MLS Soccer: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Utah
Friday, April 17th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: The Vancouver Whitecaps put their first place record on the line when they visit Utah’s Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lakeon Saturday evening. Vancouver is the only club in MLS to have played seven games in 2015, and that helped them leap frog to the top of the Western Conference standings earlier in the year.
After an opening loss to Toronto to start the year, the Whitecaps reeled off four straight wins, but have suddenly hit the brakes with a draw against Columbus and a 1 - 0 loss last weekend at Avaya Stadium vs San Jose. The 'Caps did have to play 3 games in eight days however, so at least now they will have a full week of rest that everyone needs to recover.
Pedro Morales will be suspended for this one in the middle of the field for Vancouver, as a result of the red card he obtained in the 88th minute after the back and forth kicking with Adam Jahn of San Jose.
Real Salt Lake can pull within a point of the top spot in the West with a big home win this weekend. They hope to get back Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman after they both startedon Wednesdayin the USA vs Mexico friendly, in which the U.S took a 2 - 0 win. Beckerman came off with an apparent leg injury, so he is likely to not be in the starting XI this weekend, which will leave Coach Jeff Cassar having to fill the void in the middle of the field. They have started 17 different players through only five games on the season, but are still the only club in the Western Conference to have not suffered a loss this year.
RSL was not all that impressive in the Kansas City match, as they did not put a single shot on frame, although they managed a point from a scoreless draw away from home, which is always seen as a positive in the grand scheme of things.
Last 11 MLS Meetings:
The two have met 11 times in their MLS history, with Salt Lake leading the series having 4 wins, 3 losses and 4 draws
1x2 3-Way Lines:
Salt Lake +100
Vancouver +0.5 -120
Salt Lake -0.5 +100
Total O/U 2.5:
MLS Betting @ Diamond Sportsbook
Quick Analysis & Prediction
The potential loss of Kyle Beckerman could certainly be a factor for Real Salt Lake, as they are also still without Joao Plata. Let's not forget that Real has not lost in March or April in the last two seasons, and have done a great job filling spots from international absences and/or injuries thus far.
Vancouver will at least have their legs back after playing 3 games in eight days. They can now properly prepare for a big away game, in a series with Real that has been tight since the two starting facing each other in 2011.
Naturally, we can expect that Salt Lake will do all they can to bottle up the league’s leading scorer Octavio Rivero, who has five goals, which accounts for more scoring than four teams in MLS have managed to score so far.
Vancouver has scored the most goals in the league so far, and has not exactly been stellar on defense as well.
As we said, we know Salt Lake will do their best to neutralize Rivero, but that is easier said than done.
We are suggesting this Over 2.5, at a pretty decent +110 price to boot, with the expectation that Vancouver has not played well defensively. Salt Lake is playing with an adjusted lineup, should Beckerman not be a go.
Check the lineups of course, although we also know that Morales is out for Vancouver at center midfield as well, so both teams will be facing some changes in the middle of the field.