MLS Vegas Odds and Picks: Seattle Heads to LA in MLS Action
by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper
One of the hottest teams in MLS takes on one of the coldest on Saturday with Seattle Sounders visiting LA Galaxy live on ESPN. After years of elite play it is strange to write that the Galaxy are struggling mightily, but that’s exactly where we’re at with this team. The fact that it’s coming in the final year before a new LA team joins the league next year is even tougher to swallow.
That may help to explain why the 5-time MLS cup champion Galaxy decided to fire their head coach Curt Onalfo this week and replace him with former head boss Sigi Schmid. LA has lost five straight and even stranger is that Schmid is coming in on Thursday, giving him just two days to get to know his new (old) team and get them ready for this game. No doubt he’ll be relying on his assistants and core players to run the show for this first match.
At the same time, Schmid happens to be the winningest coach in MLS history so he should have a good handle on how to approach this game. He’s won the MLS Cup twice, has two US Open titles a CONCACAF Gold Cup and 254 career wins to his name.
The Galaxy losing streak has sunk their record to 6-10-4 and they have a league worst home record of 1-6-3. But if you’re going to make the switch, now is the time as they are still within earshot of a playoff spot, five points behind Vancouver for that sixth spot.
One thing that makes their record shocking is that they actually lead the conference with two more away wins than anybody else, while their one home win means that have three less wins on their own turn than any other team.
Seattle is unbeaten in five games and the three-game winning streak is their longest last September. If LA is looking for a team to model it might be this one. The Sounders were a struggling team around the same time last year before installing Brian Schmetzer as the head coach. The team caught fire after that, getting back into a playoff spot and taking it all the way to their first ever league championship.
They have played the Galaxy twice in LA since he took over and Seattle’s won both games. They won 4-2 last year and 3-0 this April. In Seattle’s last game they beat San Jose 3-0. Cristian Roldan played for the US in the group stage at the Gold Cup and game back hot with three goals in two games including the game winners in both games. The stars of USA’s triumph in Wednesday’s finale against Jamaica, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris both play for Seattle, but it’s unknown how much if any action they’ll see Saturday.
Cash It In LA are +140 favorites and Seattle are +185 underdogs. The draw is +240. Odds makers must be counting on the new coaching change to provide an instant boost and for the reduced play or absence of Dempsey and Morris as givens to make LA the favorites in this one. There is some logic in that, but I like Seattle’s chances to stay hot while LA figures out how to right their ship. Seattle 2-1.
MLS Expert Picks: Seattle +185