine well again with Graham Zusi and make up for last week.
Sporting scored in every game in the pre-season Desert Diamond Cup and against Dallas’ fairly average defence I think they will get a lot of joy here but FCD rarely lose at home and the safer bets are certainly in the goals markets. So take Both Teams To Score at 5/6 with Betfair.
New York City FC v New England Revolution | Sunday 21.00 | Sky Sports 1
New England lost 3-0 at Seattle last weekend but Sounders are one of the best sides in MLS and I’m afraid New York City are not on same level.
This could be heartbreak for the new franchise’s fans in their home debut at the world famous Yankee Stadium. The game is live on Sky Sports and should be a great spectacle with the arena completely sold out and they’ve even added extra-seats.
New England were without key man Lee Nguyen last weekend but he is expected to come back in to the fray this weekend and bolster what is one of the best midfields in MLS. The side from Foxborough, Massachusetts actually had more shots on goal than Sounders in that opening game and that suggests to me they are on the right tracks already.
Revolution fell short in the MLS Cup final once again last year but that was always likely as they were playing LA Galaxy in Los Angeles. They ended the regular season with five wins from seven on the road and should make amends for last weekend at a rather juicy price (5/2 BetVictor).
Boston and New York have a history of sporting rivalries so expect a new one to be forged right away between these two. I have NYCFC down as finishing rock bottom whilst I think Revs will win the Conference so this looks a no brainer to me. Heartbreak in the Bronx.
Houston Dynamo v Orland City – Houston Dynamo -1 handicap (16/5 Paddy Power)
FC Dallas v Sporting Kansas City – Both Teams To Score (5/6 Betfair)
New York City FC v New England Revolution – New England Revolution to win (5/2 BetVictor)