In MLS action, eight games take up Sunday’s schedule beginning with an early-evening match between New York City FC and Atlanta United and finishing with an inter-conference duel between the San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire. In this article, we’ll focus on Sporting Kansas City taking on the New York City Red Bulls as they try to climb out of the Western Conference basement. Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo and Charlotte FC take up the 10th seed in their respective divisions and go head-to-head for three points.
Sporting Kansas City (+165) vs New York Red Bulls (+160)
The Red Bulls enter Kansas City for the eighth time in eight years and have only lost once since 2014 but five of the remaining six decisions ended in a draw. They escaped disaster on Thursday when they blasted two goals in six minutes to overcome a 1-0 deficit to defeat Atlanta United 2-1. It was the first time they erased a deficit when trailing after the 80th minute in nine years. The winning goal came from the foot of 16-year-old Serge Ngoma, becoming the third player in Red Bulls history to score for the team before turning 17. A win today propels them into first place in the Eastern Conference, and with the Montreal Impact not playing, New York will be extra motivated to play for a win.
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Entering tonight’s game, Kansas City has lost 10 of 18 games and two consecutive matches at home. The last time the team lost three straight in front of their fans occurred in 2014. One of the main culprits for their shortcomings is that four players have combined for the team’s last 15 goals, 12 of which were credited to Johnny Russell (8) or Dániel Sallói (4). Kansas City needs more scoring spread out, or they’ll continue to spiral down the standings. They’ll put up a fight tonight, but take the Red Bulls to run away with this one. Both Russell and Sallói also come in with +162 odds to score a goal at any time in the game.
Houston Dynamo (+110) vs Charlotte FC (+230)
For a team that went on a five-game unbeaten streak a short while ago, Houston has hit hard times recently after losing for a seventh time in ten games on Wednesday. They join Toronto FC and Chicago for the longest losing streak this season. They’ll take on an expansion team tonight, and their recent results against newer clubs are not favourable. Since Oct. 2012, Houston has won two of 16 against expansion clubs, with six ending in defeat and the remainder reaching a draw. They may be favourites to win tonight, but their results as of late don’t inspire much confidence.
With a loss tonight, Charlotte could suffer their first three-game losing streak since dropping the first three games this season. Collecting just two points when playing on the road, their away record represents one of the worst streaks of any expansion club since Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake earned one point each in 2005. Their lack of offense has affected their ability to secure any wins as the defensive side of the ball hasn’t been up to par. If they were more consistent with ball control, it’d be an easier decision to go with Charlotte, but the safer bet is to go with Houston tonight. Pair that with Charlotte FC failing to score for +270 odds and a greater return.
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