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. The play-offs are looming on the horizon and so there is a lot on the line this weekend for a number of teams looking to extend their season. Here are four picks for the weekend in MLS.
Atlanta United v San Jose Earthquakes
Mercedes Benz Stadium, Saturday September 21
The struggles of the early stages of the season have been left behind by Atlanta United who are still in with a shout of finishing top of the Eastern Conference. The mid-week win over FC Cincinnati kept them in the hunt. Heading into this fixture, Frank de Boer’s side have won five of their last six games. However, they did suffer a shock defeat to the Columbus Crew in their last appearance at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Matias Almeyda has made a big difference at the San Jose Earthquakes this season, but the Californian side have lost all of their last five away matches. There have been over 2.5 total goals scored in seven of San Jose’s last eight games away from Avaya Stadium and over 2.5 total goals scored in six of Atlanta’s last seven home matches. There will be goals.
2u - Back Over 2.5 Goals @ -275
LA Galaxy v Montreal Impact
Dignity Health Sports Park, Saturday September 21
The LA Galaxy are fighting for their place in the play-offs and took a massive step towards finishing in the Western Conference’s top seven with an emphatic 7-2 win over Sporting KC last weekend. That was the Carson club’s first victory in five league games. The hope is that this will give them a late season platform to make their play-off place stick.
On the other hand, the Montreal Impact have lost their last seven away games and there have been over 2.5 goals scored in their last 10 away matches. The Canadian side have conceded at least two goals in their last seven fixtures away from Stade Saputo, while there has been over 2.5 goals scored in 10 of the LA Galaxy’s last 11 home games. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the form he’s in, it would be foolish to bet against the hosts.
1u - Back Zlatan Ibrahimovic First Goalscorer @ +229
Los Angeles FC v Toronto FC
Banc of California Stadium, Saturday September 21
Having set the pace all season long, Los Angeles FC are closing in on the Supporters’ Shield, but there is a sense that they are staggering over the line. By their own lofty standards, LAFC find themselves in the middle of a poor run of form having failed to win any of their last four games. However, LAFC are back at Banc of California Stadium this weekend. That could be a factor.
Meanwhile, Toronto FC are unbeaten in their last seven league matches and have all but secured their place in the play-offs. However, the Canadian side haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight games. This could be a case of which team can score more and LAFC, despite their recent patchy form, might have the edge.
1.5u - Back Both Teams To Score @ -250
New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union
Red Bull Arena, Sunday September 22
The New York Red Bulls claimed an impressive away win against the Portland Timbers in their last outing and will be looking to back that up with another victory to secure their place in the Eastern Conference play-offs. Before that win in the Pacific Northwest, though, the Red Bulls had lost their previous three matches.
The Philadelphia Union are still chasing New York City FC at the top of the Eastern Conference, but they must win here if they are to stand a chance of catching their rivals. The Union have lost just one of their last. There has been under 2.5 goals scored in RBNY’s last three games at Red Bull Arena.