A pleasing if somewhat fortunate goals win in the All-Star game will do just fine to cap off July.
Sporting KC vs. New York Red Bulls – (11.30pm)
Sporting KC likes being on TV. In 5 ESPN outings since 2011, they haven’t lost. It sounds odd but there’s an awareness of when a team is the big ESPN Game of the Week in the US, and Sporting always perform for the cameras. Throw in this top of table clash and the recent home form of Sporting KC, coupled with NYRB’s away form, everything points towards a home win. Of course, it won’t be that simple. Espindola and Henry can destroy a team in a second, but the re-united pairing of Collin and Besler should possess the attributes and physical presence enough to deal with them. Despite the absence of Graham Zusi, the width will remain with Kamara, Bieler and Saad pushing forward as a front 3, and the absence of Tim Cahill perhaps counteracts this news. The Red Bulls are going to have to plug that hole somehow – perhaps with Alexander – but they can’t afford to give Sporting gaps to work in.
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas – (3.30am)
Whilst Seattle badly need to address their awful away form, they’re having little problem scoring at home. FC Dallas are trending the wrong way. The Texans have failed to win in their last 8 outings, or score a goal in their last 4. Seattle have been without US International striker Eddie Johnson for nearly a month, but the pairing of Neagle and Obafemi Martins have helped Seattle in scoring 5 goals and grabbing 7 points from their last 3 home games. Seattle last lost a home game back on March 2nd – 5 whole months without a home loss. Thanks to their potent attack, the Sounders possess a goal difference of +9 at home, having won 5 and drawn 3. Seattle have averaged 2.12 goals over that unbeaten home run stretching back to March, and that possess a huge problem. Dallas have only won away 1 time this season – a 90th minute 1-0 win over New England. They’ve conceded 18 goals in 9 games to little response, and of course have already been beaten here by Seattle, 4-2, in May. The return of EJ provides Sigi with some great options up front, and they should produce a combination good enough to see off a faltering FC Dallas side.
Sporting KC @ 1.90 with William Hill
Seattle @ 1.95 with Pinnacle