MLS Soccer Picks: Montreal Impact vs. NYCFC

Kevin Stott

Monday, June 29, 2015 4:05 PM GMT

Monday, Jun. 29, 2015 4:05 PM GMT

The Montreal Impact welcome expansion New York City FC to Saputo Stadium for the first time. Let’s look at what we know about these two teams and see if there’s a pick or two in the nets.

NYCFC vs. Montreal Impact Odds Overview
MLS Live, TVA Sports, YES Network (USA): 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
This MLS Week 20 Eastern Conference fixture sees the Montreal Impact (5-3-6, 19 GF-23 GA) playing host to the expansion New York City Football Club, NYCFC (4-5-8, 18 GF-22 GA) at Saputo Stadium in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday. This battle between two teams still not out of the postseason discussion sitting just 3 (Impact) and 4 (NYCFC) points off 6th-place in the Eastern Conference. Soccer odds makers have made host Montreal +100 favorites in this Fourth of July affair with underdog NYCFC priced at +260 and the Draw priced at +250 (bet365). The Total Goals is 2½ with the Over vigorish at -125 and the Under at +100. (bet365). Some Futures Book odds for this weekend fixture from the east coast of Canada: To Win MLS Cup: Montreal Impact 125/1 (BetVictor), NYCFC 50/1 (bet365). And, some Props from the game: Both Teams To Score: Yes -142, No +120 (BetVictor); To Win To Nil: Impact +290, NYCFC +550 (BetVictor); and, Draw No Bet: Impact -181, NYCFC +150 (BetVictor).

 

New York City Football Club
First-year MLS club NYCFC (2-2-4 Away, 7 GF-9 GA) is still waiting for former Chelsea FC star midfielder Frank Lampard to join Spaniard David Villa (6  goals) and the club sometime this month (July), and the 9th-place Eastern Conference standings expansion club could really use the Jolly Old Englishman—who last actually played for Manchester City—although the chaps from the Big Apple have actually been playing some pretty good soccer of late, going 3-1-1 in their L5 games—that lone loss coming on Sunday at Home to the New York Red Bulls, 3-1. Head Coach Jason Kreis and NYCFC (50/1 to win MLS Cup, bet365) employs a 4-3-1-2 tactical formation and had Villa and Tommy McNamara on top of that formation in the loss to the Red Bulls, where McNamara scored 7 minutes in to give NYCFC the lead only to see the Red Bulls come back with 3 straight goals and snap a 4-game unbeaten streak for 9th-place NYCFC. With GK Chris Konopka, Patrick Mullins (3 goals), Mehdi Ballouchy (3 goals) and Mix Diskerud (2 goals) and others, this team has shown some promise after a pretty dismal start and when Lampard comes, expect NYCFC to make a solid push for a playoff berth.

 

Montreal Impact
The Montreal Impact (4-1-1 Home, 13 GF-7 GA) and GK Evan Bush (56 saves, 21 Goals Conceded) and his teammates had allowed the second-lowest number of goals in the MLS this season for a bit and then gravity caught up with Montreal, who in their last game, tied 2-2 with the Philadelphia Union in Week 19 play. And not playing the kind of lockdown Defense they had been is a big negative for the Impact who have scored just 19 goals, although some portion of that statistic can be attributed to the fact that Montreal has only played a league-low 14 matches so far. The Impact’s leading scorers are Ignacio Piatti (4 goals), Jack McInerney (4 goals), Andrés Romero (3 goals), Dominic Oduro (2 goal), Laurent Ciman (1 goal) and Dilly Duka (1 goal).

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
Because the 20th club to join the MLS, NYCFC, is so brand new, these two teams have only played once before, in Week 4 at Yankee Stadium where NYCFC rolled the Impact 3-1, so there are no historical numbers or relevant trends or anything and as often happens in soccer when two teams of equal talent meet in a somewhat meaningless game—the Home team prevails.

Here on the Grass surface of Saputo Stadium in Montreal, expect de l'Impact de Montréal to look to exact some revenge for that loss earlier in the season at NYCFC (Current Form: DLDWWWL), and if the hosts can win the game and capture the 3 points, then Montreal (18 points) can potentially catch the 6th-place Columbus Crew (5-6-6, 21 points). And with just 1 Loss so far all season here at Home (Portland Timbers, 2-1 on May 9),  as we enter Week 20, the Impact (Current Form: LWWLWL)have proven they know how to protect their home turf. But like many games between teams of close talent levels, this is a hard one in which to handicap a winner and although these two scored 4 goals in their only meeting ever earlier this season, the Under 2½ seems like the safest soccer pick with the second- (Impact, 19 goals) and lowest-scoring (NYCFC, 18 goals) teams in the Eastern Conference banging heads in a game which will be rough on the losers—if there are losers—and nice for the winners in terms of any postseason hopes.


Predicted Final Score: Montreal Impact 1 NYCFC 1
Major League Soccer Picks: Under 2½ +100 (bet365)

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