MLS Soccer Betting: New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew
Saturday, November 28th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: The New York Red Bulls enter their home leg of the Eastern Conference Finals down two goals to none, hoping to not repeat the 2013 disappointment that saw them give away their last and only other Supporters Shield reward. After three 2 - 1 contests between the two teams in the regular season, the Columbus Crew kept the Red Bulls out of their net at the sold-out MAPFRE Stadium last weekend with a 2 - 0 win, inching the Ohio-based club closer to their second MLS title.
The Crew took home the 2008 MLS Cup by defeating these same Red Bulls in the finals, after a strange playoff season that actually put the Red Bulls in the Western Conference post-season, as the West did not provide enough winning teams in the playoffs that year.
The playoff structure has since been revised, obviously, and the possibility of seeing that happen again has been eliminated with expansion and the new format in place.
We saw history made in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Finals, as Justin Meram provided a goal just nine seconds in to the match in Columbus.
Right off the opening kickoff, Wil Trapp sent a ball deep into the Red Bull zone, where he found Kei Kamara in the air who sent the ball further in the 18-yard box. Ethan Finlay could not control the advancement, but Meram was there to slam the ball past Red Bull keeper Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls had a quick chance in the 5th minute to level the match, after a poor clearance from the Crew defense found Lloyd Sam leaving a ball right at the feet of Sacha Kljestan at the six-yard box. Kljestan was denied by Crew keeper Steve Clark, who made the only save he was required to make in the first half.
The Red Bulls only managed two shots on goal in the entire match, and were held scoreless for the first time since May 24 against the Union, a stretch that spanned 30 outings in all competitions the Red Bulls have taken part in this year.
Kei Kamara was given credit for the second goal, but none of it would have been provided had it not been for the magic around the top of the box created by Cedric Mabwati. Mabwati took on four Red Bull defenders, and had his shot saved by Robles who simply left the ball right at the goal mouth for Kamara to finish.
Now the Red Bulls face the possibility that, for the second time in three years, they could potentially let a fantastic season that gives them a chance to host the MLS finals go by the wayside.
The Red Bulls were 12 - 3 - 2 at Red Bull Arena in the regular season, and scored two or more goals in 12 home games, ending the year having scored at least two goals in nine consecutive home games.
The Crew were unable to find a win in their first nine road games of the season, until a 1 - 0 win over Chicago started a run that earned the Crew a win in seven of their last nine games away from home to finish the regular season.
Last 10 MLS Meetings:
The recent series is tied, as both teams have 4 Wins, 4 Losses and 2 Draws in the last 10 MLS meetings.
1x2 3-Way Lines:
NYRB -0.5 -155
Columbus +0.5 +135
Total O/U 3:
Quick Analysis & Prediction
Well it didn't happen for us in the first leg, but that will not stop us from offering a second play on the total in the second leg. New York obviously needs to keep the Crew out of their net all together, as any road goal would surely do in the Supporters Shield holders.
If the Red Bulls win this game 2 - 1, they will be watching the Crew possibly host the MLS Finals, should the Timbers advance to the championship game and get past Dallas.
The Over 3 is undoubtedly the suggestion we make for this contest, as Columbus will certainly go out and stay aggressive to get that road goal.
The Bulls would still need to press for a fourth goal should the Crew score, since a 3 - 3 aggregate wouldn't help the Red Bulls in the least because of the lone away goal that holds the tie-breaking factor.
We expect plenty of fireworks here, with a hopeful epic match that provides plenty of goals for us all to enjoy.