MLS: Week 16 Preview

USA-MLS-Preview

Our soccer writer takes an in-depth look at round 16 of the USA MLS. 

America’s top soccer league is our focus this week, as the Eastern and Western Conferences move closer to the season’s halfway mark. Last year’s MLS Cup losing finalists Toronto FC head up the East, having lost only once so far in 2017. The West is closer, with Sporting Kansas City just two points clear of Houston and Dallas.

Saturday 3 June

Portland Timbers 9/10 | Draw 24/10 | San Jose Earthquakes 11/4 
Portland began the season strongly and topped the Western Conference, however, a string of poor results has seen them settle in mid-table. They lost 1-0 to Seattle last week to make it five matches without a win for the Timbers.

San Jose lost the California Clasico 4-2 to LA Galaxy last week in a match in which both sides threw caution to the wind. San Jose lie a point above Portland but have played a match more. Portland are historically strong at home in this fixture and I’m tipping the Timbers to turn their poor form around with a win.

New York City 8/10 | Draw 26/10 | Philadelphia Union 3/1 
New York City fell to a disappointing 3-1 loss to Atlanta United in their last match, indicative of the up-and-down season they have had thus far. It ended a run of four straight matches on the road and they will pleased to be back Yankee Stadium to face Philadelphia. New York are a stronger side at home, losing only twice at the iconic venue.

Philadelphia Union have struggled this season, with only four wins from 13 matches. They won all four on the trot in the past five weeks, losing their last match 1-0 away at Real Salt Lake. Another home win tipped here.

Sporting KC 5/10 | Draw 3/1 | Minnesota United 47/10 
Sporting Kansas City are top of the Western Conference and will be pleased with the season thus far - however, two losses on the trot has ensured that Houston and Dallas can go past Sporting KC if they win their matches in hand.

Sporting KC will be happy to be back at home, a ground they have not lost at all season and have won five in a row. Minnesota United have struggled this season but picked up three points with a win over Orlando City in their last outing. This has another home win written all over it.

Vancouver Whitecaps 19/20 | Draw 49/20 | Atlanta Utd 26/10 
The Vancouver Whitecaps will feel aggrieved with a 1-0 loss at home to DC United in their last outing, conceding a controversial penalty before missing one of their own in stoppage time to salvage a draw. Vancouver will sense an opportunity here against an Atlanta side in similar shape in the opposite conference.

Atlanta United easily disposed of New York City 3-1 in their last match, making it two wins on the trot, scoring seven goals and conceding only twice. It’s been a good opening season so far for the expansion franchise and I’m tipping them to get a result on the Away Win/Draw Double Chance at 15/20.



Sunday 4 June

DC United 29/20 | Draw 9/4 | LA Galaxy 17/10 
DC United have struggled so far this season, particularly at home where they have lost three in a row. DC United don’t seem to subscribe to the usual football standard of home ground advantage. They did, however, pick up a 1-0 win away at Vancouver in controversial fashion but Jose Ortiz could face retrospective discipline following a dive for a penalty.

LA Galaxy won their third straight match, beating the San Jose Earthquakes 4-2 in another manic derby. Giovani dos Santos scored twice and has now netted in his last four appearances. The away win is tipped here.

New England Revolution 5/4 | Draw 5/2 | Toronto FC 19/10 
New England Revolution are wallowing towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference but will realise that with the close nature of the table, a decent run of form could see them climb rapidly. They lost their last match 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls despite taking the lead in the ninth minute.

Toronto FC, on the other hand, comfortably lead the conference having gone eight matches unbeaten, drawing only once. Victor Vazquez scored twice in a 5-0 rout of Columbus Crew in their last outing. Toronto have only lost once all season and are tipped to get a result on the Double Chance at 6/10.

Montreal Impact 29/20 | Draw 5/2 | New York RB 16/10
Montreal Impact are currently rock bottom of the Eastern Conference but have only played 11 matches, two fewer than say New England and Philadelphia, who are three points ahead. Montreal have been preoccupied with the Canadian Championship and are 2-1 down after the first leg with Vancouver.

New York Red Bulls snapped four matches without a win by coming from behind to beat New England Revolution 2-1 with goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer. Fifth in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls will be keen to build on the recent three points but are awful on the road. I’m tipping the home win.

FC Dallas 6/10 | Draw 26/10 | Real Salt Lake 47/10
FC Dallas shared the spoils with Houston in a goalless Texas Derby last time out. Dallas are still in good shape, third in the Western Conference and with two games in hand on Sporting KC who are only two points above them. Dallas have however gone four matches without a win and will be intent on securing all three points at home here.

Real Salt Lake beat Philadelphia Union 1-0 in their last outing to pick up a valuable three points. They are currently second-bottom in the Western Conference and face a difficult test here. I wouldn’t look past the home win - Dallas have only lost once at home to Real Salt Lake in their history.

Colorado Rapids 27/20 | Draw 23/10 | Columbus Crew 18/10 
Kortne Ford scored his first career goal as the Colorado Rapids beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in their last outing. The Rapids have not made a great start to the season and are currently at the bottom of the Western Conference, although if they win their matches in hand they should move up the table slightly.

Columbus Crew have had an up-and-down start to the season but have lost their last two on the trot, including a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Toronto. Head-to-head there is not much to choose between these sides and Both Teams to Score is the tip at 11/20.

Monday 5 June

Orlando City 13/10 | Draw 23/10 | Chicago Fire 19/10
Orlando City are fourth in the Eastern Conference and despite dominating their last match against Minnesota United, were unable to make their superiority count and lost the match 1-0. After a bright start to the season, Orlando are without a win in their last five matches.

Chicago Fire lie second in the same conference with seven wins, seven draws and only three losses. They’ve won four in a row and are unbeaten in their last five matches, including a 4-1 trouncing of champions Seattle. Their form on the road, however, is not phenomenal and this could be a close match. Both Teams to Score is again the tip here at 9/20.

Seattle Sounders 1/1 | Draw 24/10 | Houston Dynamo 23/10
Defending MLS champions Seattle Sounders have made an awful start to 2017 if they hope to be in the running for the title again come the end of the season. They’ve won four, drawn four and lost five of their thirteen matches and are eighth in the Western Conference. They have managed two 1-0 wins in a row and will be hoping to build on that here.

An away victory for Houston Dynamo will take them top of the same conference but they’ve struggled on the road recently, losing twice and drawing once in their last three. I’m tipping the Seattle Sounders to make home advantage count.

TREBLE TIPPED @ 68/10
New York City 8/10
LA Galaxy 17/10
Toronto FC Win/Draw 6/10

Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets

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