MLS Picks Saturday March 25
With most other domestic leagues taking the weekend off for the international break, the MLS only has three games on the schedule. All other teams will get back on the pitch starting next weekend.
The Portland Timbers will look to stay perfect on the young season, while expansion Minnesota United will try to get into the win column for the first time ever.
On the heels of a promising 2-2 result in a tough environment at Colorado last weekend, the Loons will look to keep their momentum going on the road again this weekend at New England.
After a pair of humiliating defeats during which they were outscored by a combined margin of 11-2, MNUFC showed great resolve in grinding out a point in one of MLS’ toughest venues.
New England, meanwhile, has dropped each of their first two games. They were beaten 1-0 in their season opener by the Rapids and lost a tough 2-1 game at Dallas last weekend. They were scheduled to play their home opener against Orlando in between, but the game had to be postponed due to poor weather conditions.
The Revs are goalless in the run of open play so far, with their lone tally coming via a Lee Nguyen penalty strike against FC Dallas. Considering Minnesota has already allowed 13 goals through just three games, they should have their fair share of opportunities to crack the score sheet in this one.
Minnesota will be severely shorthanded in this one, as both Kevin Molino and Johan Vanegas will miss the game because of international duty. Winning away from home in MLS is a tall order for any team, especially one so dependent on those two attacking players. The Revs should take this one without much trouble.
The Red Bulls’ high-octane attack hasn’t quite come off yet this season. New York has scored four goals through three games, but two of those were own goals by Atlanta and Colorado. They were beaten for the first time last week on the road at Seattle.
RSL are off to a rough start this season. They’ve mustered just one goal through the first three games, and lost at home to a so-so LA Galaxy side last Saturday evening. Salt Lake will be without midfielder Albert Rusnak in this one, as he’ll be off on international duty with the Czech Republic. Considering he’s mustered five shots with an assist this season, an already-thin attack will be even more weakened against New York.
New York is 13-0-2 over their last 15 matches at home, and they are 5-1-3 all-time against Real Salt Lake. It’s tough to imagine RSL’s struggles ending in such a tough environment against a team with so much firepower. RBNY’s offensive troubles are alleviated here.
Portland is the only team in the league to have won each of their first three games, and they’ll look to make it four when they head to Columbus on Saturday. It’ll be a tall task, however, considering the Crew are coming off a fine showing in a 2-0 win at DC United.
The Timbers’ attack is already in midseason form. Portland has found the back of the net 10 times already this season, which ranks second to Atlanta’s 11. They’ve also allowed just three goals, two of which came last week against another high-powered offensive club in Houston.
Fanendo Adi spearheads the attack, and the Nigerian has already scored three goals with an assists in the three games to this point. The Timbers are another team that will be without a few key contributors in American Darlington Nagbe and Costa Rican David Guzman, who will be on international duty.
Both of Columbus’s goals last week came via the penalty spot, but they count all the same. Ola Kamara collected his second goal of the season against DC United, which brings his total to 18 goals in just 28 games since coming to the Crew from Austria Wien in February of last year.
Columbus has a strong recent home record, as they’ve gone 6-2-9 over their last 17 home games. The Timbers, meanwhile, recently exorcised the road demons that haunted them all of last year. After failing to win a single game away from Providence Park last season, the Timbers won their first and only road game of this season two weeks ago.
The Crew may have the home field advantage, but keeping the Timbers off the score sheet is a tough task.