Tag Archive | "MLS predictions"

MLS Championship: 2011 MLS Cup – LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo Picks

The 2011 MLS schedule started way back in March, and now, only two teams remain for the right to win the 2011 MLS championship. The Houston Dynamo have their work cut out for them, as they go on the road to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy, and we are set to make our 2011 MLS Cup picks for the biggest duel in American soccer of the year.

The Galaxy are the team with all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding it at the moment. Names like Robby Keane, David Beckham, and Landon Donovan are all over the place, making this a heck of a lot like an “MLS Dream Team,” and it is great to have these men on display on soccer’s biggest stage in this country.

LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo Date/Time: Sunday, November 20th, 9:00 p.m. (ET)
LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo Television Coverage: ESPN

Don’t think that they’re just names, though. Donovan netted a whopping 14 goals this year, while Beckham had 14 assists. Both are on the MLS Starting XI team, and had Keane been in Tinseltown for the whole year, he probably would have made the roster as well.

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy were the best team in the MLS all season long. They ended the regular season with 67 points and 19 wins, both of which were tops in the league, and they really stormed through the postseason without much fuss. The club took down the New York Red Bulls on aggregate 3-1, and it followed that up with a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Final a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, Houston had to scratch and claw for the right to play in the Eastern Conference Final. The team only barely made the playoffs, needing a win against these Galaxy on the final day of the regular season just to ensure that it would be in the postseason, and the three points turned out to be just enough to survive having to play in the first round of the playoffs as well.

In the playoffs, the Dynamo have been… well… dynamo! They already have two road wins, one coming at the Philadelphia Union, while the other was in the Eastern Conference Finals against Sporting Kansas City. The 2-0 win at Livestrong Sporting Park was a lot closer than the game suggests, and Head Coach Dominic Kinnear knows that his team had to fight through some real adversity just to reach this point in the season.

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This season, Houston took a 3-1 decision in the Lone Star State on October 23rd, but its trip to the Home Depot Center didn’t turn out as well. A Donovan penalty kick gave LA the 1-0 victory on a day in which Beckham was not in the lineup. Including the playoffs, Los Angeles is a whopping 14-5-0 at home, but it has a major score to settle after losing in the Western Conference Final last year to FC Dallas 3-0.

It should come as no surprise that the Galaxy are comfortable 1 to 3 favorites to lift the MLS Cup. Whichever team wins on Sunday will claim their third MLS championship in franchise history. Houston won the titles in 2006 and 2007, and it has never lost in the finale, while the Galaxy are 2-4 in four visits, winning in 2002 and 2005. This is the first of those matches though, that will be played in front of their hometown crowd.

Posted in Featured, MLS

Live MLS Soccer League: New York vs. Philadelphia Predictions & Tips

Playoff tension will be in the air on Thursday night at Red Bull Arena, as the New York Red Bulls try to lock up a playoff bid when they take on the Philadelphia Union in live MLS soccer action. The live soccer television coverage will be set for ESPN at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Going into the final fixture of the season, there are still a few teams that can snare the 10th and final playoff bid, and you can bet that there will be a ton of Union fans out there. The Red Bulls hold the final position right now by three points over the Chicago Fire and the Portland Timbers, while as of Tuesday night, DC United was five points back with two games to play.

Portland is essentially eliminated unless it can come up with a tremendous number of goals in its final fixture. It is a -8 on the season in goal differential, while the Fire are at even pegging. It really seems as though DC United has the best chance of the rest of the teams to get into the playoffs, as they can get in with two wins and a New York loss or two wins by at least a combined seven goals and a New York draw.

It would be a collapse of epic proportions if the Red Bulls didn’t get into the playoffs. Not only is their team stacked with talent like Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers, and the likes, but they also needed just one point in their final two fixtures to ensure a postseason bid (barring two DC United victories by at least seven goals).

However, things for the Union are still up in the air as well. They are slotted into the East No. 2 position right now, and they are tied with Sporting Kansas City atop the table with 48 points and a +9 goal differential. A tiebreaker would give KC the edge should the two teams finish level on points on differential. The Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo are also in range of the top spot in the East.

A point is good enough to suit the boys from the City of Brotherly Love, as it would ensure that they would not be a Wild Card in the playoffs. Finishing in second or third makes little difference, as there is a home and home duel set between those two teams in the quarterfinals of the MLS playoffs. Finishing first will ensure a quarterfinals date with the Wild Card winner with the most points, as there is no hope of running down the LA Galaxy for the top spot in the league.

However, things could get frighteningly bad with a bad result here for Philadelphia. A loss parlayed with the wrong results could see it down to fourth place in the East, which would set up a game against the Colorado Rapids in all likelihood. Should Colorado claim three points in its final game as well, the Rapids would host the one game playoff to get into the bracket.

Philly won the first fixture of these two teams 1-0 in the City of Brotherly Love. The Union have now picked up at least one point in eight straight fixtures, and that point would ensure safety from the Wild Card playoffs.

New York is still favored by a half goal at even money on the MLS odds, though. The ‘total’ has been set at 2.5, over -105.

Posted in Featured, MLS

Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union MLS Predictions

Both Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union are fighting hard to stay atop the Eastern Conference in the MLS this year, and with the number of fixtures getting smaller and smaller, each match has a ton more on the line. These two teams will meet up on Friday night at Livestrong Park in the KC.

One look at the MLS standings shows just how nervy this fixture could turn out to be. Heading into Wednesday night’s three games on the MLS schedule, Kansas City and Philadelphia are both in positions to take automatic qualifying spots into the postseason. Sporting is one point off of the Columbus Crew for first place in the division, while the Union are a point behind Sporting.

However, both of these teams are looking behind them as well. The Houston Dynamo have 39 points to tie Philadelphia, the New York Red Bulls are just three points back, and DC United is five behind but have two games in hand. All six of those teams in the East clearly won’t be making the postseason. Out West, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders FC, and Real Salt Lake all virtually have postseason bids on lockdown, and FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids both know that they are in good shape as well with more points than anyone else in the East has.

That really just leaves two playoff spots for the teams that don’t finish in the Top 3 slots in the East, and the Portland Timbers (36 points), Chivas USA (31 points), and San Jose Earthquakes (29 points with two games in hand) aren’t out of it yet either.

Sebastien Le Toux leads the Union with seven goals and six assists this year, and he has three of those strikes in the team’s last three matches. Philadelphia finally overturned a string of eight straight matches without a victory by beating the table topping Crew 1-0 at home last week, the biggest win of the season to date that it has had. After allowing four goals to the New England Revolution in the first game of a three game home stand, the Union wrapped things up with back to back shutouts, though they were only able to claim four points from the two matches.

Kansas City has been one of the generally higher scoring teams in the MLS this year, averaging a total of 2.76 goals per game combined. Both Kei Kamara and Omar Bravo had eight goals apiece to lead the club.

However, it was Teal Bunbury who really came up large in the team’s last home match, scoring twice to put away the Dynamo 3-0. That was the end of a wild nine match home stretch for Sporting after having to play its first 10 matches on the road thanks to venue issues. In that stretch, it went a very lucrative 5-2-2, and its losses were of no shame to Seattle and Dallas. A 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy was a sturdy result to boot. Needless to say, the Union have their work cut out for them.

These two teams played to a scoreless draw on June 22nd in the City of Brotherly Love. Now, Sporting is favored by a 1/2 goal at -0.5 (-105), with the ‘total’ set at a flat 2.5 at Bet365.

Posted in Featured, MLS

The MLS Soccer League Picks: New England @ Portland Timbers

The MLS soccer league season is dwindling down to its final fixtures, and here at Total Soccer Source, we are going to be keying in on a huge nationally televised game between the Portland Timbers and the New England Revolution at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. Kickoff is on Friday night, September 16th at 11:00 PM (ET).

These two teams are still hanging on to their postseason hopes. Portland enters this week of MLS picks just one point in the rears of DC United for that last coveted playoff spot. New England is seven points in the rears of the postseason, but with 10 teams getting into the playoffs this year, there is still a chance for virtually any team in this league that can get hot at the end of the season.

Both of these teams do have relatively hot hands right now. New England is coming off of a 2-0 win over FC Dallas, and it marked the fourth straight game in which it has acquired at least a point. For a team that only has 32 goals this season, the fact that the Revolution have three straight games with at least two goals is a huge step in the right direction.

Portland has three straight solid results as well, picking up home wins against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Chivas USA and a road draw against the Philadelphia Union. Whereas New England has been doing its damage with offense, the Timbers have played fantastic defense, allowing just one goal in these three matches.

There are a few players that you really have to keep an eye on in this one. Jack Jewsbury has the hot hand for the Timbers with seven goals and three assists so far on the season. He is the catalyst of this offense, and he and Jorge Perlaza both have a slew of talent.

There are only two offensive stars of note on the Revolution as well. Shalrie Joseph has eight goals to lead the team, while Rajko Lekic has six goals. Both got on the score sheet last week against FC Dallas.

Jeld-Wen Field has been a house of horrors for opponents this year, as the hosts are 8-2-4 and +7 goals in their 14 home games to date. Meanwhile, New England on the road is just 1-6-7 and is -9 in goal differential.

Posted in Featured, MLS


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