We are already three weeks into the season, and most (come on San Diego) of the MASL teams have already played at least one game, with Utica playing four in two weeks. The Sockers are last, but not certainly least, to the MASL party, finally playing their first game on Sunday against Rio Grande Valley.
I’ve decided to mix things up this week, and ask my five-year old daughter Hannah to help me with the picks. So, here it goes!
KANSAS CITY over Mississauga: The MetroStars laid a goose egg onto the Florida Tropics, but due to visa issues, half of the main roster stayed back in the states, so this 10-0 victory for Mississauga comes with an asterisk attached. Let’s hope the Comets have resolved these issues, and don’t face what Florida did. Kansas City has a great squad this season, and should defeat the MetroStars 6-3. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going against her father and picking Mississauga because, “she wants them to win”.
FLORIDA over Harrisburg: Harrisburg is coming off of a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Ambush at home, giving new head coach Pat Healey his first win this season. Will this road trip give him another win? Sadly, not Saturday against a Tropics team that put up a good fight against a strong Utica City FC team on the road. Florida wins at home 7-5. HANNAH’S PICK: After thinking about it for a second, she picks Florida. She likes their jerseys.
BALTIMORE over Orlando: Both Florida teams are home this weekend with Orlando hosting the Blast. Orlando started off the 2018-2019 season with a 5-4 shootout loss to St. Louis, while Baltimore is coming off of a 7-6 win over Utica City at SECU Arena. I expect Orlando to be a little rusty to start, but will give Baltimore a run for their money. Baltimore 8, Orlando 4. HANNAH’S PICK: She thinks Baltimore will win.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Turlock: The Barracudas are on the road this weekend, with their first stop in Turlock to face an Express team in need of some offense. In their two games against Tacoma and Ontario, Turlock only mustered up four goals. RGV lost to Dallas 5-4 a couple of weeks ago, and are ready to start off the road trip with a win. RGV 9, Turlock 5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks “Grande Valley is cuter,” so she’ll go with them.
DALLAS over El Paso: The Coyotes travel to Dallas in a Lonestar State showdown. El Paso last faced Monterrey, and lost 8-3, while the Sidekicks lost to a strong Ontario Fury team by a 10-2 margin. I see Dallas buckling down and beating El Paso 7-4. HANNAH’S PICK: She’s going back and forth on this one, and can’t make up her mind. She finally goes with Dallas.
MILWAUKEE over Kansas City: The last time these two teams met, the Wave outlasted the Comets 10-6. This game wasn’t even close, with several sixth attacker goals scored by Kansas City. The Silverstein Eye Centers Arena will host this contest, and I expect Milwaukee to do the same thing as last time. Give me the Wave 11-7. HANNAH’S PICK: After getting harassed by her younger brother, Henry, Hannah focuses on the task at hand and selects the Wave as well.
TACOMA over Ontario: Both teams are out of the gates 2-0, with wins over Turlock and Dallas. Now, their focus is on each other, with the Stars hosting this round. Both teams have shown they are going to be chasing San Diego for the Pacific Division crown, and going after each other to get that second playoff spot. Toth vs. Waltman is a dream match-up in my book, and both goalies will be tested. I don’t see a lot of offense in this one. Tacoma will take Round 1, 5-3. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah can’t stop saying “The Stars”, so I’m guessing she’s agreeing with me.
UTICA CITY over Harrisburg: In Harrisburg, the Heat showed they can go toe to toe with the boys in Utica, eventually losing a 9-7 slugfest in the 4th quarter. The Adirondack Bank Center has been a good luck charm for City, going 2-0 so far, with impressive wins over Florida and Baltimore. Make it 3-0 after Utica cools off the Heat 8-4. HANNAH’S PICK: Before I ask her this, I’d like to point out, if she chooses Harrisburg, I will be giving away my five-year old daughter Hannah. And now the moment of truth.. She says, and I quote, “Utica City…UTICA CITY! Did you know I was going to say that?” Yes I did Hannah.
ST. LOUIS over Kansas City: This is my second attempt at an upset special with the Ambush. They almost pulled off a 4th quarter miracle in Harrisburg, losing with 20 seconds left in the game. This, too, will be a back and forth game, with St. Louis giving the Comets a 1-3 record after the weekend. St. Louis 7, Kansas City 6. HANNAH’S PICK: After admitting that “this one is hard”, she finally goes with St. Louis.
SAN DIEGO over Rio Grande Valley: The final game of the weekend has the Sockers playing their first game of the season. Fans are chomping at the bit to see all of their new players. They will be facing off against a Barracudas team that will have faced the Turlock Express a couple of days prior. This one will be decided by halftime, with San Diego prevailing 12-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Oooooooh Barracuda! She’s taking the upset and taking Rio Grande Valley.
Last week, I went 4-2, with Florida and St. Louis letting me down, bringing my record for the year to 12-4. Let’s hope I do better this week!
Now my fantasy lineup for this week: GOALIE: Danny Waltman (Tacoma), DEFENDERS: John Sosa (Kansas City) and Jake Schindler (Utica City), MIDFIELDERS: Max Ferdinand (Milwaukee) and Victor Parreiras (Florida), FORWARD: Kraig Chiles (San Diego)
What say you MASL Nation? Week 3 is almost upon us. How is YOUR team doing? Let me know!