There are three more matches in the Major League Soccer season taking place across America on Wednesday evening with the play-off places likely to become a little clearer once the games have been played out.
Two of the matches have real implications on the top seven in both Conferences so they are vital games in the overall picture. One of those is live on TV in the UK, albeit at an hour only the insomniacs will be able to watch it. There is one more TV game too.
FC Cincinnati vs Atlanta United (00.30)
The opening match of the night comes from Ohio where FC Cincinnati will look to build on a rare win when they take on the current champions Atlanta United, in a contest which will have more meaning for the visitors than the hosts.
Atlanta are going to make the top seven and therefore earn the right to defend their title but they are not yet assured of a home game in the first round of the play-offs. Victory here would give them a better chance of that and also end a two game losing run which by the standards of this lot can be considered a bit of a slump.
I expect Atlanta to win this match. They are a better side than most in this competition but they are vastly inferior to FC Cincinnati, who might have seen off an ordinary Montreal Impact at the weekend but who face a much stiffer test here. I know away sides in midweek isn’t a profitable strategy in this league but sometimes exceptions have to be made. This is one such time.
Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas (03.30)
We are approaching D-Day for FC Dallas who are currently sitting outside the play-off spots but who will move their way into them with a win when they head to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Sounders.
Indeed, a Dallas win will move them from their current position in eighth right the way up to fourth and they would go from not being involved in the postseason to hosting a match in it. Seattle moved up to second spot with a win on Sunday and they will be looking to finish the regular campaign hot to give themselves the best chance going into the play-offs.
I mentioned on Sunday night how Seattle home matches tend to be high scoring and they duly played out a 4-2 win against the New York Red Bulls and I see similar happening here. The need of Dallas is such that they can’t play with a parked bus and actually they don’t normally do that here anyway. The two sides have met 10 times here and there have been 37 goals – an average of 3.7 per game. I expect that trend to continue so I’m happy to be on over 3 here.
Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls (03.30)
It might be that the biggest match of the night is the one between Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls at Providence Park, two sides who are clinging on to their play-off spots and who come in here off the back of weekend defeats.
The Timbers were surprisingly beaten at home by DC United while the Red Bulls went down to Seattle Sounders, their third straight defeat which is a run of form that has come at the wrong time. Indeed neither side are pulling up any trees here or particularly convincing with their play at the minute. When you add in the extra nerves that are likely this one is probably one best avoided.
WON – Back Atlanta United (-0.75AH) to beat FC Cincinnati for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with 888sport
Back Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas – Over 3 goals for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with NetBet