LA Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes

What on earth has happened to LA Galaxy? That is the big question on everyone’s lips this season. It was predicted they would regress a little bit due to the departure of legendary coach Bruce Arena, but new man Curt Onalfo struggled so much that he was inevitably sacked in July. Taking the reigns now is Sigi Schmid, ex Seattle Sounders boss and just the sort of big name that the Galaxy need. However, he has yet to lead them to any victories and performances hasn’t really improved. It has to be said they were unlucky in midweek, losing to Columbus Crew 2-0. An early red card and some debatable VAR decisions severely went against them.

The Galaxy have the worst home record in MLS, obtaining just seven points this season. They’ve only won 1 out of 12 games at the StubHub Centre, a shocking return compared to previous years when this place was a fortress. Surely things have to improve here at some stage, and starting here against local rivals San Jose would be a good time to bag three points. The Earthquakes have lost a staggering 10 out of 13 away games this season which simply isn’t good enough, They often have problems on the road so this is no surprise. The Galaxy won’t have a better chance of ending their woes in front of their own fans.

This fixture is known as the ‘California Classico’ and these two teams are big rivals in the Golden State. Next season LAFC come into the league, so in many ways, this match marks the end of an era before a new local team enters the ring. A few years ago, this used to be a tight encounter but in recent times goals have flowed. Both teams have scored in the last six H2H meetings and the last couple of years has seen some real epic contests. The form book can be thrown out of the window with this sort of match. I don’t know who is going to win but I think over 2.75 is the best bet. Both teams should come hard at each other and I anticipate a thriller. LA Galaxy is -0.5 Asian Handicap favourite, but you can’t trust them at home so the over pick is my selection.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.880

Seattle Sounders v Portland Timbers

Rounding off the weekend is a massive Cascadia Cup clash between Seattle and Portland. Both teams hate each other and this is probably the most intense rivalry in the whole of MLS. Now that each team has won an MLS Cup, the degree of intensity seems to have risen to the next level. The first league meeting between the two ended in a 2-2 draw, the Sounders won 2-1 in the US Open Cup prior to that clash. Historically, the away side struggled in these matches and Portland haven’t tasted victory at CenturyLink field since 2013. Seven of the last eight H2Hs have all ended over 2.5 goals, so this is a good place to start when looking at potential bets.

Just to add further spice to the occasion, both teams are currently first and second in the Western Conference heading into the weekend. It’s tight at the top though and unlike the East where Toronto has a firm grip on proceedings, a number of sides will fancy their chances of obtaining a top two seeding this year. For Seattle, it was a struggling start to the year as they defend their MLS Cup crown but a superb ten match unbeaten run has seen them propel towards the top of the table. They have been finding their groove recently, perhaps the biggest improvement has been defensively only conceding 2 goals in 6 games.

Portland has won 4 of their last 6 games so are also in pretty good form, but questions will always remain about their poor away form. They failed to win on their travels last season and despite an improvement this term, it always seems like they are a soft touch on the road these days. Too many times some poor defending will cost them dearly. In terms of bets, I like two for this game. The first has to be Seattle on a -0.75 Asian Handicap. They are in red hot form and have a great record facing Portland at home. I’m also going to back over 3 goals. The past history between these teams just makes this bet difficult to ignore. It’s usually a high energy, fast paced fixture full of chances and goals. I’d say something like 3-1 Seattle is a likely correct score.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: Seattle Sounders -0.75 at 2.060 and Over 3 goals at 2.060

By @meatmansoccer.

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