What do Utica City and Merlin have in common? Times up! Both things went undefeated last weekend, with Utica having the better weekend after demolishing the Blast and MetroStars by a 22-6 margin. Hannah had a slightly off week this week, going 5-5. This week, we can sit back and watch 11 games tonight through Monday! So, who do we have winning? Keep reading and find out!
MONTERREY over Dallas: In the first game of Week 12, the Flash travel to Dallas to face a Sidekicks team that almost beat Monterrey on their home floor Sunday night, eventually losing 7-4. So, what will happen this time? I see a repeat of last Sunday, with a three goal victory for the Flash and a hat trick for Franck Tayou. Monterrey 8, Dallas 5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks this is a hard one to start. After a little while, she is going to go with her father and picking Monterrey.
BALTIMORE over Mississauga: The MetroStars are in desperate need of some home cooking, and they will get it this weekend with match-ups against Baltimore and Harrisburg. We’ll start with Friday night’s match-up against the Blast. The big question will be what Blast team will we see; will it be the team that lost three straight, with two of those being on the road, or will we see a Blast team that dismantled the Harrisburg Heat, outshooting them by a 49-20 margin? In order for Baltimore to be a serious playoff contender, they need to play like that did on Sunday, but on the road. The last time these two teams met in Mississauga, Baltimore won in overtime. I don’t see overtime for this game, but I do see a close game. The Blast creep a 1/2 game closer to Utica City for first after beating the MetroStars 7-4. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is taking the Blast in this one as well.
TURLOCK over El Paso: The Express host the El Paso Coyotes on Saturday, and both teams are need of a win. Turlock lost 12-1 against San Diego at home last week, while El Paso lost on the road 10-2 against Rio Grande Valley. El Paso has looked pretty good at times, while Turlock plays mostly everyone close at home. With the exception of the Sockers games, the Express’ goal differential at home is a respectable -7 over their other four games.. I’ve gone back and forth about this game, and now I need to make a decision. So, being this game is in Turlock, I’m going to say Turlock wins by two goals. Turlock 8, El Paso 6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks Turlock has what it takes to beat El Paso. So, she’s picking the Express in an upset!
SAN DIEGO over Tacoma: The time has come! Landon Donovan makes his first start in a San Diego Sockers uniform as they play host to the Tacoma Stars, a possible Pacific Division playoff match-up. So, in addition to the outcome of the game, I’ll throw in my two cents on how well he will do on the field. The crowd at Pechanga Arena San Diego will go into a frenzy when Donovan scores in the third quarter, his first goal as a Socker. He ends the game with that one goal, and two shots on goal. With or without Donovan, the Sockers take down the Stars 9-5. HANNAH’S PICK: San Diego takes the victory, and according to Hannah, “If he scores, I’m wrong.” (He being Landon Donovan. Haters gonna hate!)
ORLANDO over Florida: This will be Orlando’s last game played in Lakeland this season, with the SeaWolves taking a 1-1 record against the Tropics into this match-up. Florida hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this season, and if they are to make a playoff run, they need to basically run the table. Meanwhile, Orlando needs to win games like this in order to be in the conversation for that second seed in the South Central Division. The Tropics would love to play spoiler for the rest of the division, but I don’t see a win on Saturday against an improving SeaWolves team. Orlando takes two out of three in Lakeland as they defeat the Tropics 9-7. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah wants Florida to win this one, so she’s taking the Tropics!
MILWAUKEE over Kansas City: The Wave head to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena to take on a Kansas City Comets team that most recently lost in St. Louis to the Ambush, 10-8. Milwaukee’s most recent game was against another South Central Division rival in the Florida Tropics, and they won 8-4 at home. Josh Lemos has given up six goals in his last two games, but he goes into Saturday’s game with an injury to his back. I’ve seen him play through a few injuries over the years, and I know he’ll be wanting to play in this key divisional game. If he’s 100%, he’ll be the key to a Wave victory. I like Milwaukee winning this one over the Comets, breaking their hearts three days after Valentine’s Day, 10-6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is disagreeing with me once again and is going with the upset special in Kansas City!
HARRISBURG over Mississauga: A big hello goes out to Ricardo Carvalho, a fan of Merlin’s Picks! The Heat travel to the outskirts of Toronto to face the MetroStars. Like the Turlock/El Paso game, both teams are in need of a win to build momentum for the second half of the season. The key for Mississauga in this game is the availability of their two main players, Dwayne De Rosario and Mo Babouli, both were held out of Sunday’s game at Utica. If they are available and playing, this game could shift in the MetroStars direction. The Heat are coming off of a weekend sweep at home, followed by a 9-3 thrashing at the hands of Baltimore. I’m going with Harrisburg in a close game, with Carvalho scoring a hat trick (no pressure!). Harrisburg 8, MetroStars 6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is making it a clean sweep and going with the Heat.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Dallas: The Barracudas are on fire after disposing the El Paso Coyotes 10-2, with Diego Zuniga scoring the “Goal Of The Year So Far” en route to his five-goal hat trick. The Sidekicks are at home on Friday, so tired legs may be a factor. I see this going one way: RGV continues to roll on, setting up the “Game Of The Week” against Monterrey. Give me the Barracudas 7-3. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going back to picking the Barracudas after going against her team last week.
ONTARIO over El Paso: The Coyotes continue their tour of California as they travel to face the Fury on Sunday. As we’ve seen the Fury has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with San Diego, but then lose to Turlock, so consistency needs to be a key for Ontario going forward this season. Ontario will win this game because Chris Toth is in net for the Fury, and we know what he is capable of. Toth shuts out the Coyotes, 6-0. HANNAH’S PICK: Once again, Hannah is having a hard time with this game. But, Hannah is going to agree with her dad and pick the Fury as well.
TACOMA over San Diego: In the final game on Sunday, San Diego and Tacoma face off for the second time this weekend, but this time Tacoma hosts this contest. On a side note, one of my prized possessions will be in attendance for this game; a Nick Perera jersey from when he played for the Syracuse Silver Knights last season, but not just a jersey, a Star Wars jersey. So “May the force be with you” Tacoma, as I’m taking you to pull off the upset against San Diego. Tacoma 5, San Diego 4. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going with the favorite San Diego in this one.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Monterrey: In the game of the week, the top two teams in the Southwest Division will face off in Monterrey as the Flash host the white hot Barracudas. RGV and Monterrey have split the season series so far 1-1, and that means they play four more times before the playoffs, so each game is huge, especially if it comes down to a tiebreaker for home field advantage. Both teams are going to be a tough out come playoff time, but I see RGV playing at a more consistent level as of right now. Does that mean Monterrey will lose the remaining four games against the Barracudas? Absolutely not. But, right now, RGV is on all cylinders, and they will pull off the road victory 7-5. HANNAH’S PICK: “Barracuda.” So, I’m guessing she’s going with RGV as well.
There you have it MASL Nation, another week of picks. A lot of great match-ups are on the schedule, and I can’t wait to see them all! What say you?
Last week: 10-0, Season: 81-27
Last week: 5-5, Season: 45-34