US MLS: Week 19 Preview

USA-MLS-Round-19-Preview

Our soccer writer takes an in-depth look at round 19 of the USA MLS. 

Victories for both Toronto FC and Chicago Fire last weekend further tightened the pair’s stranglehold of the Eastern Conference. New York City won only their second ever Hudson River derby to go third, four points behind Chicago.

In the Western Conference, Sporting Kansas City won away at LA Galaxy to go top of the table and as most sides have reached the halfway mark in the season, the above-mentioned have certainly laid down their markers as frontrunners.

Friday 30 June

New York City FC 4/10 | Draw 15/4 | Minnesota United 5/1
Goals from Jack Harrison and Ben Sweat ensured New York City beat local rivals New York Red Bulls 2-0 for the first ever win at Red Bull Arena in the club’s three-year history. They’ve won three of their last five matches and are unbeaten in four at home.

Striker David Villa has 10 goals this season and is tie-third on the top scorer list. Minnesota United rallied and scored two second-half goals to share the spoils with the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend. They’ve avoided defeat in their last two outings but that should come to an end here. Back New York City for the home win. 

Saturday 1 July

Real Salt Lake 1/1 | Draw 49/20 | Orlando City 49/20
Real Salt Lake’s awful form on the road continued with a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, pulling one back in the fourth minute of stoppage time after the opposition had been reduced to 10 men. They’re a different side at the Rio Tinto Stadium, however, having won three in a row at their home ground against stiff competition.

Orlando City were thrashed 4-0 by the Chicago Fire and are without a win in five matches. They’ve done worse away from home, without a win in six and are tipped to be beaten here. Back Real Salt Lake to claim the home win.



Sunday 2 July

Chicago Fire 11/20 | Draw 3/1 | Vancouver Whitecaps 17/4 
Chicago Fire thumped Orlando City 4-0 with a hat-trick from David Accam, the left-winger also adding an assist for Nemanja Nikolic. The pair have scored 24 goals for Chicago already this season and are proving to be a formidable attacking threat. Chicago remain just a point behind Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC and will be intent on keeping their run of 10 straight matches without defeat going.

Vancouver Whitecaps gave up a two-goal lead away from home to share the spoils with Minnesota United last weekend. They’re unbeaten in three, winning once and drawing twice but should struggle here. Back another home win here with Chicago Fire in fine form.

FC Dallas 1/1 | Draw 47/20 | Toronto FC 26/10 
FC Dallas went away to Houston for the Texas derby last weekend and left with a point from a 1-1 draw. Max Urruti levelled for Dallas in the 58th minute after they had conceded in the first half. The sides are still level on points in second and third in the Western Conference but FC Dallas have the game in hand.

Toronto FC kicked off last week with a seemingly routine 2-0 win against New England Revolution. Despite leading the Eastern Conference and overall standings, Toronto FC have wobbled away from home recently, losing twice and drawing twice. A single bet on the FC Dallas win would perhaps offer value, with the Double Chance a good addition to multiples.

Sporting Kansas City 7/10 | Draw 26/10 | Portland Timbers 37/10
Sporting Kansas City capitalised on a goalkeeping error to take an early 1-0 lead away at LA Galaxy, making it 2-0 before the end of the first half. Sporting KC held on to win the match 2-1 and take pole position in the Western Conference, extending their unbeaten run to five matches.

Portland had won only two of their last nine matches prior to playing against the Seattle Sounders on Monday. However they’ve managed to keep afloat in the Western Conference, currently fourth. They’ve lost their last five away from home and Sporting Kansas City are tipped to win.

Montreal Impact 7/10 | Draw 26/10 | DC United 37/10 
Montreal Impact were beaten for the first time in four league matches, losing 4-1 last weekend to Columbus Crew. They conceded in the 17th minute but equalised two minutes later, however Columbus Crew dominated the last 20 minutes and finished off the Impact.

Montreal have a decent record at Stade Saputo and will back themselves to get the job done with the visit of DC United. United have won just twice in their last nine matches, losing six times. They’re level on points with Montreal at the bottom of the Eastern Conference but have played two matches more. Look for the home Win/Draw Double Chance to be added to the multiples at 2/11.



Columbus Crew 8/10 | Draw 11/4 | Atlanta United 28/10 
Columbus Crew romped to a 4-1 win over Montreal Impact with Federico Higuain scoring twice and substitute Kekuta Manneh adding a goal and assist last weekend. It snapped a run of two MLS losses and has kept Columbus Crew right in the thick of the playoff positions.

Josef Martinez scored the only goal as Atlanta United claimed a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids. Atlanta have won four of their last seven matches, losing the rest. The inconsistent form seems them sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference. Back Columbus Crew for the home win.

Colorado Rapids 5/4 | Draw 43/20 | Houston Dynamo 43/20
The Colorado Rapids were beaten 1-0 in a tight match away in Atlanta. That’s two losses on the trot for Colorado after having recovered somewhat from an awful beginning to the season. They’re still rock bottom of the MLS and simply must take advantage of any fixtures at home.

Houston Dynamo are second in the Western Conference and will be tough customers. They’ve drawn their last two fixtures, including last weekend’s derby with Dallas, but are without an actual win away from home all season. This is tough to call but I’m going with Over 2.5 Goals at 9/10 as both sides push for points.

San Jose Earthquakes 17/20 | Draw 49/20 | LA Galaxy 3/1
San Jose Earthquakes claimed a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake last weekend, goals from Danny Hoesen and Marco Urena sealing the three points. The win builds on San Jose’s goalless draw from the week previous as they come up against an opponent that they know intimately.

The California Clasico is perhaps the most historic of MLS rivalries and the vast majority of LA Galaxy’s points have been won away from home this season. LA suffered another home loss last weekend, this time being beaten by Sporting Kansas City at their former fortress. LA have had the better of this fixture recently and I’m tipping the away win.

Philadelphia Union 21/20 | Draw 49/20 | New England Rev. 47/20
Philadelphia Union renewed their rivalry with DC United last weekend, winning the match 1-0 with a goal from Fafa Picault and a penalty save from Andre Blake. Philadelphia have won two and lost three of their last five matches and simply must build on their home form to climb out of the nether regions of the Eastern Conference.

New England Revolution are just a point above Philadelphia but have played a match more. They lost 2-0 to Toronto FC away from home last weekend with barely a whimper, making it two losses in a row. They’ve yet to win away all season. Back Philadelphia Union to claim the home win. 

TREBLE TIPPED AT @ 7/2
New York City 7/20
Chicago Fire 11/20
Philadelphia Union 19/20

Written by Rick John Henry @Hollywoodbets

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