MLS Picks: 1st-Year Club NYCFC Has Strong Edge vs. Toronto FC

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 6:11 PM GMT

Betting on this MLS match between the NYFC & Toronto FC brings up interesting questions. Will the former English Premier League legend provide a spark for NYCFC or will the visiting 5th-place steal the thunder?

NYCFC vs. Toronto FC
ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN. MLS Live (USA) 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT)
Former Chelsea star Frank Lampard is scheduled to make his MLS debut on Sunday at Yankee Stadium when expansion NYCFC hosts Toronto FC in this Week 21 MLS fixture in New York City.  Let’s analyze and see if there is a pick or two worth making in this Sunday game.

The time for Frank Lampard to make his MLS debut has finally come and the former English Premier League star will join his new NYCFC (5-5-8, 20 GF-23 GA) teammates when they face Toronto FC (7-2-7, 22 GF-23 GA) in this MLS Week 21 Eastern Conference showdown from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon. Oddsmakers have made host NYCFC -187 favorites here with underdog TFC priced at +137 and the Draw set at +240 (bet365). The Total Goals is 2½ with the Over vigorish set at -105 and the Under at -125. (Ladbrokes). Some Props soccer odds for this weekend fixture from The House That Ruth Built: Both Teams To Score: Yes -137, No +105 (Paddy Power); To Win To Nil: NYCFC +275, Toronto FC +500 (Ladbrokes); and, Draw No Bet: NYCFC -187, Toronto FC +127 (bet365).

More Week 21 Soccer Picks: Vancouver vs. KC ... NY vs. New England ... Chicago vs. Seattle

Toronto FC
In their last game in Week 20 play, Toronto FC (4-1-5 Away, 14 GF-17 GA) was completely blasted by the LA Galaxy (4-0) as irishman Robbie Keane notched a Hat Trick on the Fourth of July at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, but before that, TFC (12/1 To Win MLS Cup: Toronto FC, BetVictor), was playing some pretty good soccer. Heading in here, Toronto will still have won 3 of its L4 and 5 of its L8, so, this 5th-place team in the Eastern Conference is not one to judge by familiarity or its current place in the standings. Leading the charge for TFC has been star Sebastian Giovinco, who has scored 7 goals and tallied 6 assists in his L13 games, and along with Giovinco, Americans Jozy Altidore (5 goals) and Michael Bradley (2 goals) have provides some Offense. But besides those three, TFC still doesn’t have any multiple goal scorers and players like Warren Creavalle (1 goal), Luke Moore (1 goal), Jackson (1 goal), Benoit Cheyrou (1 goal), Justin Morrow (1 goal) and Robbie Findley (1 goal) need to produce some more. In goal, Chris Konopka has been getting the starts from Head Coach Greg Vanney.

 

New York City Football Club
First-year MLS club NYCFC (2-3-4 Home, 11 GF-13 GA) is scheduled to unveil former Chelsea FC star midfielder Frank Lampard here on Sunday afternoon, and the 37-year-old Englishman began training with the club on Wednesday. Joining Spaniard and Spanish La Liga star David Villa (8  goals), Lampard will give the Eastern Conference’s now 7th-place club—after going 4-1-1 in their L6 games—an extremely formidable duo and Head Coach Jason Kreis and NYCFC (50/1 to win MLS Cup, bet365) are a team to keep your eye on from this point forward. With Lampard, Villa, Tommy McNamara (2 goals), Patrick Mullins (3 goals), Mehdi Ballouchy (3 goals) and Mix Diskerud (2 goals) and others, this NYCFC team—which added Italian Serie A and Juventus legend Andrea Pirlo as their third Designated Player on Monday—will definitely make a solid push for a playoff berth and has to be feeling good about their recent success, especially for an expansion side which look destined to have the worst record in the MLS at the beginning of this season. Now with Lampard, maybe the sky’s the limit and expect those 50/1 (high, bet365) Futures Book odds (to win MLS Cup) to shrink in the next 10 days.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
Because this is the first year in the MLS for NYCFC, there are no series numbers for these two although it does seem somewhat significant that NYCFC went up to Toronto on June 20 in the first meeting ever between the two clubs and handed the home Canadian side a 2-0 loss. And a game three weeks ago in Toronto does give value here as it’s recent enough (three weeks) and NYCFC is still playing at the same level it was. Toss in Lampard and some energy from the crowd and the excitement of it all, and this has the makings of a mini-Soccer Circus with Lampard and Villa almost being expected to score and TFC more than willing to play the role of spoilers and get some revenge for that Home loss on June 20. And Toronto can, making the Both Teams To Score soccer pick enticing, although it often seems that Giovinco is the only TFC player to ever expect a goal or two from. But at Home, in The House That Ruth Built in The Big Apple with Jolly Old Englishman Lampard making his NYCFC, MLS and American debut, the hosts will be expected to find a way to get the win, and the way they have been playing, expecting 2 goals from NYCFC here seems logical. Maybe this isn’t The Beatles making their American debut on the Ed Sullivan show in New York City in 1964, but this game at historic Yankee Stadium—the Home of MLB’s New York Yankees—on Sunday afternoon should garner much interest because of Lampard and the number of Chelsea and EPL supporters in the United States and because it will be nationally televised on ESPN. And this one should have some scoring in it. There are many games in the MLS where a 0-0 scoreline could be anticipated and this isn’t one of them. And if Lampard scores in his NYCFC, expect about 2,753 new NYCFC fans to be born immediately.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: NYCFC 2 Toronto FC 1

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PICKS: Over 2½ -105 (Ladbrokes), NYCFC Draw No Bet -187 (bet365)

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