MLS Picks and Predictions for Sunday April 23rd
Matchweek seven will wrap up with three games on Sunday afternoon. The festivities will begin with a pair of 2015 expansion sides, NYCFC and Orlando City, going head-to-head for the second time already this season.
Next, we have a pair of historical powers that have gotten off to ragged starts squaring off against one another. LA Galaxy will be desperate to start showing that winning form to which we’ve all grown accustomed over the years, while the Seattle Sounders will need to kick it into gear if they want to successfully defend their MLS Cup title.
The final game of the day brings a pair of Western Conference stragglers when Colorado head up to Minnesota to take on expansion MNUFC. How will the games play out?
- Moneyline: Orlando +400, NYCFC -150, Draw +290
- Betting Value: Orlando is a great value if you believe they’re truly one of the better teams in the league. Otherwise, the draw looks like a strong play.
These two clubs met back on the opening weekend in a match Orlando City wound up winning, 1-0. Kaka went off injured early in that one with a hamstring injury, and he hasn’t been back since. Fortunately for the Lions, they haven’t missed a beat without their star man. A 2-1 win over LA Galaxy last Saturday afternoon saw them improve to 4-0-0 at brand new Orlando City Stadium, though they have lost their lone away affair thus far in 2017.
NYCFC has had a nice long layoff after disposing of a struggling Philadelphia side by a 2-0 margin last Friday night. David Villa’s wonderstrike from near midfield put the capper on what was the Blues’ second win in the last three games. They’ve made the most of a home field advantage so far this season, as they’re 2-0-1 at Yankee Stadium compared to just 1-2-0 on the road.
Orlando City have been doing it with defense, for the most part. They’ve scored just six goals through five games, but have conceded just four. Cyle Larin has been the Lions’ best player without Kaka, and he’s had a good bit of success against NYC in the past. He’s scored seven times in his last six outings against NYCFC. Larin’s winner last week against LA was his fourth strike of the season.
We like NYCFC to keep their unbeaten streak at Yankee Stadium going in this one. However, Orlando will be keen to pick up their first points on the road, as well.
- Moneyline: Seattle +250, LA +110, Draw +230
- Betting Value: LA isn’t a huge favorite, so we like them here.
The Galaxy have gotten off to a poor start by their standards (2-4-0), but things would be far worse were it not for the play of newcomer Romain Alessandrini. He’s racked up four goals with a pair of assists through his first six games in MLS, but he’s going to need others around him to step up if the Galaxy are going to make something of this season.
LA could be shorthanded in goal for this one, as No. 1 keeper Clement Diop is questionable to play after being injured last week in Orlando. If he can’t go, at least they have a capable player in Brian Rowe to fill-in. Giovani Dos Santos is still looking to get on the mark, as he’s still scored just one goal all season. His lone strike was a penalty that came in the season opener. Last season, the Mexican international bagged 14 goals with 12 assists for LA.
The Sounders have been playing well overall, but it hasn’t quite translated into the results they’d like to see. The defending MLS Cup champs are just 1-2-3 through the first six games this year, and they’ve conceded as many goals as they’ve scored (eight). They’ve failed to win in each of their last four games, with their lone victory on the season being a 3-1 triumph in their home opener over New York back on March 19th.
The Galaxy enjoyed a 2-1-1 advantage in all competitions against the Sounders in 2016, though their lone defeat did come at StubHub Center back on September 25th. LA hasn’t exactly been using their home park as a fortress this far (1-2-0), but this will be the first of three straight home tilts for them. They’ll get off on the right foot with a narrow victory.
- Moneyline: Colorado +150, Minnesota +165, Draw +250
- Betting Value: Taking the over looks strong.
The final game of the weekend will pit a pair of Western Conference bottom-feeders against one another. Both Minnesota and Colorado have won just one game to this point in the season, and they’ll be desperate to get on the right track.
Things are looking up for the expansion side after they earned an impressive 2-2 result in Houston last Saturday night. BBVA Compass Stadium has been one of the toughest venues for opponents so far this season, so for MNUFC to go in and snag a point is a massive step in the right direction. They still have to do something about their leaky defending (24 goals allowed is the worst in the league by far), but they have been one of the better scoring teams in the league themselves. United have cashed in 12 goals already, which is fourth-most in MLS.
Colorado haven’t been nearly as potent on the attack. The Rapids have just five goals so far this season, while they’ve given up eight to opponents. That’s not an awful defensive record, but a negative goal differential isn’t something that’ll get you into the playoffs. The Rapids made a strong surge last season thanks to an excellent defensive record, but if you aren’t able to score goals yourselves you aren’t going very far.
It’s just difficult to see how Colorado can keep up with Minnesota’s potent attack here. We know MNUFC doesn’t defend all that well, but they should be able to score themselves against a Rapids side that will be without the suspended Tim Howard once again.