MLS Betting Preview: Independence Day clash

MLS: Columbus Crew, New York City FC, and Seattle Sounders all in action

The MLS is fast approaching the halfway point. We have been treated to some fabulous games, and the Eastern and Western Conferences are taking shape. In this week’s preview, we will look ahead to Columbus Crew v New York City FC, and Minnesota United v Seattle Sounders FC. We will also check in on the latest match odds for these games.

Columbus Crew on comeback trail after stirring FC Cincinnati display

Columbus Crew will be rejuvenated after rescuing an improbable point against FC Cincinnati last weekend. After going 2-0 down inside 24 minutes, Crew spent most of the game with 10 men after Harrison Afful was sent off. But Lucas Zelarayan dragged Crew out of the mire when he pulled one back. He then turned provider 13 minutes from time when Miguel Berry netted the leveller.

The result left FC Cincinnati still searching for their first win at their new stadium. But from a Crew perspective, they demonstrated plenty of heart to gain a point. This is keeping them in the hunt for a play-off spot. Crew coach Caleb Porter was jubilant after the final whistle, although he insisted he was “celebrating the mentality” of his side.

Columbus Crew bolster attacking options with Erik Hurtado deal

Crew’s attacking options were depleted of late, with Gyasi Zardes, and Bradley Wright-Phillips both sidelined. However, they have found a short term solution at least by completing a deal for Montreal’s Erik Hurtado. Previously, Hurtado plied his trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and while he is a journeyman striker, he will provide suitable cover.

New York City FC eager to return to winning ways

New York City have played well in fits and bursts this season. As things stand, the Eastern Conference is very tight, with just three points separating Orlando in second spot down to Crew in ninth. On the road last week, New York relinquished the lead before losing 2-1 to Montreal. On Sunday against Crew, they can’t afford to be slack.

Who can stop the Seattle Sounders?

The Sounders have been flying, and they are now unbeaten in their first 13 games, which is an MLS record. Last weekend, the Sounders cruised to a 2-0 victory at Lumen Field over Houston Dynamo, and they have looked seemingly invincible. For Kelyn Rowe, it was a momentous evening as he scored his first goal for the Sounders since signing in the off season.

Where would Sounders be without Raul Ruidiaz?

While the Sounders have been exceptional from back to front this season, they will be hugely grateful for the form of Raul Ruidiaz. The Peruvian striker has been exceptional. In scoring against Houston last weekend, he took his tally to 10 in the MLS for the campaign. That accounts for almost half of the goals scored (23) by the Sounders this season.

Meanwhile, the Sounders confirmed some sad news last weekend, as they announced that club icon Jimmy Gabriel passed away at the age of 80. Gabriel — who served as a player and coach for the club — left an indelible mark on the community. In particular, current Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer was left reeling by Gabriel’s death, describing him as an “incredible mentor”.

Minnesota United, on the other hand, are clinging onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference, however they were winless in their past two matches. Against Colorado, Minnesota were a little flat. But Adrian Heath will merely view the recent sequence of results as a blip, and he will be confident of getting his side back on track.

Minnesota United v Seattle Sounders: a tale of past encounters

Form counts for a lot, but head-to-head meetings can often be a good indicator of how a match might unfold. As far as the Sounders and Minnesota are concerned, it has been one way traffic as the Sounders have recorded six wins, and a draw from their seven MLS clashes.

Although Minnesota picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at home to the Sounders last term, the Sounders have scored five unanswered goals in the past two encounters. Indeed, the Sounders ran riot earlier this term, recording an emphatic 4-0 victory. Ruidiaz stole the show with a two-goal salvo, while Joao Paulo, and Fredy Montero also got their names on the scoresheet.

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