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MLS Picks of Week 16

The MLS remains as competitive as ever as sides enter another crucial gameweek in America’s league. The Seattle Sounders top the overall standings, a mere point above a faltering DC United. LA Galaxy’s star-studded side have failed to produce the goods this season and are struggling to keep in contention for the play-offs. Canada’s MLS representatives are all coming off handy away wins and will be hoping to continue their fine form. Depending on location, some matches are likely to be played in scorching heat which adds another dimension to finding winners this weekend.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Colorado Rapids 13/10 | Draw 9/4 | FC Dallas 2/1
The Colorado Rapids played out a goalless draw with Real Salt Lake in their last outing to remain bottom of the Western Conference. They’ve won only one of their last nine fixtures and have picked up three points only once in their last thirteen matches in Denver. With that deplorable record, home ground advantage will hardly benefit Colorado. FC Dallas were left stunned last week as the Seattle Sounders romped to a 3-0 victory. FC Dallas have plummeted to seventh in the overall standings after a promising start to the season and are winless in five. I’m tipping Dallas to snap that streak in Colorado. Back the away side at 2/1.

Seattle Sounders 11/20 | Draw 28/10 | San Jose 47/10
The Seattle Sounders smashed three goals past hapless FC Dallas to move to the top of the MLS standings. Lamar Neagle, Leo Gonzalez and Obafemi Martins were the scorers, Martins entering the fray in the second-half on a comeback from injury. The Nigerian and Sounders forward Clint Dempsey have seven goals each already this season. The San Jose Earthquakes overcame two red cards and some questionable refereeing to force a goalless draw with ten-man FC Dallas last time out. The Earthquakes have drawn three of their last five fixtures. I can’t imagine them stopping the rampant Sounders at CenturyLink Field. Back the home side to pick up three points at 11/20.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Toronto FC 15/20 | Draw 26/10 | New York City FC 7/2
Toronto FC began a fantastic run of results for Canadian MLS sides the week before last, beating DC United 2-1 away from home. It sees Toronto on a three-match winning streak in the league and has stirred rumblings of star striker Sebastian Giovinco being the best player in MLS at the moment. He scored two as Toronto beat the Eastern Conference leaders and did so without the services of the USA’s Michael Bradley. Expansion side New York City FC picked up their first back-to-back wins in MLS as they downed Montreal Impact 3-1. David Villa and Kwadwo Poku each picked up a goal and an assist. However, New York remain rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference and will continue to look forward to the arrival of Frank Lampard. Toronto FC at 15/20 is the tip for this one.

New York Red Bulls 11/10 | Draw 9/4 | Vancouver Whitecaps 9/4
The New York Red Bulls are on a three-match losing streak and as a result, there’s some value to be found in backing the home side. The Red Bulls began brightly in their last match with Houston Dynamo, Bradley Wright-Phillips particularly influential. However, the Red Bulls played too loose at the back and found themselves on the end of a 4-2 walloping. Vancouver continued a day of jubilation in Canadian soccer as they ended LA Galaxy’s 26-game unbeaten streak in the MLS with a 1-0 victory. Kekuta Manneh’s goal in the first half proved enough to pick up all three points. Vancouver, however, are terribly inconsistent and their away form veers in the same manner. The Red Bulls look a good bet to end their losing streak at 11/10.

Montreal Impact 21/20 | Draw 23/10 | Orlando City 5/2
The Montreal Impact have picked up three wins from their past five fixtures but went down rather poorly to New York City FC last time out. Montreal clawed back a consolation goal in the 3-1 loss and although they reside near the bottom of the overall standings they also have games in hand by virtue of only playing eleven matches in the season so far. Orlando have five wins, five draws and five losses from their fifteen matches but are on a good run of form, unbeaten in five on the trot. Kaka pounced on his saved penalty against DC United and finished to pick up three points for Orlando in extreme heat. Orlando seem to building a head of steam and should be backed at an attractive 5/2.

LA Galaxy 5/10 | Draw 3/1 | Philadelphia Union 5/1
Sebastian Lletget, in his first MLS start, scored in the fourteenth minute for the Galaxy but it was not enough to pick up the win as Columbus Crew rallied to equalise. It leaves the Galaxy without a victory in three matches although they’ve done enough to draw two of those. It has been a disappointing season so far for the champions, lying sixth in the Western Conference. Robbie Keane has agreed to extend his contract with LA providing a rare bit of good news for club this month. Philadelphia Union were the unlucky club to end New York City’s long winless streak, going down 2-1 in their last outing. C.J. Sapong has three goals in four games but I can’t imagine the Union having enough to win at Stubhub Centre. Back the Galaxy to turn their form around with a win at 5/10. 

Portland Timbers 17/20 | Draw 5/2 | Houston Dynamo 31/10
The Portland Timbers' Fanendo Adi grabbed a brace in a matter of minutes to give the Timbers a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution last time out. The Timbers are on a three-match winning streak which has moved them up to fourth in the Western Conference standings. The Houston Dynamo routed the New York Red Bulls 4-2 in their last outing with two goals from Will Bruin. The victory ended a run of two matches without a win. News in the Dynamo camp comes in the form of a surprise call-up to the USA Gold Cup squad for DaMarcus Beasley, previously thought retired from international football. The Dynamo lost on their last outing to Providence Park and I’m tipping the home side to win/draw on the Double Chance at 2/9.

DC United 13/10 | Draw 9/4 | New England Revolution 2/1
DC United remain top of the Eastern Conference but have lost two on the trot and having played seventeen matches, owe a few sides a game or two. They were beaten by a resurgent Orlando City in their last outing and Toronto the week previous. They’ll be hopeful of getting back to winning ways as they host the New England Revolution, who last week managed to end a six-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Fire 2-0. Diego Fagundez hit a stunning volley to open the scoring before Charlie Davies netted two minutes later to put the Revolution’s second-half surge - and the game - to bed. This is a tough one to call given the Revolution’s new-found confidence. The away win/draw Double Chance looks a good bet at 11/20. 

Monday 22 June 2015

Real Salt Lake 14/10 | Draw 22/10 | Sporting Kansas City 18/10
Real Salt Lake have looked fairly awful recently and have only two wins from their last eleven MLS matches. They played out a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids last time out, giving goalkeeper Nick Rimando his sixth clean sheet of the season. Real Salt Lake conceded a penalty late in the game but Colorado’s Dillon Powers put his shot wide. Rimando has only conceded two goals from five penalties this season but having dove the wrong way against Colorado, has done little to earn it. Sporting Kansas City beat top-of-the-table Seattle Sounders 1-0 following a controversial penalty in their last outing. They’re now unbeaten in six matches, four of them being wins. I’m happy to take the away side here at a valuable 18/10. 

Written by Rick John Henry for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!