Week 8 ended with a huge upset, as the Orlando SeaWolves took down the Milwaukee Wave, and thus ending another above .500 week for the both of us! I edged out Hannah by one game, 8-4 for me versus 7-5 for Hannah. This week we have 11 games on the schedule, so let’s get picking!

FRIDAY 1/25:

UTICA over Harrisburg: Harrisburg continues their six-game adventure against the Blast and Utica with a home match-up against “The City”. Both teams are coming off of losses; Harrisburg lost a close game to Baltimore at SECU Arena, while Utica lost the back end of a back-to-back against the Kansas City Comets. Utica’s newest addition, Freddy Moojen, will be available for Friday’s contest, making an already stacked team, even better. Utica takes care of business on Friday night, beating the Heat 10-5. HANNAH’S PICK: I don’t think Hannah has picked against Utica, and it won’t change this week. She’s going with “The City”.

ORLANDO over St. Louis: The SeaWolves are coming off of a 7-4 upset of the Wave, so confidence levels are extremely high right now. This game is huge for both teams, as every team in the South Central Division has a chance to get that 2nd seed, and the opportunity to play Milwaukee in the playoffs. I see Orlando continuing their winning ways over an Ambush team that looked lethargic for most of their game against Utica City last Saturday. If the Amubsh are to beat the SeaWolves, they will need another huge game from Paulo, who is currently 7th in the MASL in save percentage. Give me Orlando 7-5. HANNAH’S PICK: She thinks St. Louis will take this one on the road over Orlando.

EL PASO over Turlock: The Coyotes host the Express in the last match-up of Friday night. El Paso lost a nailbiter to the Dallas Sidekicks 10-9, while Turlock lost a not-so-nailbiter to the San Diego Sockers 12-4. Looking at Turlock’s schedule, I think there are only two games the Express COULD win: This game and the game against El Paso at home. The last time these two teams met, was another 10-9 overtime game, with El Paso coming out victorious against the Express. Give me the Coyotes by the score of 8-6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is taking El Paso in this one, and hopes Turlock wins some games this season!

SATURDAY 1/26:

FLORIDA over St. Louis: The Sunshine State road trip for the Ambush wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Lakeland to face the Tropics. This will be the first meeting between the two teams after their trade last week, swapping Antonio Manfut for Jowayne Laidley. As I said last week, this trade is too early to analyze completely, but it looks like Manfut is fitting in quite nicely for the Tropics, scoring in their 10-9 loss against Milwaukee last week. Playing on consecutive days has been troublesome for most teams this season, and in this case, I don’t see that changing. Give me Florida over St. Louis 9-5. HANNAH’S PICK: She wants Florida to win but she doesn’t know why. It’s hard.

BALTIMORE over Harrisburg: The Heat do not get any time to rest as they host the *sigh* Eastern Division leading Baltimore Blast. The Blast are coming off of a 14-6 demolishing of the Mississauga MetroStars, with most of their starters resting after a one-goal victory against the Heat the night before. The Heat have played Baltimore rather tight this season, but I don’t see that happening on Saturday. Blast win 8-4. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going with her dad and going with the Blast. I decided to ask Hannah for a score for this game, and this is what she said, “12 for Baltimore and 10 for Harrisburg”. My apologies go out to William Vanzela for Hannah’s guess on the number of goals scored by the Heat.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Dallas: The Barracudas are coming off of an upset against the Southwest Division leading Monterrey Flash, an upset Hannah saw coming. I see the momentum continuing going forward, and that means a possible blowout against an over-matched Sidekicks team. Ooooooooh Barracudas, as Hannah would say, over Dallas, 11-3. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah enjoys Rio Grande Valley just as much as I do, and she’s going with them again this week.

MILWAUKEE over Mississauga: The Wave head back home after going 1-1 in their recent trip to Florida. They did have the lead in Orlando, but gave up four unanswered goals in that defeat. The status of Josh Lemos is still unknown, so I’m going to say that Rafa Dias will be between the pipes in this one, and that will make it a little easier to score goals for the MetroStars. The only bad thing that the MetroStars will have to deal with is one of the most potent offenses in the league. The Wave bounce back after defeating Mississauga 10-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is taking the Wave as well.

SUNDAY 1/27:

UTICA over Orlando: Both teams have matches on Friday night. Both teams have to travel to Utica for this game on Sunday. Harrisburg is much closer than Orlando, so a huge advantage goes to Utica City. Currently, Utica has one of the best attendance averages in the league, as well as one of the best home records (5-1). As I’ve mentioned in several other posts, City FC has one of the deepest teams, and it will show on Sunday. Utica will be the first Eastern Conference team to 10 wins in the MASL after beating Orlando 8-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah doesn’t hesitate and picks Utica. On a side note, I asked my soon to be three-year old Henry on the outcome of this game, and he’s choosing Orlando.

KANSAS CITY over Mississauga: The Kansas City Comets currently sit in second place in the South Central Division after beating Utica City on Sunday night. I have to admit, I was very impressed with the Comets. Yeah, Utica was missing five of its key players from their lineup, but they used their speed and beat an already tired City team and withstood a comeback from the visitors. Mississauga comes into the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena after playing the night before, so a similar result might take place. Kansas City take this matchup 7-3. HANNAH’S PICK: After thinking about it for a second, she picks the Comets.

ONTARIO over Monterrey: My upset of the week takes place on Sunday as Ontario travels to face a Monterrey Flash team that is without Mariano Bollella, last year’s Coach of the Year, who was let go after the Flash’s defeat against Rio Grande Valley. For the Fury, it’s a good news/bad news situation: The bad news is Adrien Perez, their MVP so far this season as been offered an invite to play for LAFC, and the good news is GM Bernie Lilavois has added three players with quite a bit of indoor experience; Thiago Goncalves, Victor Quiroz, and Anibal Echeverria. Oh, and the Fury also have Chris Toth on their side. In a low scoring contest, the Fury edge this one out 6-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks Monterrey will pull off the victory in this one. She wants them to win.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Turlock: This week several teams play back to back nights, and I have yet to pick a team that wins both of these match-ups. So, Rio Grande Valley plays the night before against El Paso, and on Sunday they face Turlock on the road. Am I predicting a loss for the Barracudas? Against any other team, I would. But, this is a Turlock team that also will have played a game during the week, so they will also have tired legs. The Express play teams closer at home, so a blowout isn’t in the cards. But, a Barracudas weekend sweep is. Rio Grande Valley 9, Turlock 6. HANNAH’S PICK: Barracuda, Barracuda, Barracuda. Those were her exact words. So, I’m not sure who she’s picking.

So there you have it MASL Nation. Another week of predictions are in the books. Hannah is very tired after picking these games, and says it is very hard to do. Next week, I will make a bet with Hannah based on the predictions we do. So, I hope you read next week’s picks! Until then MASL Nation, what say you?

Merlin –
Last week: 8-4, Season: 60-20

Hannah –
Last week: 7-5, Season: 28-23