Real Madrid will be looking to end a three-match skid on its US Tour as it the MLS All-Stars at historic Soldier Field in what could be a rainy Chicago on Wednesday night. Let’s look at the opening odds, the Rosters and then offer up a more Artful than Scientific Side pick.
MLS All-Stars face defending UEFA Champions League and La Liga champions Real Madrid in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game from Soldier Field in Chicago on Wednesday night. Oddsmakers here in Sin City have opened Real Madrid as solid -200 favorites over the MLS All-Stars with a Draw priced at +320 and the Total (Goals) set at 3½o -140. In the Draw No Bet Prop Soccer betting market, Real Madrid is -650 with the MLS All-Stars at +450 (Matchbook).
Real Madrid CF (UEFA)
Real Madrid will be without living legend Cristiano Ronaldo in this match, but running the $93 million risk of losing maybe the best and definitely the highest-paid player on the planet in this situation is tantamount to racing a Maserati and risking crashing it in a Sunday Demolition Derby. So no CR7. The Madridistas have showed feelings of an almost of a human nature on this US Tour in ICC play, losing to Manchester United (1-1) on PK’s (2-1), Manchester City (4-1) and to rivals Barça (3-2) as the prolific Madrid has seemed rather rudderless in the Lower 48 without big engine Ronaldo.
Against rumored-PSG signee and stud Neymar and Barcelona, Zidane started Keylor Navas in GK, Nacho, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Daniel Carvajal; Toni Kroos, Isco Luka Modric; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema. Zidane brought Kiko Casilla in at GK, Luis Quezada, Manu, Tejero, Achraf Hakimi, Lucas Vázquez, Óscar, Mateo Kovacic, Dani Gómez, Franchu and Theo Hernández off a young and fairly inexperienced bench. With FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo out, Bale, Benzema, Isco, Marcelo and Modric are running Los Blancos loose attack, and with James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich) out on loan, this club has failed to show its European championship caliber yet and the big question here is can they pull it together quickly here after losing three straight?
MLS All-Stars (CONCACAF)
The MLS All-Stars are a really solid bunch this year, and boast a nice blend of veteran European studs like David Villa (NYCFC), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Fire) and former Madridista Kaká (OCSC) and solid MLS talent like Sebastian Giovinco (TFC), Nemanja Nikolic (Fire, pictured below), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United FC) and GK Tim Howard (Rapids) to make this a pretty scary proposition for Navas and the UCL holders in the Windy City. The MLS All-Stars Roster also includes: GKs Stefan Frei (Sounders) and Andre Blake (Union); DaMarcus Beasley (Dynamo), Graham Zusi (SKC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) all via MLS All-Star Fan XI voting.
Head Coach Veljko Paunovic (Chicago Fire) selected Frei, Jelle van Damme (LA Galaxy), Hernán Grana (FC Dallas), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Johan Kappelhof (Fire), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United FC), Dax McCarty (RBNY), Diego Valeri (Sounders), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Ignacio Piatti (Impact) and Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) to the squad while TFC’s talented Giovinco was the FIFA 17 “More Than A Vote” winner. MLS Commissioner Don Garber added his own two cherries to this sparkling MLS All-Stars Roster, adding Dom Dwyer (SKC) and Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) to the impressive 24-man Roster which has players from 13 different nations.Past MLS All-Star Game Results in “All-Stars vs. Guest” Format
2016—Arsenal 2 MLS All-Stars 1 (Avaya Stadium, San Jose, CA)
2015—MLS All-Stars 2 Tottenham 1 (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO)
2014—MLS All-Stars 2 Bayern Munich 1 (Providence Park, Portland, OR)
2013—AS Roma 3 MLS All-Stars 1 (Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS)
2012—MLS All-Stars 3 Chelsea 2 (PPL Park, Chester, PA)
2011—Manchester United 4 MLS All-Stars 0 (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ)
2010—Manchester United 5 MLS All-Stars 2 (Reliant Stadium, Houston)
2009—MLS All-Stars 1 Everton 1* (Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT) *EVERTON W 4-3 on PKs
2008—MLS All-Stars 3 West Ham United 2 (BMO Field, Toronto)
2007—MLS All-Stars 2 Celtic 0 (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO)
2006—MLS All-Stars 1 Chelsea 0 (Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL)
2005—MLS All-Stars 4 Fulham 1 (Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH)
Chicago Wednesday Night Weather Forecast, MLS All-Star Game Trends, Analysis and Picks
The Weather Channel forecast for Chicago on Wednesday night is currently calling for Partly Cloudy Skies with a stray Shower or a Thunderstorm possible. As you can see from the chart above, the MLS All-Star Game has seen three straight 2-1 final scores with the MLS All-Stars having gone a respectable 7-4-1 in the 12 results in games which saw a grand Total of 44 goals being scored, or an average of 3.66 gpg. So with the mentality of this game from Real Madrid’s perspective, the quality of the MLS All-Stars Roster and the situation (a high-profile Friendly), there is definitely some perceived value here with MLS All-Stars in this format and this team could very well pull off what would be considered a “big upset” through Schweinsteiger, Valeri, Nikolic and Almirón and some good goalkeeping from Howard, Frei and maybe Blake. Without Ronaldo and at +550 in a match they care about on their Home turf more than Real Madrid and past Trends, taking a shot on the MLS All-Stars or maybe even a Draw seems wisest in a game in Chicago which should see goals with playmakers Modric, Isco, Marcelo, Villa, Giovinco and Kaká all being involved.PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: MLS All-Stars 3 Real Madrid 2Free Soccer Pick: MLS All-Stars +550 & Over 3½ -140