Greetings, friends! I am writing to you from Pennsylvania, USA where real football fever continues to grow as the Major League Soccer (MLS) season is underway!
Sure, I am in Pittsburgh Steelers (US football) country, but I must tell you that soccer (sorry!) has never been hotter in the US. I have been a huge fan of ToePunter.com, and Goals Galore tips. I absolutely love wagering on goals, and I hope that I can give you some info about the MLS so that we may all benefit from and enjoy this emerging league.
It has been a rocky road for Major League Soccer. The league was started back in 1993 while the US competed to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Play started in 1996 with ten teams, and frankly there was little interest from the American public. Teams played in huge American football stadiums, and attendance was spotty at best. There was talk that the league could fold. Clubs came and went, but thanks to the success of the American women’s FIFA World Cup championships and the gradual improvement of the US men’s team, more kids began to play soccer in America and MLS began to slowly build momentum.
Now MLS has expanded to 20 teams, most owners have built great stadiums designed for soccer, and many kids and young adults in America are turning to MLS instead of baseball, hockey or basketball.
Early last year, the league announced that two teams, Los Angeles FC and Minnesota United would join MLS in either 2017 or 2018. MLS fans were thrilled by the arrivals of several players who have starred at the highest levels of international soccer including Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba, David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Kaka, Giovanni Dos Santos and more.
By the way, the MLS is one of the only major leagues in the world without the promotion and relegation format.
So, just to get you up to speed, here is a look at the 20 teams and the Las Vegas odds for them to win the 2016 MLS title.
|New York Red Bulls||11/2|
|New York City FC||14/1|
|Seattle Sounders FC||14/1|
|Kansas City Wizards||16/1|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||16/1|
|New England Revolution||18/1|
|Orlando City SC||25/1|
|Real Salt Lake||33/1|
|San Jose Earthquakes||33/1|
Who will knock off the defending champion Portland Timbers this year? We’ll know in early December; the MLS regular season runs from March through October. Each team plays 34 matches and 12 teams advance to the playoffs where they will compete for the MLS Cup.
So…do they score goals in MLS? You bet! A record 36 goals were scored during Week One, and last year many of us benefited by playing MLS overs.
Here are the top 10 goal scoring teams last year (in 34 games):
New York Red Bulls – 62
Toronto – 58
Columbus – 58
LA Galaxy – 56
Dallas – 52
New York City FC – 49
Sporting KC – 48
New England – 48
Montreal – 48
Orlando – 46
I have every reason to believe that the LA Galaxy could move to the top of this list this season. With Mike Magee, Dos Santos, Keane, and a great supporting cast, this is a team that could win us many over bets this year.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the number of goals scored per game in 2015.
|Over in % of games||Average # of goals|
|3||New York City FC||85||62||35||3.71||2.59||3.15|
|4||New York Red Bulls||94||65||26||3.12||3.06||3.09|
|9||New England Rev.||85||62||29||2.29||3.29||2.79|
|10||Sporting Kansas City||68||50||32||2.88||2.59||2.74|
|15||Real Salt Lake||65||47||26||2.12||2.94||2.53|
|17||San Jose Earthquakes||68||35||21||1.65||3.06||2.35|
|19||Seattle Sounders FC||65||44||24||2.35||2.35||2.35|
Average number of goals is taken from sum Goals for and Goals against.
We will take a close look at goals per game as the season progresses. Here are a few quick hits for MLS week #2:
Bronze Spike: Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union – 12th Mar – Columbus lost to MLS champs Portland last weekend. They won’t lose to Philly in their home opener. Go Crew!
Advised bet: Columbus Crew win 1.7 at William Hill
Silver Spike: New York City FC host Toronto on 13th Mar. Last July these two played to a 4-4 tie. I like at least 3 goals here.
Advised bet: Over 2.5 goals 1.5 at Betfair
Golden Spike: LA travels to Colorado on 12th Mar. After thumping DC United last weekend, I am bullish on the Galaxy! I think they will take care of Colorado.
Advised bet: LA Galaxy win 2.25 at SkyBet
There will be many goals in MLS this year! Keep checking back – Let’s win some MLS wagers together!
Any questions, please email me at doverspiketommy(at)yahoo.com; I will respond to all emails.
Best of luck to you,