Friday, 3 April 2015

MLS Week 5 Tips

I've decided to go ahead and watch the highlights of each side's last match in an attempt to improve my MLS previews so here goes...

Orlando were involved in one of the crazier opening half-hours in the MLS so far this year in their 2-2 draw with Montreal. Four goals inside the first thirty minutes isn't generally seen that much and it was even stranger that neither team could score again in the last hour of the game. 

The Impact went up early from the spot after Sean St. Ledger accidentally handled the ball inside the box. A 2nd goal in the 27th minute for the Impact was followed stunningly by two Orlando City goals in the space of two minutes as they leveled the match. 2-2 is how it would end.

Meanwhile DC United were extremely lucky to get a 1-0 result in the last minute against L.A Galaxy last week. Watching through the highlights, a draw would have been a fair result but sometimes that's not how it pans out. The team from the Capitol would move into 2nd place in the East with the last minute win.

For this game I'm going to back the home side. Kaka and his men went down in their last home match as a result of a late Vancouver goal and whilst the visitors know how to win late, I don't think they'll get over Orlando here. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong but Orlando are my tip.

My Tip: Orlando City 2-1 DC United

Chicago Fire got the job done last week against a rather blunt Philadelphia Union side. The Fire scored from a Adailton header on the end of a set-piece and could have maybe scored one of two more if their finishing had of been better. To be honest though, Chicago keeper Sean Johnson was never really tested in goal, especially after the Union went down to ten men late in the second half.

Toronto's loss to Real Salt Lake was unlucky and they probably deserved to at least draw the match after working hard throughout the second half to turn around a 1-0 deficit. The breakthrough came when their Brazilian midfielder Jackson scored in the 88th minute. RSL however would turn things around and score the winner at the other end moments later.

All in all this is a tough game to pick. Chicago are the slight favourites with the home field advantage but I certainly wouldn't write off a Toronto win. They always say when it doubt tip a draw and that's what I'm going to do here. Hopefully for the neutral, a high-scoring draw.

My Tip: Chicago 2-2 Toronto

The Colorado Rapids have not scored a goal in three games so far this season and didn't really force Tyler Deric into too saving too many attempts last week as the Rapids and Houston Dynamo played out an uninspiring scoreless draw at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Ironically New England went scoreless in their opening three games before a 2-1 win at home last week over the San Jose Earthquakes so maybe that'll spur on the Rapids knowing they're back at home against a team that haven't exactly set the world alight in the opening month.

New England opened their account last weekend with that aforementioned 2-1 win over San Jose. Kelyn Rowe opened the scoring for the home side with what on first glance looked like a spectacular curving shot but a look at the replay saw a huge deflection of a Quakes defender. Rowe would score again and cap off an impressive first 45 for the home side.

The Revs did take their foot off the pedal in the second half and I don't think they can afford to do the same against Colorado. The Rapids are my tip for this game. They are technically unbeaten but they have to start scoring goals. Whether or not that comes this weekend is yet to be seen but they're my pick to win it.

My Tip: Colorado 1-0 New England

Robert Earnshaw came on for a short but sweet Vancouver Whitecaps debut last week. The former Cardiff City man scored a stoppage time winner against Vancouver's Cascadian rivals in Portland. The Timbers scored just a few minutes before the end of the 90 but the Whitecaps pulled off the late result, something they're becoming known for this season.

I spoke about the LA-DC United game earlier in this article and I mentioned it very well could have ended in a draw. LA though I'd admit they need to step up their game this week. The standard-bearers for so long in the MLS, I think the Galaxy aren't far away from 'clicking'. The addition of Steven Gerrard in a month or two's time will no doubt boost their hopes.

As for this game I think the Galaxy have to avoid any late slip-ups. That's the important thing against Vancouver. Don't let your guard down. For my tip I'm going with a 1-1 draw. Vancouver have some quality in them but I don't think they'll get all three points.

My Tip: Vancouver 1-1 L.A Galaxy

Seattle Sounders were held to a scoreless draw in their visit to Dallas last weekend. After a poor first half, the Sounders improved in the second and tried to control the game against a ten-man Dallas side. It wasn't a lack of chances that cost the Sounders, it was a lack of luck in front of goal. It was one of those games. No shots were going on target and sometimes that happens.

Houston on the other hand were reasonably poor against Colorado last week. This is a game I think the Dynamo will struggle to win. Seattle need to start finding some form after a bit of a slump in their last two outings. Expect a Sounders win here.

My Tip: Seattle 2-0 Houston

Portland Timbers were extremely unlucky not to grab a least a point from their visit to the BC Place Stadium last weekend. The Timbers equalised with just a few minutes left but the home side would take all three points with a goal in stoppage time and condemn the Timbers to their first loss of the season and send them to the bottom of the Western Conference.

Dallas were involved in a scoreless draw with Seattle last week and despite going down to ten men mid-way through the first half, FC Dallas managed to hold the visitors scoreless and retain their unbeaten start to the season.

So all in all it's last in the West versus first in the East and I'm backing the Timbers to win it. Yes Dallas are in a bit of form but the Timbers are too good a side to sit at the bottom for too long. I'm expecting them to fire up for this home game. 

My Tip: Portland 2-1 FC Dallas

San Jose v Real Salt Lake:

My apologies for the lateness of my predictions for the next two games. It's 3am at the moment so I'll try and make these two tips pretty quick. This first one's tough to call. San Jose has some steel about them this season and after celebrating the opening of their brand new stadium with a win two weeks ago, they return to Avaya Stadium hoping to get past Real Salt Lake.

For my tip I'll go with the home side but a draw wouldn't surprise me at all. As I said, San Jose are looking like they'll be a team pushing for a playoff spot. A win here would boost the Quakes confidence.

My Tip: San Jose 2-1 Real Salt Lake

Sporting KC v Philadelphia:

Sporting Kansas City are the favourites here and the boys from the city of fountains impressed with a road win at Yankee Stadium last weekend. Philadelphia on the other hand are winless and sit bottom of the Eastern Conference. This will be a tough game for the Union and I can't see them pulling out a win against Sporting.

My Tip: Sporting KC 2-0 Philadelphia

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