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USA MLS Preview

Toronto FC have impressed the most with nine wins and just two losses from 16 fixtures.
Toronto FC have impressed the most with nine wins and just two losses from 16 fixtures.
Most sides have just about reached the halfway mark in the MLS season and Toronto FC have impressed most with nine wins and just two losses from 16 fixtures. Chicago Fire are only a point behind the league leaders and while the tables have largely taken shape, there is an awful lot of football still to be played. Eight of these sides would’ve played a midweek match and enter the weekend with a few more yards in their legs.

Saturday 24 June

13/20 Toronto FC | Draw 28/10 | New England 37/10 (02:00)

Toronto FC stayed top of the Eastern Conference and overall standings by beating DC United 2-0 last weekend. Goals from Jozy Altidore and Jordan Hamilton, both set up by Sebastian Giovinco, sealed the victory for the Reds. They haven’t lost a match at home all season and have scored 11 goals and conceded none in their last three matches at BMO Field. New England Revolution beat Toronto 3-0 just a few short weeks ago but lost their first match at home this season last weekend, going down 2-1 to Chicago Fire. The Revs have been calamitous on the road however and haven’t won away since September last year. Back Toronto for the home win.

9/10 Houston Dynamo | 5/2 | FC Dallas 28/10 (03:00)

Houston Dynamo were unable to hold onto a lead against LA Galaxy, conceding deep into stoppage time and drawing 2-2 last weekend. Houston are another side who have been terrible on the road this season but strong in front of their home support. They’ve fought their way into second place in the Western Conference with a game in hand on Sporting KC three points above them. FC Dallas have the same amount of points as Houston and have a game in hand. They’ve been a tough side to beat all season and have only lost three of their 15 matches. The home Win/Draw Double Chance offers a short price at 1/4, but is a good addition for your weekend multiples.

19/20 New York Red Bulls | 51/20 | New York City 5/2 (19:30)

Following closely on the back of a Hudson River derby in the US Open Cup, the New York Red Bulls and their city rivals lock horns for what will undoubtedly be a fiery encounter. New York City beat Seattle Sounders 2-1 last weekend thanks to a brace from David Villa. The striker scored his 50th MLS goal from the penalty spot to level the match, the fifth-fastest player to do so in 78 games. Historically the Red Bulls have dominated this fixture and I’m tipping the home win.

Sunday 25 June

7/10 Atlanta United | 26/10 | Colorado Rapids 34/10 (01:00)

Expansion club Atlanta United climbed into the Eastern Conference playoff positions with a 3-1 victory over Columbus Crew last weekend. They had suffered two consecutive losses on the road but got back to winning ways to make it three positive results in their last five matches. Colorado came back from a goal down to beat Portland Timbers 2-1 at home last weekend. The Rapids have now won three straight MLS matches but have lost every away game this season and are battling towards the bottom of the Western Conference. Another home win is tipped.

17/20 Philadelphia Union | 49/20 | DC United 3/1 (01:00)

Philadelphia Union are struggling towards the foot of the Eastern Conference but have played well at home over the past month or so. They’ll sense another opportunity for points at the Talen Energy Stadium with the visit of DC United. DC United are rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 15 points from the same amount of matches. This will surely be a scrap and DC United have actually picked up half of their points on the road this season. Both Teams to Score looks a decent bet here.

15/20 Columbus Crew | 26/10 | Montreal Impact 32/10 (01:30)

Columbus Crew were beaten 3-1 by Atlanta last weekend to make it four losses in their last five outings. All of those have come away from home, although their form at MAPFRE Stadium is inconsistent. Nevertheless, they’ve picked up enough wins to still lie mid-table in the Eastern Conference. Montreal Impact are unbeaten in four straight matches and played out a 3-3 thriller with Orlando City last weekend. More positive results could see the club make a real push for the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. I’m tipping the away Win/Draw Double Chance at 19/20.

13/10 Minnesota United | 49/20 | Vancouver Whitecaps 37/20 (02:00)

Minnesota United conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 to Real Salt Lake last weekend in a match in which the Loons were thoroughly dominated and were lucky not to ship more. It means Minnesota have now lost four of their last five league matches. They’re rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference and will desperately need to put in a good performance at home. Cristian Techera scored a 74th minute free-kick for Vancouver Whitecaps to share the spoils with FC Dallas last weekend. It’s two wins, two losses and a draw from their last five matches and they’ll feel confident that they can rattle a lacklustre Minnesota United. Back the away win in this one.

15/20 Chicago Fire | 26/10 | Orlando City 34/10 (02:30)

Nemanja Nikolic scored his 13th MLS goal of the season as Chicago Fire ousted New England Revolution 2-1 last weekend. Chicago are just a point behind Toronto at the top of the standings and are unbeaten in eight straight league matches, winning six of them. It was a goalless draw when Chicago visited Orlando a few weeks back with City having two players sent off. Orlando salvaged a point from a 3-3 draw with Montreal last weekend, Jonathan Spector scoring in the 94th minute after Orlando had twice led the match. Orlando have struggled for results recently and have won just once in their last seven league attempts. Back the home win here.

23/20 LA Galaxy | 9/4 | Sporting Kansas City 9/4 (04:30)

LA Galaxy rallied to score a late goal and pick up a point at home from a 2-2 draw with Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy are unbeaten in their last seven league matches, winning three and drawing four. They’ve only won once at home this season and have drawn their last three consecutive matches at Stubhub Center. Sporting Kansas City played out a goalless draw at San Jose last weekend, denied all three points in the final moments by a fantastic save. Sporting KC have won only once in their last five matches and don’t have a great record on the road. Bet on LA Galaxy to get back to winning ways.

17/20 San Jose Earthquakes | 49/20 | Real Salt Lake 3/1 (04:30)

Goalkeeper David Bingham denied Sporting Kansas City in the closing stages of their goalless draw to ensure that the San Jose Earthquakes picked up a point at home last weekend. The point pushed the club into the playoff places in the Western Conference and they will be intent on building on the result. Yura Movsisyan scored a late goal to secure a 1-0 win for Real Salt Lake over Minnesota United last weekend. It was just reward for plenty of pressure applied, unleashing 29 shots on goal throughout the match. Nevertheless, Real Salt Lake have struggled this season, particularly on the road. I’m tipping Over 2.5 Goals.

19/20 Portland Timbers | 5/2 | Seattle Sounders 26/10 (21:30)

Portland Timbers lost 2-1 for the second consecutive week on their trip to Colorado last weekend. Sebastian Blanco gave Portland the lead in the 18th minute but they were unable to prevent a late substitution making the difference for Colorado. Defending MLS champions Seattle Sounders have struggled for results this season and lost 2-1 to New York City FC last weekend. Seattle have won three of their last five matches but they’ve lost their last four on the road, winning only once away from home this season. This could potentially go either way but Portland are notoriously difficult to beat at Providence Park. Another home win is tipped here.

TREBLE @ 9/2
Toronto Win 13/20
New York Red Bulls Win 19/20
Chicago Fire Win 15/20

Written by Rick John Henry