Hey all and thanks for joining us again for week 9 MLS predictions. We are focusing on the weekend games this week. Below you can find a brief writeup and accountability for all my week 8 games. Skip to the dotted line below for this week's predictions!
Week 8 Recap
Game- FC Cincinnati hosts Colorado Rapids
Pick- Colorado Rapids +110
Result- 2-0 Colorado Win
This game went as scripted with goals by Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis (off the bench, of course). Colorado employed a 5 man backline on their way to handing Cincy their 4th scoreless game in just 7 matches this season.
A bright spot for the 1-1-5 Cincy squad is the emergence of Alvaro Barreal who had two GREAT long shots and added a header that narrowly missed the post. I can see Barreal being a weekly addition to the score sheet very soon.
Game- Toronto FC hosts Orlando City
Pick- Orlando City +170
Result- 3-2 Orlando Win
Less than a minute into the game Orlando’s young star Tesho Akindele found his way easily past Toronto’s defense off a through pass and found paydirt.
A few minutes later Orlando expanded the score 2-0 after an awkward play where keeper Quentin Westburg held the ball for too long and gave it away to Orlando. Tesho got an assist on a cross that Nani headed into the top right corner.
Toronto looked the better team and made a push to even the game at 2-2, however Orlando made more of their chances and left their Canadian trip with a 3-2 result.
Game- DC United host Inter Miami
Pick- DC United +120
Result- 1-0 DC United Win
It is no secret that Inter Miami lacks discipline- they lead the league with 26 yellow cards. After TWO red cards in this game they ALSO lead the league in reds. This game featured an especially poor performance by Gregore picking up two quick yellows on tough challenges he probably didn’t need to make. He now has 6 yellows and 1 red on the season- more total cards than the entire LAFC team.
For the lack of respect given to them this season- DC United is quickly becoming a favorite weekly dark-horse pick for me! They had over two-thirds possession and converted a penalty on a handball to take the win.
Game- LA Galaxy host Seattle Sounders
Pick- LA Galaxy +190
Result- 2-1 Galaxy Loss
This one was always a long shot and I have no regrets in taking it.
Galaxy had almost 60% possession at home and felt like they were always in this game. Chicharito was good with a drawn penalty (which Kljestan converted), a second that COULD have been a penalty, and hitting the post at least one other time.
In the end Seattle closed out to win 2-1 on goals by Yeimar Gomez Andrade and Raul Ruidiaz (who else) in a solid showing.
Game- Atlanta United hosts Philadelphia Union
Pick- Atlanta United +125
Result- 2-2 Draw
This game was both a resounding win and a crushing defeat for Atlanta United. Let me explain.
Atlanta struggled early in the season but found form before break. They restarted by facing off against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference WITHOUT their star striker Josef Martinez. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead and held on for 85 minutes.
Philadelphia then finished with one of the best ten minutes we have seen this season. Corey Burke scored by cleaning up a Guzan deflection then Glesnes scored on a “goal of the season” caliber strike from outside the box.
Atlanta TWICE gives up two late goals and leaves with only 1 point. In fairness, I DID say to CASH OUT if they went up early. Hopefully you listened and had a great week in the MLS sportsbook.
Week 9 Predictions
Game- Toronto FC host FC Cincinnati
Pick- FC Cincinnati +420
Toronto FC looked frisky in a mid-week game against Nashville- scoring two goals to add drama in a 3-2 loss. Their previous three games STILL has them conceding an average of 2.66 goals bringing their goals against to 18 in just 8 games played.
I don’t love what Cincy has put together EITHER, but I think for a “home” game at Exploria Stadium should not have Toronto as heavy favorites. Play with caution, but I like Cincinnati +420 at a neutral location.
Key to the Game-
Be less bad than your opponent.
I would love to drop some great analysis here and delve into what could give each team an edge- but here we need to get to the fundamentals. The team with the least mistakes will walk away with a win.
Game- Inter Miami hosts Orlando City
Pick- Orlando City +120
Orlando is 4-1 in their past 5 games, a stretch where Miami has gone 1-4. It is safe to say this Florida Derby has not led up to expectations thus far.
Add to Miami’s frustrations missing players- Pizarro (internation duty), Shawcross (suspension) and Gregore (suspension) will all miss this week’s match, with Gonzalo Higuain still being listed as questionable.
Key to the Game-
Daryl Dike is back and has already had an impact early for Orlando. Can Gonzalo return and be the X-factor Miami has been missing? I’ll take Orlando at plus-money all week long and twice this weekend.
Game- Chicago Fire host the Philadelphia Union
Pick- Philadelphia Union +150
The Chicago Fire is dead last in the league with a 1-1-7 record. Even worse- they only have 4 goals scored in 9 matches while giving up 14 in that timespan. They have a -10 goal differential and we aren’t in week 10.
The Union, on the other hand, haven’t lost since their 2-0 shorthanded defeat at the hands of NYCFC. They are 5-3-0 in their last 8 games mostly on the backs of their defenders- allowing only 4 goals during that span (of which was to Atlanta).
Key to the Game-
Chicago can’t score and Philadelphia isn’t going to concede. Can someone step up and put some balls in net for Philadelphia?
Corey Burke has 3 goals and an assist in 2021 and Przybylko has 3 goals and 2 assists, but I want to see some ALL-STAR attacking. Chicago’s defense hasn’t played that badly- Philadelphia has a chance to break through and win some road points but NEEDS to have a forward step up.
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