NYC FC vs Toronto FC MLS Picks
Toronto FC vs New York City
We have passed the halfway point in the 2017 MLS season and we are starting to get a good look at some of the teams with a genuine chance of raising the trophy at season's end. Unlike previous campaigns, the eastern conference looks to have overtaken the west in terms of overall quality and indeed as it stands the top three teams in the competition hail from this side of the draw.
One team that has been slowly building in the east for a number of seasons is Toronto FC. MLS finalists in the 2016 season, the side has been built around the might of Italian genius Sebastian Giovinco and he continues to lead them to success. Joint leaders of the competition coming into this round, the Reds will be a tough prospect for any opposition in the second half of the season.
Toronto will head to Manhattan on Wednesday night to take on a New York City team who are also in stellar form. City's key player is another import, Spanish legend David Villa, who comes into the fixture in second place on the MLS top goalscorer list with 12 in 19 games. New York are currently in third place, five points adrift of Toronto and Chicago Fire, and will be desperate to make up ground.
A big turnout at Yankee Stadium may be the difference in a game that looks incredibly tight on paper. New York City go into the fixture as heavy favourites - quite surprising considering how well Toronto FC have fared this season - and will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the performances that saw them absolutely thrashed in their 2016 playoff battle.
New York City FC
New York come into this fixture in great form. They have obtained 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five matches and racked up an impressive 11 goals in the process. OK, so they haven't had to travel very far during this run (their only away fixture was across the Hudson away to the New York Red Bulls), but in a competitive and hard-fought league like the MLS it is still very impressive.
City have lost just once at home from nine fixtures, drawn twice, and won the other six matches. You can always count on a goal from the home side at Yankee stadium - they have scored twenty times there this season. Defensively they are also impressive having conceded just ten goals in their nine home fixtures.
This fixture is critical for New York as they face Toronto FC twice in the the next two weeks with the small matter of a game against league leaders Chicago wedged in between. Two of the three are in New York which is a crucial factor, and if City can manage to win against both of the league's most dominant sides it will really set up an exciting close to the 2017 season.
The Reds have been rolling along just fine in 2017, really building on the momentum they created at the tail end of 2016. They have led the league for much of the season and have only been pegged back recently by a red hot Chicago Fire side who have risen from the ashes and completed a remarkable turnaround from last year.
The only downside to FC's season so far, if we want to be really critical, is their away form. All three of Toronto's losses this season have come away from BMO Field and while it still leaves them with a decent overall away record of 4-3-3, it is something the team can work on moving into the second half of the season. For whatever reason, the side just hasn't looked as confident on the road.
Toronto come into this fixture in reasonable form - they have taken nine points from a possible fifteen in their last five matches, with two away losses to FC Dallas and New England respectively during this period. They will be up against it when they travel to the big apple, although will only need to remember their last appearance at Yankee stadium to draw inspiration - the 5-0 victory that gave them a 7-0 aggregate playoff win will be hard to forget for fans of both clubs.
This is a tough match to pick, and I'm not too sold on the disparity between the teams according to the main bookmakers. Toronto FC will give this a real crack and push the home side all the way. I expect there to be goals scored by both sides - New York have scored in 18 out of 19 games this season, while Toronto have done so in 16 of 19. My pick is a draw in this crucial encounter, a close-fought 1-1.
MLS Soccer Picks This Week
As always, there are a number of massive fixtures kicking off in the MLS this week. San Jose travel to New Jersey to take on the new York Red Bulls and both sides will be desperate to take the points here. Still well in contention, both sides sit on 26 points, four wins behind the leaders but with playoff spots well and truly within their own hands.
The Red Bulls have not had too much success at home since April when they won all three matches played at Red Bull Arena. They have managed just one win in four attempts following this run and have drifted to seventh on the eastern conference table. San Jose meanwhile have won just twice in nine attempts away from home, with six losses on the road, and with that in mind I'm going to stick with the Red Bulls here in a low scoring match.
Wednesday night throws up six fixtures in total, including an all-west encounter between sleeping giants LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Canadians have certainly had the better of things this season as they sit eight points behind conference leaders Sporting KC with three matches in hand, although they haven't been too impressive on the road and will travel to Los Angeles having won just twice in eight games away from BC Place.
LA Galaxy looked to have rebounded from a poor start to the season as they went unbeaten through eight matches in April, May and June, although three consecutive losses including a big 6-2 defeat at home to fellow battlers Real Salt Lake has severely dented their hopes of playoff soccer this season. The mid-season break came at a good time for the Galaxy, and I expect them to be much better against the Whitecaps. My pick is a high-scoring win for the home team.
You can always count on the MLS to provide plenty of entertainment, and placing a wager on your favourite team only adds to the drama. With so many betting options available, there has never been a better opportunity to walk away a winner, and we provide you with the best selection of sportsbooks that deliver the most enticing odds and diverse lines.
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