MLS Pick: Potential Players Are Key for LA Galaxy to Snag All 3 Points vs. NYCFC

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 2:05 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 2:05 PM GMT

There will be more stars than there ever has been before in one MLS game here at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Sunday night when the LA Galaxy and Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos welcome NYCFC and David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo in a can’t-miss affair for real soccer/football enthusiasts. But are there any decent betting angles here and is it assumed there’ll be goals with so many talented past European Designated Players on the pitch? Let’s mull on it and make some picks for this showdown.

Odds Overview
NYCFC at LA Galaxy [Sunday, 23 at 3:00 ET/12 p.m. PT] (MLS Live, ESPN, ESPN Deportes USA) First-year MLS participant NYCFC (7-6-11, 34 GF-37 GA) plays its second Road game in 5 days when it heads to the West Coast to face the LA Galaxy (12-7-7, 44 GF-31 GA) at the StubHub Center in Carson in MLS Week 25 action on Sunday afternoon. MLS odds makers here have made the host Galaxy -225 favorites here with NYCFC priced at +550 and the Draw set at +300 (bet365). The Total Goals is 2½ with the Over vigorish set at -142 and the Under at +110 (bet365). Some Props odds for this fixture from Lalaland: Both Teams To Score: Yes -125, No -120 (Stan James); Draw No Bet: Galaxy -700, NYCFC +450 (bet365).

 

New York City Football Club
NYCFC (3-2-6 Road, 9 GF-13 GA) won in Week 24 action (Aug. 13) against Eastern Conference leaders DC United at Yankee Stadium, 3-1, but City (27 points) still remains in 8th place in the East, just 1 point back of the 6th-place Montreal Impact (28 points), although NYCFC has played 3 less games (24) than has the Impact (21), so for this first-year club to make the postseason, winning a game or two on the Road like this down the stretch, or maybe even earning a Draw, will make the difference whether or not Head Coach Jason Kreis and NYCFC can bump someone out of one of the East playoff slots. NYCFC will be playing on just 3 full days of Rest (Thursday-Friday-Saturday) before facing the Galaxy here who are a tough nut to crack at Home. NYCFC is led by playmaker extraordinaire David Villa (14 goals) and with Tommy McNamara (5 goals), Patrick Mullins (4 goals), Mehdi Ballouchy (3 goals), Mix Diskerud (3 goals), Designated Players Frank Lampard (Chelsea, Manchester City) and Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), NYCFC (16/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) has a number or guys who can pass, score and expect to put the ball in the back of the net—something of significance to Over and Both Teams To Score punters here.

 

LA Galaxy
In MLS Week 24 play on Saturday night at FC Dallas, the LA Galaxy (10-2-1 Home, 31 GF-8 GA) won 2-1 as Robbie Keane notched his club-leading 12th and 13th goals of this season in only the club’s 2nd Road Win of the MLS season as Manager Bruce Arena’s team continues to shape up into playoff form. And with a deadly and deep roster that includes players like Striker Keane (13 goals, Ireland), MF Steven Gerrard (1 goal, England), Giovani dos Santos (1 goal, Mexico), Sebastian Lletget (6 goals), Juninho (4 goals), Alan Gordon (5 goals), Gyasi Zardes (5 goals), Baggio Husidic (2 goal), MF Stefan Ishizaki (4 assists, 1 goal) and All-Star Omar Gonzalez (1 goal), this team can make a run at a repeat MLS Cup (Galaxy +450, BetVictor) this season. And with stellar GK Jaime Penedo, this team can also play good Defense when it has to although it’s preference seems to be outscoring folks and the Galaxy’s 31-8 GF-GA mark and 10 wins to date here at StubHub Center in Carson can only be dubbed dominating.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
This will be the first meeting ever between NYCFC (Current Form—LWDLWLLW) and the LA Galaxy (Current Form—LWWLWWW), so, once again for this baby MLS club, there are no series Trends to draw from. But looking at the potential players who will start or eventually be on the pitch in the game—Villa, Lampard, Pirlo, McNamara, Keane, Gerrard, dos Santos, Lleteget, Gordon, Juninho, Zardes—and it’s hard to not imagine both teams getting at least goal here. And expect the Galaxy—with just 1 Home loss in August—to find a way to get a bunch of goals and snag the 3 points and stay in the hunt for the top stop the the MLS’s rugged wild, wild, Western Conference. This one may look like an All-Star game of sorts and have a looser feel—good for the Over—and with the Galaxy now in first place in the West and playing like they always do down the stretch under Arena, also backing LA as well as the Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’ -125, Stan James) is a must in this match.

Predicted Final Score:  LA Galaxy 3 NYCFC 1

Mayor League Soccer Picks:  Over 2½ -142, LA Galaxy -225 at Bet365, Both Teams To Score ‘Yes’ -125 (Stan James)

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