MLS Soccer Betting: Real Salt Lake vs Portland Timbers
Saturday, March 7th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: Real Salt Lake enters 2015 looking to make it to their eighth straight playoff appearance and hoping to add to the longest current streak in MLS. Most of the players on last year's roster return in 2015, but Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy and Sebastian Velasquez are among the few that have left for the Big Apple, headed to NYCFC to reunite with former Real coach Jason Kreis.
Coach Jeff Cassar has made it abundantly clear that he wants to put his own stamp on the team by letting go of many players brought in by Kreis, but he also does not want to completely start over, so he kept a semblance of what has been successful for the team thus far.
Here is a quick rundown of the ins and outs for Real SL entering 2015: The incoming list consists of Jamison Olave, Boyd Okwuonu, Phanuel Kavita, Demar Phillips, Aaron Maund, Elias Vasquez,Sebastian Saucedo, and Wellington Paeckart. Players no longer with the team areRich Balchan, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Carlos Salcedo,Cole Grossman, Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez,Robbie Findley, and Benji Lopez.
Caleb Porter enters his third season at the helm for the Timbers, and has turned his attention to the defensive side of the ball. That is a good thing, since the team had no problem scoring, but couldn't seem to stop anyone when it mattered most.
Portland put themselves in an early hole in 2014, getting 3 points only once in their first ten outings of the season, but still managed to come within only one point of a playoff berth yet being out done by Vancouver for the 5th spot in the Western Conference standings.
Here is what transpired in the off-season for the Timbers, as we did for Real SL: In comes the Ghanaian National keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey,with defenders Nat Borchers from Real SL, Jeanderson Pereira, and Andy Thoma. Dairon Asprilla and Nick Beslerlook look to provide some stability in the middle of the field. The players who departed include GK Donovan Ricketts, and5 players from the back line, consisting of Michael Harrington, Bryan Gallego, Pa Modou Kah, Rauwshan McKenzie, and Danny O’Rourke.
Steve Zakuani, Kalif Alhassan, Steven Evans are gone from the middle of the field,with Jose Valencia back from his assignment on loan.
Last 10 MLS Meetings:
Real Salt Lake has a 6W - 1L - 3D record in the last 10 meetings.
1x2 3-Way Lines:
Real SL +245
Real SL Pk +155
Portland Pk -180
Total O/U 2.5:
Quick Analysis & Prediction
With all the players that Salt Lake let go of in the off-season, the core of GK Nick Rimando and Captain Kyle Beckerman are still in place and will still get to work with the team’s all-time leading scorer Alvaro Saborio. The three of them alone can cause problems for anyone in MLS, and most likely will do just that.
Portland knows they cannot afford to get off to the start that cost them a playoff berth in 2014. Opening the season at home could provide a similar spark that they took advantage of, with only three losses at home last season.
We are turning to the Under for the last match of openingSaturdayof the 2015 MLS season. If the pre-season is any indication of how Portland has gelled on defense, than they should be able to hold Salt Lake down at home. If we see a 1 - 1 draw here, no one would be overwhelmingly shocked, so the Under 2.5 at a marginal -125 goes in the books. Hopefully Real Salt Lake can put up as good of a defensive effort to help us cash the ticket.