LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union Soccer Picks: MLS Week 17

Kevin Stott

Monday, June 15, 2015 6:30 PM GMT

With 4-1 scorelines in the L2 meetings between LA Galaxy & Philadelphia Union, is an automatic bet on the Over in order or has the Galaxy’s lack of offense made this recent trend suspect?

Odds Overview: LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union
Saturday, June 20th: MLS Live, CSN-Philadelphia, TWCSN-Los Angeles (USA); 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT)
The suddenly average LA Galaxy (5-6-5, 15 GF-18 GA) host the Philadelphia Union (4-3-9, 18 GF-25 GA) in this MLS Week 17 interconference game from the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Saturday night. MLS Soccer odds makers have made the host Galaxy healthy -162 favorites here over the visiting Union (+450) with the Draw priced at +275 (Boylesports). The Total Goals has been set at 2½, with the vigorish priced at -117 for prospective Under bettors and at -105 for Over bettors (bet365). Some Props wagers for this weekend game from Lalaland: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ -105, ‘No’ -125 (Ladbrokes); Draw No Bet: LA Galaxy -400, Philadelphia +317 (BetVictor); and, To Win To Nil: LA Galaxy +170, Philadelphia +1000 (Coral).


Philadelphia Union
The Philadelphia Union (1-2-5 Road 10-17 GA, 15 points) have just one win on the Road so far this MLS season (New York Red Bulls, May 24) and sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, only 2 points off a potential postseason spot behind the 6th-place Columbus Crew (17 points) and just aren’t as bad, believe it or not, as most people think. The U have proven to be a tough team to figure out, with the Defense (MLS-high 25 goals allowed) being the big issue. Lately, Philadelphia has had Brian Silvestre (17 saves) in goal, and the Union (100/1 to win MLS Cup, best odds BetVictor) do have a solid attack foice with CJ Sapong (4 goals), Vincent Nogueira (3 goals), talented Frenchman Sébastien Le Toux (2 goals) and Zad Pfeffer (2 goals) the leading scorers for Manager Coach Jim Curtin’s side, whose (main) home stadium, PPL Park, is located in Chester, Pennsylvania, some 19 miles away from downtown Philadelphia. With Philadelphia having scored in 4 of its L5 Road games—the Both Teams To Score Prop (as well as the Over)—has to be considered here, and, it’s worth noting that the Union will have to fly

2,725 miles to Lalaland, takes busses and stuff, sleep in strange hotel beds and be starting this game at 10:30 p.m. ET in their Body Clocks, meaning Philly could be tired for a number of reasons, including having to play a US Open Cup game at PPL Park on Tuesday against the Rochester Rhinos. Still, the +500 on the three-way line for the Union is just crazy as this isn’t the same LA Galaxy team of past seasons.

 

LA Galaxy
In Week 16 MLS play on Saturday in the Buckeye State in a weather-delayed game at MAPFRE Stadium against the host Columbus Crew, the LA Galaxy (5-2-1 at Home, 9 GF-4 GA) settled for a 1-1 Draw after taking a First Half lead on a Sebastian Lletget goal to remain winless on the Road (0-5-4, 7 GF-15 GA) so far this MLS season. And although the LA Galaxy and GK Jaime Penedo are playing well enough at Home and will be getting former Liverpool star Steven Lampard next month (July), the Galaxy and long-time Head Coach Bruce Arena—in 6th place in the West—need to start playing better soccer and scoring some more goals if they want to ensure one of the division’s six playoff spots and make a run at another MLS Cup (Galaxy, +550 to win MLS Cup, best odds bet365). One big issue here for the host Galaxy is the availability and presence of star Irish striker Robbie Keane, who had just returned to the lineup after a Groin injury. Two of Keane’s cousins were overcome by fumes and died in a sewage pit accident in Ireland last week when one brother jumped in to try to save the other brother who had fallen in the pit. Keane was held out of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier last Saturday because of this, but with another week passing, Keane may be better mental shape to play soccer, and my guess is he plays here (but check his status) and could either still be a bit hollow from the emotions from this tragedy and/or inspired to shine in honor of his two late cousins. The Galaxy, led in scoring by Keane (2), Gyasi Zardes (3 goals) and Alan Gordon (4 goals)—could really use a couple of more goals from guys like Jose Villarreal (1 goal), Juninho (1 goal), Omar Gonzalez (1 goal) and Baggio Husidic (1 goal) as well as some others and the wonderful presence, and scoring and assists, American Landon Donovan once brought to this team seems sorely missing at times.

 

Series Trends, Current Form and Conclusions
In the L5 meetings in this series, the Galaxy are 4-1-0 (12 GF-4 GA), while overall lifetime in this series, LA Galaxy are 5-1-1 (15 GF-6 GA) against the Union and 3-0-1 (9 GF-4 GA) here at Home at the StubHub Center in Carson. Philadelphia (LWWLWL) has been beaten by the LA Galaxy (LLWWDLD) by 4-1 scorelines in the L2 meetings, with the L3 meetings all going Over the posted Total (average 4.33 gpg) and the Both Teams To Score Prop bet (‘Yes’) hitting the L4 times these two have played (LA 4-1 PHI, PHI 1-4 LA, LA 1-2 PHI, PHI 1-1 LA). Also of note, the L3 Union games have all gone Over by ½ goal with 3 goals being scored in each, so, this is a tough handicap from both the side and Total—as well as for the Props—for me and should be approached very conservatively or avoided altogether. Anything can really happen here, and those are the most dangerous games on which to bet. I’d stay away here, as the Galaxy (16 goals in 17 games) still haven’t proven they can score some goals, although the Saturday night environment and Home site gives the LA Galaxy the definite edge here.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: LA Galaxy 1 Philadelphia Union 1

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PICK: Both Teams To Score (Yes) -105 ((Ladbrokes)

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