Dave Farrar predicts Seattle will continue their perfect start to the season, Minnesota guarantee goals in LA and Vancouver can take advantage of tired Houston...
“Seattle are supposed to be slow starters to an MLS season, but they have roared out of the blocks in this campaign, and I think that they can make it three wins out of three.”
Chicago Fire v Seattle Sounders
Seattle are supposed to be slow starters to an MLS season, but they have roared out of the blocks in this campaign, and I think that they can make it three wins out of three against a Chicago Fire side who let us down last week, and were lucky to scrape a point against Orlando City.
The Fire trailed in that game until its dying moments, and given that Seattle are a step up from that opposition, and that they won six of their last seven road games last season, I don't think that travelling will be an issue for Brian Schmetzer's side.
Chicago have won only one of their last eight MLS matches, and seem particularly nervous at home. The Sounders can take advantage of that, and look full of goals since the return of fit again Jordan Morris. They scored four against Cincinnati and could have had a hatful against Colorado last weekend, and they'll take some stopping this season.
MLS seasons are full of peaks and troughs, as long-distance travel and a curious format at times take hold, but it's always worth sticking with teams in form, and so it's a well-priced Seattle for me.
Zlatan v The Loons
LA Galaxy v Minnesota United
I make no apologies for going back to the well with Minnesota who, along with Seattle, are the form team in MLS. I don't think that Adrian Heath's squad will win MLS Cup, but they're probably the most entertaining side in the League at the moment.
They followed up their 3-2 win against Vancouver with a 3-0 success at San Jose, and now they head to the LA Galaxy, who missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their 2-0 defeat in Dallas last week.
It looks like Zlatan will be back for this, and I'm certain that there'll be goals. Minnesota have scored three in each of their 2019 games, and it was only San Jose's inadequacies that stopped them from scoring against The Loons. The Galaxy, back at home, will surely find the net at least once and I could see this turning into a real humdinger, as Minnesota are simply fearless.
Over 3.5 is trading at around [2.6] and that seems more than fair. Minnesota look a tempting price, but I suspect that they might have met their match in the Galaxy. A game, certainly, to sit back and enjoy.
Houston have a problem
Houston Dynamo v Vancouver Whitecaps
I'm going to take a chance on the Vancouver Whitecaps at Houston in a week which is short of too many betting opportunities.
Houston had a trip to Mexico in midweek for their CONCACAF Champions League match, and the 'Caps have played a little better than their results so far would suggest, having been mugged by Minnesota on the opening day and then losing at Real Salt Lake last week, to a penalty that never should have been.
Vancouver are getting used to a new coach in Marc Dos Santos and so are entitled to a little leeway, and Houston can be explosive, but also inconsistent. Even without the Champions League distraction, they were far from certainties for this one.
Vancouver have picked up a result in five of their last six against Houston, and won here last season, albeit under different management. They might have unearthed a real talent in Hwang In-Beom, and they also looked defensively solid against RSL, something which would frustrate Houston, a team which likes to have everything all its own way.
We can support Vancouver at a healthy [2.32] with a goal start on the Asian Handicap, and that's a cautiously confident selection.
Staked: 6 points
Returned: 8.4 points
P/L: + 2.4 points
Back Seattle Sounders @ [2.78] vs Chicago Fire
Back Over 3.5 Goals in LA Galaxy v Minnesota United @ [2.6]
Back Vancouver Whitecaps +1 on Asian Handicap v Houston Dynamo