MLS Chicago Fire vs Los Angeles Galaxy
Thursday, March 5th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: The Los Angeles Galaxy comes off their 5th MLS Cup Championship in 2014, and now hosts the opening match of the 2015 season against Chicago.
On Monday, the Galaxy players and coaching staff received their 2014 MLS Cup championship ringsat a private ceremony at Wolfgang Puck's WP24 restaurant, located on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in downtown LA. The 2014 MVP Robbie Keane has stated on the Galaxy MLS home page that he feels the club is not ready for the new campaign, a comment which came after their final pre-season 3 - 2 loss to San Jose on February 28.
Coach Arena is also concerned with the sloppy play, and hopes he gave the right guys enough minutes to be prepared for the new season. The Chicago Fire was in the hunt for the playoffs in 2014, right up until the end of July last year, but the wheels fell off the wagon, and they ended up in 9th place in the East. The team has won only 2 of their last 11 matches down the stretch of the regular season.
Michael Stephens returns to LA, but this time as the enemy in the visiting side locker room. He spent four seasons in an LA uniform and won two MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. He also played college at UCLA, so he has plenty of memories between StubHub Arena and the Rose Bowl.
The Fire also brings in Keeper Jon Busch from San Jose who, despite being on a team that came in last place in the Western Conference, surely had a decent season in his own right. The only reason San Jose was so bad last year was a result of their offense, as they gave up the same amount of goals Seattle surrendered, and the Sounders won the supporters shield and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Shaun Maloney and Guly do Prado also join the Fire squad this year, bringing a good bit of European experience with them. Prado has played all his 13-year career in Italy and England, and can certainly provide a spark up front to aid the front line. Maloney is also an attacking mid-fielder with his own 14 years of experience in both Scotland and England. They each will be playing their first season out of Europe, but it should not take long to adjust to the MLS style of play.
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Last 10 MLS Meetings:
LA Galaxy 6W - 2D - 2L last 10 MLS Meetings
1x2 3-Way Lines:
Los Angeles -165
Chicago +1 -125
Los Angeles -1 +105
Total O/U 2.5:
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Quick Analysis & Prediction
We all know Stephen Gerrard will be coming to LA after the Premier League season, but that is still months away from happening, and no one knows what he can add at this point in his career. Until then, we see two goal keepers who were exceptional last year for their clubs, and Jon Busch should be thrilled that he gets another opportunity at this stage of his career.
Naturally, the loss of Landon Donovan will have its impact, as his leadership and ability to control the ball with sharp passing and timely shooting is gone. That will make Robbie Keane the key to the season, and having a guy who took home the MVP last year will obviously put a target on his back from every team they face.
This could be a match where the goals are hard to come by early. LA was stingy at home in 2014, but Chicago only won 2 games away from home last year.With the additions the Fire made in the off-season, we see them as a viable threat to make the playoffs in 2015, with six clubs from the Western Conference making the post-season, instead of the five that went through last year.
The first suggestion of the season goes to the handicap of +1 on Chicago away from home. It may cost a marginal $25 of juice to make the play, but we do not see the Galaxy winning by 2 or more goals to tear up our ticket. If it is 2 - 1 LA, so be it, because all that will do is give us our money back to live to see another day, and we have a full weekend of matches this weekend, and an entire season of plays to come.
We hope you enjoyed last year's write ups and betting advice, since it went extremely well on the betting side of the ledger. We can only hope to recreate the success, and bring the winners to the readers here at DSI.
Enjoy the new season, and don't forget that the MLS has signed an 8-year deal with ESPN, FoxSports and Univision, to televise a record amount of games this year. We will be watching, and we hope you are too!
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