Another weekend of Major League Soccer action is upon us and as usual there’s no shortage of stories and plot lines to draw upon. There’s the LA derby, a clash between two UnitedS of MLS and a Cascadia Cup clash all to look forward to over the next few days. Here are four tips for the weekend in MLS.
LA Galaxy v Los Angeles FC
Dignity Health Sports Park, Friday July 19
El Trafico, the Battle of Hollywood, the LA derby… call it what you like, this fixture matters. The LA Galaxy welcome their closest rivals Los Angeles FC to Carson for the first time since the famous Zlatan Game - Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut which saw him score a wonder-goal and then the winner within minutes of coming on.
LAFC have set a new precedent at the top of the Western Conference so far this season. The Galaxy have enjoyed a good year so far, but they haven’t been able to lay a glove on their rivals who have won five of their last six matches, scoring at least three times in five of those six games too. The Galaxy are undefeated against LAFC, but that run could come to an end here.
1.5u - Back Los Angeles FC To Win @ -144
Toronto FC v Houston Dynamo
BMO Field, Saturday July 20
The Houston Dynamo are in bad shape as they come into this match. The Texans are fresh off the back of a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Atlanta United during the week and will be without Alberth Ellis (suspended) and Memo Rodriguez (injured) for this trip north to BMO Field. This could be a tough away day.
Indeed, Houston have lost their last eight away games, while Toronto FC have scored two or more goals in their last three home matches. The Canadians have lost just once in their last four outings and are starting to turn their form around. Alejandro Pozuelo and Joey Altidore are forming a partnership and that’s a good sign for TFC.
1u - Back Over 2.5 Goals @ -181
Atlanta United v DC United
Mercedes Benz Stadium, Sunday July 21
There is just one point to separate these two teams in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta United coming into this game on the back of a 5-0 thumping of Houston and DC United drawing 2-2 at home to the New England Revolution last weekend. On the basis of form, Atlanta would appear to have the upper hand, but will Frank de Boer rotate his team after playing on Wednesday night?
Atlanta United have scored at least two goals in their last five home matches and have been winning at both half time and full time in six of their last seven. Indeed, home form has been key to their resurgence under de Boer and this is another good opportunity for them to pick up three points.
0.75u - Back Atlanta United Half Time/Full Time @ +135
Seattle Sounders v Portland Timbers
CenturyLink Field, Sunday July 21
El Trafico has nothing on this rivalry. The derby between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers is the most intense in MLS and there will be plenty on the line when the two rivals meet at a packed CenturyLink Field this weekend. Is there ever not plenty on the line in this fixture?
Seattle have won 12 of their last 14 home matches. Indeed, they are in good form at the moment, currently sitting second in the Western Conference. However, those home wins have been narrow victories, with a one-goal margin in each of their last four matches at CenturyLink Field. The Portland Timbers beat NYC FC in their last away trip so they cannot be discounted either.
1.5u - Back Seattle Sounders To Win @ +100