Dave Farrar predicts away victories for New York City FC, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC.
“Dome Torrent’s team are on the crest of a wave, and they’re set fair to make it nine points from nine as they host an out of form Columbus Crew.”
NYCFC ride the wave
NYCFC v Columbus Crew
It's been a busy week for NYCFC as they prepare for their third game in seven days, but Dome Torrent's team are on the crest of a wave, and they're set fair to make it nine points from nine as they host an out of form Columbus Crew.
Should NYCFC win at Yankee Stadium this time, they'll keep up the pressure on Atlanta United, and possibly end the weekend level on points with them. Dome Torrent's men are still big Supporters Shield contenders, and we can now definitely say that they've coped with the departure of Patrick Vieira.
I was impressed with the way that NYCFC dug deep to beat the New York Red Bulls last weekend in a game that they didn't really have the right to win, and their task should be easier here against a Crew team who've started to puff and blow a bit, especially away from home. They went down 4-0 at LA Galaxy last weekend which means that they've now lost three in four.
Gregg Berhalter will be confident of arresting any slide next week as his team face Orlando at home, but this game may be another struggle for Columbus, and I'll take the home team to keep up their excellent run at Yankee Stadium and keep up the pressure on Atlanta.
Another L for the Loons
Minnesota United v Real Salt Lake
The question this weekend in Minnesota is whether Real Salt Lake can take the momentum of their outstanding recent home form and turn it into something away from Rio Tinto as they head to a team which has really started to struggle.
It's now three defeats in four for Minnesota United, and the news that the Loons moved quicker than anyone else as the transfer window re-opened was no huge surprise. They look short in plenty of areas, and Adrian Heath has acknowledged the need to act.
Minnesota have been kept afloat by their home form this season, though, winning five of their nine games here, but RSL are now up to fourth in the Western Conference after their victory over table toppers FC Dallas last weekend and they now look full of confidence.
I've liked the noises that are coming from Mike Petke and his players ahead of this trip, and while their away form is desperate, winning just once away from Utah, there are signs of massive improvement and they were close to getting something from Columbus in their last trip away from home.
The new signings may mean that Minnesota improve in the second half of the season, but a team that has just beaten SKC and FC Dallas will have no fear of a trip to Minnesota, and so I'll take RSL to get the job done.
No end in sight for Orlando
Orlando City v Toronto FC
Finally to Orlando, and to the prospect of another win for a visiting team. Orlando City FC have now lost nine in a row, the latest defeat a 4-1 reverse at LAFC, and while James O'Connor deserves a little time to get his plans in place, there weren't too many signs of improvement last weekend.
The reigning champions Toronto FC are also desperate for points, but more likely to go on the kind of significant run that both sides clearly need. They did well to battle to a point at SKC last week, and will find this task easier.
There's every chance that the game could develop into a shootout, given O'Connor's pledge to attacking football and Toronto's ability going forward, but I think that the Canadians are slowly improving, and could well be ready to mount a late season surge. I'm not sure where Orlando are. They'll be under pressure once again in front of a big home crowd, and the visitors look well placed to expose any nerves.
O'Connor is an impressive individual and may end up making a success of his Orlando project, but I think it'll take a few more weeks yet.
Staked: 54 points
Returned: 66.71 points
P/L +12.71 points
Back NYCFC to beat Columbus Crew @ [2.0]
Recommendation RSL to beat Minnesota @ [3.1]
Recommendation Back Toronto FC to beat Orlando City @ [2.6]