It’s that time again MASL Nation! Time for me to be incredibly wrong on most of these picks! Eleven games are on the schedule this week, so let’s get picking!
In tonight’s game, El Paso hosts Monterrey. Can anyone stop the Flash during the regular season? I say no. Monterrey wins rather handily in this matchup.
On Friday, Baltimore travels to Harrisburg to take on the Heat. Baltimore is looking to get one step closer to a playoff spot, while Harrisburg needs a win to stay alive in the Eastern Division playoff race. Harrisburg has beaten Baltimore already this year at home, so the question is: Do they make it two in a row? No. Baltimore, even without Lucas Roque and William Vanezla, blew out the Heat last weekend 12-5. I expect more of the same this week.
Another matchup on Friday will be Turlock hosting San Diego. A smaller field will make this game exciting, but unfortunately, it will still be a one-sided affair. San Diego wins.
The final game on Friday night will be Ontario versus Soles de Sonora. Both teams managed to beat San Diego on their home floors last week, but both teams cannot win this game. So, who has the edge? Soles have a guy by the name of Franck Tayou. He seems to be doing well so far this year. He seems to do well every year. I’ll take Soles in a close one.
On Saturday, Harrisburg plays host to the Florida Tropics. Florida is making the trip up north for the weekend, hoping to get two wins in two days (we’ll discuss their next game a little later…). This Eastern Division can be unpredictable at times. Baltimore has lost to both Harrisburg and Florida, Syracuse has beaten Florida twice on the road, but lost at home, so who knows what will happen Saturday night? I’m hoping Harrisburg comes out on top, but it’s unlikely. Give me Florida by one goal.
The other game on Saturday has Sonora hosting Tacoma. I really like this matchup. Tacoma added Nick Perera AND Taylor Bond over the last few weeks; both players are capable of lighting up the scoreboard. They go into Sonora, where high goal counts are the name of the game. The announcers better warm up their vocal cords, because I know they’ll be saying the phrase “GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!” quite a bit. Both teams need this game for the playoff push. Give me Tacoma in a slight upset. They’ll be well rested, while the Soles have to play a game and travel the night before.
Sunday brings us five games, starting with St. Louis traveling to Milwaukee. On a side note, my trip to St. Louis was one to remember. The food was great, the weather was great, and The Family Arena was rocking! I’m sorry, Ambush fans, for the outcomes of both games, but the Knights had to take care of business. I think the question in this game will be “Can Josh Lemos spin back to back shutouts?” The answer is no. The Ambush will find a way to score a few. Unfortunately, the Wave will score more, and will beat St. Louis.
My game of the week happens next. Florida travels to the Oncenter to face the Silver Knights. Both teams are 7-6, both teams have the same goal differential, both teams have won in each other’s arenas. The Tropics almost blew a four goal lead against the Kansas City Comets last weekend, while Syracuse won two out of three road games in three days. Yes, I realize that both of them were against St. Louis. But, I would imagine it’s no fun playing three games in three different cities in a span of 44 hours. Who do I have winning this game? Give me Syracuse! Here’s why: Andrew Coughlin has been on fire recently. In Sunday’s game against St. Louis, Coughlin stopped 30 out of 34 shots, 15 of those in the 4th quarter alone in their 6-4 victory. I will take the hot goalie every day of the week!
In another fantastic matchup, Monterrey will face San Diego. As I said earlier in this article, Monterrey won’t be stopped during the regular season by ANYONE, even the Sockers. This will be the last test for the Flash on their road to an undefeated season. With that being said, give me Monterrey, but in a close game.
In the Central Division playoff race, Kansas City hosts Cedar Rapids. Being in the playoff mix, it’s confusing why the Rampage would trade one of their best players (Taylor Bond) in the midst of a playoff run. Nevertheless, they go into Kansas City after upsetting the Milwaukee Wave 5-3 last weekend, while the Comets lost a close one to Florida in Lakeland 7-6. So, who wants this game more? I’ll give the slight edge to Kansas City to win at home.
The final game in Week 14 has Rio Grande Valley hosting El Paso. The Coyotes are on Upset Alert this week, as I see the Barracudas winning this game! El Paso will be coming off of a loss against Monterrey, and will be looking to get back on the winning track. But, I think Rio Grande will come out with guns-a-blazing!
So to recap:
Monterrey > El Paso
Baltimore > Harrisburg
San Diego > Turlock
Sonora > Ontario
Florida > Harrisburg
Tacoma > Sonora
Milwaukee > St. Louis
Syracuse > Florida
Monterrey > San Diego
Kansas City > Cedar Rapids
Rio Grande Valley > El Paso
LAST WEEK: 11-4
OVERALL: 86-26 (.768)
MASL Nation, what say you? I’m ready to watch some great soccer action this week!