Another weekend of Major League Soccer action is upon us and as usual there’s no shortage of stories and and plot lines to draw. Atlanta United are finally on the way back, while there is a Cascadia Cup clash to look forward to and and a fixture between two MLS heavyweights in Carson. Here are four tips for the weekend.
Vancouver Whitecaps v Portland Timbers
BC Place, Friday May 10
It is in the Cascadian rivalries that the essence of North American soccer can be found. The contest between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers might not be as fierce as it is between the latter and the Seattle Sounders, but nonetheless, these fixtures have a certain edge to them.
The Timbers come into this game on the back of three straight wins, while the Whitecaps have lost just one of their last four games. Portland have scored at least twice in each of their last three away games, although all their games are away games at the moment as the redevelopment of Providence Park continues.
1u - Back Portland Timbers Win @ +187
Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union
BMO Field, Saturday May 11
Toronto FC’s form has been a little patchy of late, winning two and losing three of their last five matches. Their mid-week defeat to Atlanta United was arguably their worst of the season so far, with Greg Vanney’s visitors to Mercedes-Benz Stadium failing to make much of a mark on Frank de Boer’s hosts. However, over 2.5 goals have been scored in TFC’s last 13 home matches.
The Philadelphia Union, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last four, winning three. They have, however, struggled somewhat away from home, winning just one from six all season. The Union have also managed to keep one clean sheet on their travels this season, hinting at a difficult afternoon at BMO Field.
1.25u - Back Home Team to Score 2+ Goals @ -137
LA Galaxy v New York City FC
Dignity Health Sports Park, Saturday May 11
The LA Galaxy’s strong run of form came to an end with back-to-back defeats to the New York Red Bulls and the Columbus Crew, crashing them back to earth. Nonetheless, the Carson club have won their last six games at Dignity Health Sports Park and will fancy their chances at a home ground where they have scored at least twice in their last nine home matches.
New York City FC, however, haven’t lost in the league since the March defeat to Toronto FC. Three wins and three draws from six games have seen Dome Torrent steady the ship, but the Bronx side are still struggling for goals in the post-David Villa age. That could cost them this weekend.
0.75u - Back LA Galaxy/LA Galaxy Half-Time/Full-Time @ +240
Atlanta United v Orlando City
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sunday May 12
Something has finally clicked at Atlanta United. The defending MLS Cup champions suffered a dreadful start to the 2019 MLS season, going their first four games without a win. But de Boer’s methods are now getting through to his players, with Atlanta winning their last three games in a row. The mid-week win over Toronto FC saw them turn in their best performance of the season so far.
Orlando City, on the other hand, have struggled on the road of late, failing to win 17 of their last 18 games on the road. What’s more, the Lions have struggled for goals when away from Orlando City Stadium, with under 2.5 goals scored in six of their last seven matches on the road. Are things finally falling into place for Atlanta United? Another win this weekend would see them continue their recent recovery.
1.5u - Back Under 2.5 Goals @ +175