MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, March 20 – 21:00 GMT (17:00 EDT)

Match Odds: DC United 13/10 – Draw  11/5 – Colorado Rapids 11/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Colorado Rapids to RFK Stadium this weekend in a game which sees two sides looking for goals go head-to-head, both only managing to score once so far this term.

DC are obviously struggling with a lack of depth up top with Colin Doyle and Eddie Johnson both leaving the franchise during the offseason and so goals won’t be as easy to come by this season.

They do have an impressive defensive unit however, that will be tested without USMNT international Bill Hamid for the coming months and we expect Colorado to test them this weekend.

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DC’s 0-0 draw with New England last week was a solid result but they will now hope to win their home opener and start to climb the Eastern Conference.

Colorado are very much a side that are efficient in what they do. They rarely concede goals at home but equally aren’t the most threatening side in attack.

They showed their defensive qualities last week as they beat LA Galaxy 1-0, thanks to a 95th minute winner. Colorado held the Galaxy to a pass completion percentage of just 64.9%, proving how tough they are to break down.

To add to this, Rapids ‘keeper Zac MacMath has only faced four shots on target in the two games so far this term, highlighting the defensive displays Colorado have been putting in.

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Team News

DC United are missing both Bill Hamid and Andrew Dykstra so third choice ‘keeper Travis Worra will be between the sticks. Chris Korb remains out with an ACL tear and Markus Halsti and Fabian Espindola are doubtful.

Colorado Rapids are only without Sean St. Ledger and John Berner who are out with knee and wrist injuries respectively.

Key Points

DC United’s form: L/D

Colorado Rapids’ form: L/W

Key Stat: Colorado haven’t beaten DC in their last five meetings in MLS, a run which started in May 2011.

Key Player: Lamar Neagle – Utility forward Naegle was a great pick up from Seattle in the offseason and he has been leading the line in the absence of Espindola. He will be wanting to get his name on the scoresheet on Sunday night and should be a threat.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-0 Colorado Rapids – DC need to kick start their season and will look to build on last week’s draw with New England, in which they were very hard to break down, Colorado have been good so far and will keep the game low-scoring, but we see DC just edging this one.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, March 19 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Houston 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Houston Dynamo to Red Bull Arena on Saturday as they look to finally get off the mark in the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season.

The reigning Supporters’ Shield holders have endured a very tough opening two games so far this season and are yet to score a goal. They lost their opener at home against Toronto and last weekend fell to a 3-0 thumping away at Montreal.

Although it is early doors this is still a worrying factor for Jesse Marsch and he will have his side fully prepared to take on an inform Houston side. Red Bulls are currently propping up the Eastern Conference and nothing short of a win here will be good enough.

If the Red Bulls are to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield again this campaign they are going to need to be far more impressive than they have been so far. It isn’t all doom and gloom as we are still early into the new campaign but Marsch’s side cannot afford another lapsed performance here and they will already have some impatient fans heading into the tie.

Sebastian Giovinco Penalty

Houston come to Red Bull Arena in a prime position. They are unbeaten in their opening two outings and have looked impressive.

They come into the tie off the back of their amazing 5-0 demolition job over FC Dallas last weekend, a result that not only shocked fans but sent out a message to the rest of the Western Conference.

Owen Coyle will be delighted to see his side sitting third in the West but will be more than aware of how difficult this tie can be.

Dynamo have really struggled on the road in recent times in MLS and they won just twice away from home last season. Starting with an away win here would be an enormous boost.

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Team News

New York Red Bulls have just the one injury concern heading into this tie as Damien Perrinelle remains out.

Houston Dynamo have five injury concerns. Collen Warner is out, while Tyler Deric, DaMarcus Beasley, Giles Barnes and Cristian Maidana are all doubts.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ form: L/L

Houston Dynamo’s form: D/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 13 home matches against Houston in all competitions.

Key Player: Sacha Klještan – The NYRB midfielder can help lead his side here after their poor start to the season. If he can get on the ball, control the game and keep things simple this weekend it will enable his teammates to regain some of their lost confidence.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Red Bulls to continue their good run of form at home against Houston and pick up their first win of the season in a very competitive tie. Dynamo have conceded at least two in their last six away outings and that combined with their poor away form will likely cost them here, despite a good start to the campaign.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. DC United

Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, March 12 – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

Match Odds: New England Revolution 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – DC United 4/1

Match Preview

New England Revolution welcome DC United to Gillette Stadium this weekend in what is a big tie for both of these Eastern Conference sides.

New England started their 2016 campaign with a 3-3 draw against Houston Dynamo in a thrilling clash in which they showed great resilience by scoring late on to pick up a point.

Jay Heaps will be pleased with how his side stole a share of the points but will be disappointed to have thrown away their early lead. He will be looking for a much tighter defensive display in their home opener.

The last meeting between these sides at Gillette Stadium saw the game finish 1-1. New England are unbeaten against DC in their last four home meetings and will expect to avoid defeat once more here.

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DC United had an opening weekend to forget as they were thumped 4-1 by LA Galaxy. It was a huge disappointment for Ben Olsen as his side took an early lead, before capitulating in the second half.

They sit bottom of the Eastern Conference – which this early on isn’t a problem as it will be a few weeks before the standings take shape – but they will not want to be there come the end of Week 2’s fixtures.

This is going to be a tough tie and DC will give their fans a huge lift if they are to take points from New England ahead of their first home game of the 2016 campaign against Colorado Rapids next weekend.

No doubt Ben Olsen will have given his side an intense week of preparation heading into this game to ensure they don’t show the same frailties they did against the Galaxy. This is a chance for DC to show the rest of the conference what they are capable of.

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Team News

New England Revolution have no injuries or suspensions heading into this tie.

DC United are still without goalkeeper Bill Hamid who has a long-term knee injury, while defender Chris Korb is also out with a knee problem. Markus Halsti is expected to miss out, while Patrick Nyarko and Fabian Espindola are both doubts.

Key Points

New England’s form: D

DC United’s form: L

Key Stat: Travelsick – DC United have lost 11 of their last 16 away games in MLS.

Key Player: Charlie Davies – The Revs forward bagged his first goal of the season on the opening day and will be full of confidence. He could play a pivotal role to his side this season if he can score on a regular basis.

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Score Prediction

New England Revolution 2-1 DC United – We can expect these two sides to provide each other with a difficult game from the off. Both defences will look to be far more organised than last weekend as they conceded seven goals combined. New England look set just to edge it and should pick up their first win of the new season against Eastern rivals on Saturday night.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy 

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Saturday, March 12 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Colorado 19/10 – Draw 12/5 – Galaxy 11/8

Match Preview

Colorado Rapids welcome LA Galaxy to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for their first home outing of the 2016 MLS regular season on Saturday night.

Colorado lost their opener 1-0 away at San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them with just one win in their last nine MLS outings.

The Rapids only won one of their first five games in 2015 and they cannot afford to have another poor run at the start of this season otherwise they will find themselves struggling early on.

Pablo Mastroeni will be hoping his side can pick up a result here to give the players and fans a real boost for their upcoming games – considering LA Galaxy’s impressive start to the 2016 season, this would be more than welcomed.

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LA Galaxy got off to a flyer, winning 4-1 at home against DC United on Sunday. They now sit top of the Western Conference and have the best goal difference across both conferences heading into Week 2.

Bruce Arena’s side really impressed against DC United and came back with some force after finding themselves behind with just five minutes on the clock.

If Galaxy are to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield this campaign they are going to have to show the same determination they did last weekend throughout the season.

2015 wasn’t their best campaign and they looked limp on far too many occasions. Last weekend was a fantastic start to the season, something they must build upon here. Winning away from home proved difficult for LA in 2015 so it will be intriguing to see how they cope on Saturday evening.

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Team News

Colorado Rapids are expected to be without Sean St. Ledger. Fans will also have to wait another five games before they see Jermaine Jones make his debut as he is suspended.

LA Galaxy have a few injury concerns heading into this one. Dan Kennedy and Giovani Dos Santos both had to be replaced in the opener against DC and are unlikely to feature here, while Alan Gordon, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo are all doubts.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ form: L

LA Galaxy’s form: W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in the last four meetings between the sides, winning three and drawing one and have scored 14 goals in those games.

Key Player: Nigel de Jong – The Galaxy holding midfielder made an impressive debut last weekend and he has the ability to keep the middle of the park calm. He can continue to make a good impression here and show why he can be the difference in keeping the Galaxy consistent this season.

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Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 1-2 LA Galaxy – LA Galaxy should prove too much for Colorado in this one and will look to continue their unbeaten run against the Rapids. LA should be looking to take three points in games similar to this one all season and should be overpowering their opponents given the strength of Bruce Arena’s squad.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Sunday, March 6 – 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Orlando 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Salt Lake 14/5

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Real Salt Lake to the Citrus Bowl for the first time on the opening weekend of the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season.

Both these sides failed to make the playoffs last time around and both have room for improvement heading into the new campaign.

Orlando City drew their opening game of their inaugural MLS season and went on to finish 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Their best spell of the 2015 campaign nearly pushed them into the playoffs at the end of last season where they won five out of six – five of those wins coming on the bounce.

Adrian Heath has made some key additions to his squad and will be hoping his side can make a push for the playoffs this time around – Orlando had a solid preseason, only losing once so they have some good form to build upon.

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Real Salt Lake come into the new campaign with optimism and will hope for a repeat of their form at the opening of the 2015 season where they went through their first five games unbeaten – winning twice and drawing three.

Jeff Cassar’s side finished the 2015 campaign 9th in the Western Conference and will want to get off to the best possible start to avoid being in the depths this time around.

They didn’t have the best preseason but this is a chance to start afresh and prove to everyone their not just here to make up the numbers.

They crashed out of the CONCACAF Champions League to Tigres but impressed in the second leg on Wednesday and will hope those games have helped their match sharpness.

Their 2015 season ended with four losses in five outings – a domestic run of form they will not be looking to continue.

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Team News

Orlando City have no injuries heading into the new campaign. They have made some key signings, with the likes of Antonio Nocerino and Joe Bendick coming into the squad. Devron Garcia is one to watch for Orlando. He has represented Honduras at U17 and U20 level and is an energetic defensive midfielder. He could prove to be the legs Orlando need in the middle and do some of the running to keep key man Kaka fresh this campaign.

Real Salt Lake also have no injuries ahead of this tie. They welcome back Yura Movsisyan – he won the playoffs in his last spell with the club and has a record of 20 goals in 81 appearances in MLS. Danilo Acosta also signed for RSL and he will be hoping to make his debut here.

Key Points

Orlando City’s preseason form: W/L/W/W/W

Real Salt Lake’s preseason form: L/L/D/D

Key Stat: Travel-sick – Real Salt Lake have struggled on the road, losing ten of their last 12 MLS outings away from home.

Key Player: Kaka – The Orlando captain had a solid first MLS season and now is the time to build on that. He may be 33 now but can still cut it. He bagged nine goals and notched seven assists last season in 28 appearances. He will expected to boss the middle of the park here.

Kaka Orlando City

Score Prediction

Orlando City 3-1 Real Salt Lake – Orlando to get off to a flyer and take advantage of Real Salt Lake’s difficulty on the road. The only meeting between these two last season ended 1-1 but that was at the Rio Tinto Stadium. The Orlando fans will be expecting nothing less than three points and will want to see their side pick up the first opening day win in their short history.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, March 6 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Seattle 5/6 – Draw 5/2– Kansas City 16/5

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders kick off their 2016 campaign by welcoming Western Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City to CenturyLink Field on Sunday evening.

Both these sides fell short in the playoffs last season. Reaching the 2016 playoffs will be the minimum requirement once again and both sides can send out a real signal of intent here.

The Sounders will be looking to improve on last season’s fourth place finish in the Western Conference and a key start to the campaign is vital for getting early points on the board.

Sigi Schmid will be relatively pleased with Seattle’s preseason – they won their last two games after struggling with three consecutive defeats. Preseason can’t be looked into in too much depth as it doesn’t compare to the intensity of the real action, so it will be interesting to see how Seattle get going here.

Their two CONCACAF Champions League games against Club America will have helped preparations despite crashing out 5-3 on aggregate.

Sounders started the 2015 campaign with a 3-0 win and will look to replicate that this weekend. Their midseason wobble, where they lost six in seven games, probably cost them the Supporters’ Shield – they cannot afford a repeat of that this time around.

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Sporting Kansas City struggled to get going in their 2015 campaign. It took them four attempts to get their first win and they will be looking to get off to a flyer here in what is a tricky opener.

Kansas City are unbeaten in their last three outings against Seattle, winning one and drawing two, and a win here would be a remarkable confidence booster to get things going for their 2016 regular season.

Peter Vermes’ side had an unbeaten preseason and will be looking to use that momentum heading into this tie. They finished 6th in the Western Conference last season and will be looking to improve on that and challenge for the Supporters’ Shield this time around.

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Team News

Seattle Sounders have no injury concerns heading into the new campaign. The squad has undergone a little reshape though. The departure of Obafemi Martins will be a big role to fill and it appears Schmid is entrusting Jordan Morris with that task. He penned the highest paid contact for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer history so big things are expected from him. Joevin Jones and Michael Farfan will be hoping to make their Sounders debuts.

Sporting Kansas City will also be pleased not to have any major injuries heading into this one. However Ike Opara and Graham Zusi are doubts after picking up knocks towards the end of preseason. The squad has had minimal change which could be a plus for them this season, as players will continue to develop a great understanding of each other on the field. New signings Justin Mapp and Brad Davis will hope to feature.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ preseason form: L/L/L/W/W

Sporting Kansas City’s preseason form: W/D/D/D

Key Stat: Goals – Seattle have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven home Major League Soccer outings.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The obvious choice! Dempsey is easily the Sounders’ key man, as he makes them tick. His role in an injury-hit 2015 campaign was still immense. In the 20 games he featured in, Seattle only lost three times and he contributed to them finding the net 20 times, with ten goals and ten assists.

Forward Clint Dempsey celebrates his second goal after scoring from close range on a corner kick. All images courtesy of Sounders FC Communications. Photo: Jane Gershovich.

Forward Clint Dempsey celebrates his second goal after scoring from close range on a corner kick. Image courtesy of Sounders FC Communications. Photo: Jane Gershovich.

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – Seattle to start their 2016 regular season with a win. They won their last two games of preseason before their Champions League clashes, and they will have put them into good shape. The Sounders should make home advantage count in an action packed game. The last meeting between these sides was a 0-0 draw and Seattle will not want to continue their winless run against SKC in an important opener.