US MLS: Week 17 Preview

USA-MLS-Preview

Our soccer writer takes an in-depth look at round 17 of the USA MLS. 

A shortened set of fixtures last weekend allowed a few games in hand to be made up, but not much has changed to the complexion of MLS 2017. Toronto and Chicago are currently in charge of the Eastern Conference, while the Western Conference is still wide open.

At least four teams are in contention for top spot in the West, but of course, there is still a long way to go before the playoffs. Nothing can be ruled out of a league notorious for surprising results.

Saturday 17 June

New York City 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Seattle Sounders 28/10
Trailing 1-0 to Philadelphia Union with 10 minutes left to play, defenders Maxime Chanot and Alexander Callens came up with their first New York City goals to cap off a dramatic comeback. The 2-1 win was New York’s first victory in three matches and helped the club move up to third in the Eastern Conference.

There is already plenty of speculation regarding the future of manager Patrick Vieira with Saint Etienne in active pursuit. Seattle have managed to pick up some difficult points of late, three 1-0 wins in four matches showing a gritty determination. It has propelled the club into the playoff positions of the Western Conference but there is still much work to be done. New York have been strong on their own patch and the home win is tipped.

Sunday 18 June

Atlanta United 1/1 | Draw 51/20 | Columbus Crew 47/20 
After a decent start to the season for the expansion franchise, Atlanta United have lost two matches on the trot amid an indifferent run of form that has seen the club win only three of their last 10 matches. They were easily beaten 2-0 by Chicago in their last outing and will be desperate to get back to winning ways at home to Columbus Crew.

The visitors have won two and lost three of their last five matches, mirroring the form line of the five matches prior. Columbus Crew seem to especially struggle on the road but this looks to be an open fixture and the tip is for Both Teams to Score at 5/10.

New England Revolution 1/1 | Draw 49/20 | Chicago Fire 49/20
New England have won three of their last five matches, all of the victories coming at home. They thumped conference leaders Toronto 3-0 in their last outing, with Benjamin Angoua, Diego Faguendez and Juan Agudelo all getting on the scoresheet.

New England now sit just below the playoff positions and will be intent on keeping their proud record at Gillette Stadium intact with the visit of a rampant Chicago Fire. The Fire are unbeaten in seven matches and have moved up to second in the Eastern Conference, just a point below Toronto. History dictates a home win and I’ll tip it with the Revolution in good form.

Orlando City 19/20 | Draw 24/10 | Montreal Impact 26/10 
Orlando City have struggled for results recently, winning only once in their last five matches. However, their last goalless draw against Chicago Fire could hardly be considered a dull point, or one ill-deserved. Orlando were reduced to nine men in the 66th minute, having already had Rafael Ramos sent off 40 minutes earlier. They nevertheless held on for the draw with their fans roaring approval from the stands.

Montreal have arrested their poor early season form by winning three of their last five league matches, losing once. They’ve picked up hard-fought points on the road and have scored goals in the process. Both Teams to Score is the tip here at 5/10.



Toronto FC 9/20 | Draw 34/10 | DC United 11/2
Toronto’s fantastic run of form in the MLS was brought to an end by New England in their last outing, losing 3-0 on the road. It was only Toronto’s second loss of the season and they still top the Eastern Conference with 29 points from their 15 matches, winning eight and drawing five.

DC United have struggled for results this season and are currently bottom of the Eastern Conference with only two wins in their past nine matches. A goalless draw at home to LA Galaxy in their last outing will have done little to satisfy supporters. This one has a home win written all over it.

SJ Earthquakes 27/20 | Draw 21/10 | Sporting Kansas City 2/1
San Jose Earthquakes have suffered some disappointing losses of late and have won only one matches in their last five. They were beaten 2-0 by Portland with hardly a whimper in their last outing, losing 4-2 at home to LA Galaxy in the California Clasico the week previous. This home fixture represents an important opportunity for a confidence boost against the conference leaders.

Sporting Kansas City lead the Western Conference by a whisker, having played a match more than Portland and Houston. Sporting have struggled on the road, losing four and drawing one of their last five. However, I’m tipping Sporting Kansas City to get a result on the Double Chance at 11/20.

Colorado Rapids 14/10 | Draw 43/20 | Portland Timbers 19/10
The Colorado Rapids will come into this match confident having beaten Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew in the lead up to this fixture. The Rapids have won their last three matches at home and will be looking to continue this vein of form coming into a match against a strong Portland Timbers outfit that lie second in the Western Conference.

Portland have also won their last two matches on the trot but struggle away from Providence Park. Given Colorado’s recent exploits, the home win is tipped.

Real Salt Lake 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Minnesota United 28/10 
Real Salt Lake have been poor so far this season, losing more matches than any other side in the MLS (10). They’ve conceded 11 goals in their last two matches, losing 5-1 in Houston and 6-2 in Dallas. They have been better at home in recent times but are by no means impenetrable at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Minnesota United lost 3-0 away at Sporting Kansas City in their last outing and are battling to make up any ground in the Western Conference. This can be solely blamed on their form away from home, where they have yet to win a match all season. Back the home win here as Real Salt Lake make their MLS experience count.

Vancouver Whitecaps 12/10 | Draw 22/10 | FC Dallas 22/10 
The Vancouver Whitecaps sit in a good position in the Western Conference and will be determined to secure all three points against Dallas, who are four points above the club but have played a match more. Vancouver have won four of their last five matches at home, beating Atlanta United 3-1 in their last outing.

Dallas’ 6-2 win over Real Salt Lake two weeks back is a solitary bright spot on a form line that has seen them lose three and draw one of their last five matches. This match looks tough to call but given the head-to-head analysis, Vancouver is the side to back.

LA Galaxy 19/20 | Draw 49/20 | Houston Dynamo 26/10 
The LA Galaxy have looked good in recent fixtures after a difficult start to the season. They’ve gone unbeaten in five matches including three victories on the road, quite an achievement in this league. They drew their fourth away match in a row against DC United and will be pleased to be back at Stubhub Center despite struggling for results at their fortress.

Houston have won only once in their last five attempts and haven’t beaten LA since 2015 - you would have to go back to 2013 for their last win at Stubhub Center. LA Galaxy to secure the home win is the tip.

Philadelphia Union 27/20 | Draw 47/20 | NY Red Bulls 18/10 
Philadelphia Union are battling towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference and lost their last two matches against Real Salt Lake and New York City respectively - both losses coming away from home. Prior to that, they were in good shape, unbeaten in six. Inconsistency has been a clear problem for the Union.

The New York Red Bulls have suffered from the same condition and have won only once in their last five fixtures. Indeed, they’ve lost six in a row away from home. I’m tipping another home win as the Red Bulls continue to suffer on the road.

TREBLE @ 42/10
New York City Win 17/20
Toronto FC Win 9/20
LA Galaxy Win 19/20

Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets

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