Welcome to my MLS Soccer picks, and with the season already well underway, there’s plenty of betting opportunities available for us all to make more money off the bookies.
There’s just the one fixture being played in the MLS on Wednesday night but nevertheless it carries some significance as DC United will look to edge closer to a top six spot in the Eastern Conference when Minnesota United come to town… – Kickoff: 1930hrs (EST)
Eastern Conference outfit DC United will be looking to make the most of home advantage at their Audi Field on Wednesday night when they play host to Western Conference strugglers, Minnesota United.
Despite being on the end of a couple of recent defeats in recent weeks with back-to-back losses at New York Red Bulls and at home to Philadelphia Union, the hosts have since rallied against quality opposition.
A convincing 3-1 home win over Eastern Conference 2nd placed Atlanta United was followed with a very solid point away from home at 3rd placed New York City to keep tonight’s hosts in the hunt for a Final Series play-off place.
The prospect of a play-off spot looked a distinct improbability a month and a half ago, but Ben Olsen’s side have produced some impressive results with their ‘never say die’ attitude.
The arrival of former Manchester United and England striker, Wayne Rooney, has been a pivotal moment in the Washington state franchise’s season, making some telling contributions in this campaign.
Rooney has chipped in with 4 goals and 6 assists in 12 matches to date, and with what seemed a very unlikely prospect of a play-off spot just a few weeks ago now becoming a real possibility, the home side will have the bit between their teeth this evening.
DC United’s revival means they’re now just five points adrift of 6th placed Montreal Impact ahead of tonight’s encounter with Minnesota United at Audi Field, and another win this evening would see them move within touching distance of the play-offs.
Home Form & Team News
Although DC United have spent most of this season in the lower reaches of the Eastern Conference, and indeed, occupied bottom spot for a while, their form on home turf has always been fairly solid.
This is evident when looking at DC United’s overall record at home which stands at 7-1-2 20/11 and this includes the hosts winning five of their last six on home soil.
Wins over Colorado Rapids, Orlando City, Portland Timbers, New England Revolution and most impressive of all, Atlanta United, have really helped turn DC United’s season around.
The injured quartet of Taylor Kemp, David Ousted, Chris Odoi-Atsem and Nick DeLeon still remain sidelined while forward and joint leading goalscorer, Yamil Asad (9 goals) is rated doubtful with an ankle injury.
International duty robs Ben Olsen of the services of Zoltan Stieber (6 assists), Bruno Miranda, Junior Moreno and Oniel Fisher, but there is some good news for the hosts as forward Paul Arriola (4 goals) has been released from international duty to play against Minnesota tonight.
Despite these absences, DC United still possess the likes of Rooney and Darren Mattocks (9 goals) as well as influential attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta who has contributed with 7 goals and 9 assists to date this term.
In their only previous encounter against Minnesota United, DC United were handed a 4-0 thrashing away at TCF Bank Stadium, so the hosts will be keen to avenge that defeat this evening I daresay.
As DC United’s stock has risen in recent times, Minnesota United’s have suffered a sharp decline in the last few weeks as the visitors come into tonight’s encounter having lost four of their last five matches overall.
Recent defeats to Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Dallas FC and Sporting Kansas have threatened to undo their earlier good work at home where they won five on the trot prior to this slump in form.
It’s perhaps significant that three of Minnesota’s recent four defeats were handed to them on their travels, and they now face a confident DC United outfit who now have very realistic ambitions of securing a top six spot in the Eastern Conference.
Minnesota’s recent run of defeats seem to have virtually closed the door on any chance of making the Final Series play-offs as they now trail 6th placed Seattle Sounders by a 12-point margin in the Western Conference.
Although Minnesota have registered 8 wins from their 13 home matches to date, it’s been their poor results away from their TCF Bank Stadium which have really held them back from making a serious challenge for a top six spot.
Away Form & Team News
The visitors possess an extremely poor away record which stands at 1-1-11 14/35 with their one success on their travels so far this season being a 2-1 win away at Orlando City who find themselves joint bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Aside from that, Adrian Heath’s side and Minnesota United fans have had very little to cheer about on the road as they’ve now gone 11 matches without an away win since.
This poor sequence of results away from home include no fewer than 10 defeats as well as failing to score in 5 of their 13 away matches to date.
In addition, Minnesota have failed to keep a single clean sheet on their travels this term, and having conceded 2 goals or more in 12 of their 13 away matches so far, it’s no surprise that the visitors also possess the worst defensive record away from home in the Conference too.
To make matters worse for the visitors, leading goalscorer Darwin Quintero (10 goals, 7 assists) is a doubt for this match along with defender Eric Miller.
Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay and Sam Cronin have already been ruled out for the trip to Washington, while ever-present defenders Michael Boxall and Francisco Calvo are both suspended.
With DC United holding home advantage and the added incentive of chasing down a possible play-off spot along with Minnesota United missing a few key players and poor defensive record away from home, all roads lead to a home win here for DC United.