Distractions Won't Keep Red Bulls from Spoiling Minnesota's Visit

Kevin Stott

Thursday, March 22, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018 1:37 PM UTC

It’s a limited MLS Matchweek 4 slate, with all six games being played Saturday. Let's look at three spots where the home sides might have a definite edge.

Soccer: MLS Matchweek 4 Select PicksMinnesota United FC vs. New York Red BullsFree MLS Pick: Red Bulls -250Best Line Offered: Intertops

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Goalkeeper Luis Robles (below) and the New York Red Bulls (1-0-1, 4 GF-1 GA) host the Minnesota United FC (2-0-1, 6 GF-5 GA) for the first time on Saturday night at 7 ET. Minnesota joined the league last year and lost to New York 3-0 at home in their only meeting of 2017.

Ethan Finley (2 goals), Kevin Molino (2 goals) and Minnesota might be catching the busy Red Bulls at the right time. New York is still somewhat preoccupied and expending precious energy and time on CONCACAF Champions League play, where they have advanced to the semifinals. Despite the possible fatigue and focus factors, Carlos Rivas (2 goals) and the Red Bulls should find a way to beat Minnesota (3-2-12 on road in 2017, 1-0-1 on road in 2018). Final score prediction: Red Bulls 2, Minnesota United 0.

Portland Timbers vs. FC DallasFree MLS Picks: FC Dallas -143 and Over 2½ -154Best Line Offered: Heritage

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FC Dallas (1-1-0, 4 GF/1 GA) hosts the 13th-place and winless Portland Timbers (0-0-2, 1 GF/6 GA) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in a bigger Matchweek 4 fixture for the visitors, who are still sitting on one goal (Sebastian Blanco). In the past five meetings in this Western Conference series, the home club is 4-1-0 (W-D-L) with the "over" (presumed 2½ totals) at 4-1. FC Dallas is a profitable 3-1-1 in the last five meetings, outscoring Portland 10-7.

FC Dallas has gone "over" the total in its past three matches overall with a healthy average of 3.67 gpg. Budding star Roland Lamah (2 goals) and FC Dallas want to rebound after a milk-toast 2017 season (11-10-13, 48 GF/48 GA) in which they missed the postseason by a point. FC Dallas should make it a sour 0-0-3 start for Portland. Final score prediction: FC Dallas 3, Portland 1.

DC United vs. Columbus CrewFree MLS Pick: Crew -154Best Line Offered: Intertops

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The Crew (2-1-0, 5 GF/2 GA) welcome DC United (0-2-1, 4 GF/6 GA) for an early season fixture between one club without a loss and another looking for its first win Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. In the past five meetings of this Eastern Conference series (CLB 3-0 DCU, DCU 0-2 CLB, DCU 3-0 CLB, CLB 1-1 DCU, CLB 5-0 DCU) there have been four clean sheets including the last three matchups, with the home teams 3-1-1 and the Crew holding a huge scoring advantage. With Gyasi Zardes (3 goals), Federico Higuaín (2 goals) and the Crew coming off a 0-0 draw at Philadelphia, expect the hosts to want to get on the scoreboard early to remind themselves what scoring feels like.

DC United has allowed six goals in three games, so expect Zardes or Higuaín or maybe even both of them to tally in this one. DC United is playing 12 of their first 14 matches on the road because the new Audi Field is not ready. Final score prediction: Crew 2, DC United 1.

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