Even though the Gold Cup gets underway in the early hours of Sunday morning, the MLS 2023 ploughs on regardless with another set of fixtures which take place at the same time with all but one of the teams in action.
As has been the case all season, it is the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch these matches with full commentary and build-up and everything although six of them are available for Apple TV subscribers. They are all available with the bookmakers too.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (00.30 unless stated)
Charlotte FC v CF Montréal
Columbus Crew v Nashville SC
D.C. United v FC Cincinnati
New England Revolution v Toronto FC
New York Red Bulls v Atlanta United
Philadelphia Union v Inter Miami CF
Sporting Kansas City v Chicago Fire FC (01.30)
Austin FC v Houston Dynamo FC (02.30)
Colorado Rapids v LA Galaxy (02.30)
Real Salt Lake v Minnesota United FC (02.30)
Los Angeles Football Club v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (03.30)
Portland Timbers v New York City FC (03.30)
San Jose Earthquakes v St. Louis City SC (03.30)
Seattle Sounders FC v Orlando City SC (03.30)
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There appears to be no stopping FC Cincinnati in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. They have opened up an eight point lead in that particular race and it is the turn of Wayne Rooney and his DC United team to attempt to stop them when the two meet at Audi Field. Los Angeles FC have made their way to the top of the Western Conference once again and they host a side they are familiar with in terms of Vancouver Whitecaps. Nashville SC are actually the closest challengers to Cincinnati and they face a tasty trip to take on Columbus Crew. Two of the three Texas teams meet when Austin FC host Houston Dynamo.
Best of the Rest
Philadelphia Union have shown good form since they were dumped out of the Champions League and there will be no shortage of attention on their home match with Inter Miami given who is about to arrive in Florida. Things have not gone to plan for LA Galaxy this season but there have been signs of them beginning to get it right in the last few matches. They head to the mountains to take on Colorado Rapids in a clash between the bottom two in the Western Conference. One of the more appealing matches could come in the Eastern Conference where Charlotte FC host CF Montreal and two of the top five meet in the West when San Jose Earthquakes host St Louis City SC.
There are three bets I like over the course of the evening and the first of those comes between Charlotte FC and CF Montreal who I expect to treat us to a high scoring ding dong. That tends to be the way Charlotte matches get played out whether they win or lose. Their last three matches have contained a pretty ridiculous 16 goals and I fancy more will flow here with Montreal looking like they are getting things right in attacking areas now. Neither of these defences can be trusted. Charlotte leak goals like a sieve but they have all their DP attacking players back now. Montreal are a little tighter but have just lost a couple of defensive players to the Gold Cup. 14 of 19 Charlotte matches have had three or more goals. Five of the last seven Montreal matches have too. I like over 2.5 goals in this one.
Over the next few weeks we are going to see some potential mismatches form with teams suffering from Gold Cup call ups taking on teams with either deeper squads or who have avoided international absentees. One of those matches come at Gillette Stadium on Saturday when an in form New England Revolution side host Toronto FC who are certainly not in form. Toronto have key players away at the Gold Cup whereas New England have dodged those particular bullets. That puts the cards in the Revolution favour as it is but then factor in that Toronto go into this match off the back of a trip to the best team in MLS in Cincinnati in midweek while New England were sat with their feet up at the same time. The Revs are unbeaten at home this term, Toronto haven’t won away and I don’t see either record disappearing here. I expect a comfortable Revs win.
The other bet comes in the clash between Philadelphia Union and an Inter Miami who are gaining in followers all the time with the two marquee signings they have made this month. While neither will be available in this match you would have to think that the Miami squad would have had a huge lift and I would expect to see that here. Philadelphia are in excellent touch and have been on fire at home in recent times, as we are accustomed to seeing from them. They get Daniel Gazdag back from international duty here but they have lost goalkeeper Andre Blake, who is a massive loss to them, and defender Damion Lowe. Miami will be without Kamal Miller and DeAndre Yedlin so this all points to goals for me. Five of the last six Union matches have had three or more goals in them as have seven of the last nine for Miami. That should ensure a return of some kind on the over 3 here.
Back Charlotte FC vs CF Montreal – Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.75 with Bet365
Back New England Revolution (-1AH) to beat Toronto FC for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with Bet365
Back Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami – Over 3 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.93 with Bet365