The snow is flying in Central New York, so what better way to spend my night than to do some soccer picks! Week 13 was an up and down week for me, going 8-4, while Hannah had a respectable 7-5. What are we waiting for, let’s pick some games!
MILWAUKEE over Orlando: With the middle of the South Central Division in a logjam, every game is very important. For the SeaWolves, they have an important two games at home this week, starting against the Wave. Barring any sort of catastrophe, the Wave will be in the playoffs, and will most likely have home field advantage, until the Finals. The last time these two teams met was in Orlando, with the SeaWolves pulling off the upset, giving the Wave their second loss of the season at the time. I could see a repeat of the game on January 21st, but it won’t happen. Milwaukee starts their weekend with a win, putting Orlando in a very important match-up with Florida on Saturday night. Wave win 8-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah likes Orlando to have a repeat performance the last time these two teams met.
TACOMA over El Paso: One of my losses last week was courtesy of the Stars, who lost to Dallas in overtime, 5-4. The Stars are in need of some wins against some of the cellar dwellers in the West, like El Paso. The Coyotes will be playing with a heavy heart, as this is their first game after the passing of Frank Briones. I think El Paso will give the Stars everything they have, but will fall just short, 6-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is taking Tacoma as well.
SAN DIEGO over Turlock: If a David and Goliath match-up isn’t good enough for you, let’s throw Landon Donovan in the mix as well. Donovan will be starting his second game as a Socker on Friday night against a Turlock team that has been playing some close games recently, with their most recent loss coming against the Stars, 6-4. Omar Tapia has been a great acquisition for the Express, netting a hat trick in that loss. San Diego is the first team to clinch a playoff spot, but will be looking for home field throughout. They will get one step closer to that goal after dispatching the Express 10-5. HANNAH’S PICK: A San Diego sweep, and a Pacific Division title are what Hannah is predicting!
FLORIDA over Orlando: The SeaWolves continue their weekend at home against the Florida Tropics. I’ve sat here for a good five minutes trying to predict this game. On one hand, the SeaWolves will be coming off of a huge game against Milwaukee the night before, giving the advantage to the Tropics, as they will have the fresher legs. But, on the other hand, Orlando has handled the Tropics, taking two out of three in Lakeland. So, how do I determine the winner of this? Statistically speaking, a team going into the 2nd game of a back to back, have a tendency to lose that 2nd game. Give me the Tropics in an upset, 8-7. HANNAH’S PICK: Orlando will go 2-for-2 after beating the Tropics.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Dallas: The Sidekicks host the Barracudas in a key Southwest Division match-up. Dallas does not have a lot of room for error, as they are currently behind Rio Grande Valley by 3 1/2 games for that second playoff spot. A win against the Barracudas would go very far, and they are playing this in Dallas, so you would think a Sidekicks win is going to happen, right? Wrong. Rio Grande Valley is still the team to beat in the Southwest Division, even after a shaky 7-6 shootout victory over the Ontario Fury. The Barracudas bounce back, beating the Sidekicks by three goals, 9-6. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah loves saying the word “Barracuda”, so she’s picking RGV again.
ST. LOUIS over Harrisburg: I’ll make the analysis simple on this one: St. Louis is 5-4 at home, while Harrisburg is 0-8 on the road. The Heat will win a game on the road eventually, and they have four more tries, but the Ambush will take this one, 7-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah is going Upset City on this one and will take Harrisburg.
MISSISSAUGA over Baltimore: My upset of the year takes place on Sunday as Baltimore heads up north for the final time this season. So, since this is the Big Call, I feel like I should go into my reasoning behind this. Let’s start out with the last two games in Mississauga between these two teams. Mississauga held their own in both of these games, losing in overtime 6-5 in the first match-up, and 6-3 in the second one. In the second game, the MetroStars almost went into halftime tied with the Blast, but a late goal in the second killed whatever momentum they had built up. Now, let’s look at Baltimore’s road record. In previous years, the Blast had a great road record, but so far this year, they are 3-4 outside of SECU Arena. Their only other away win was in Orlando against the SeaWolves, a 4-1 victory back in December. At 3-13, Mississauga is almost mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture, but don’t count them out of this game. I think they have yet to put together a solid four quarters this season. They came pretty close last month against Eastern Division leading Utica at home, giving up two goals at the very end. In a back and forth game, Mo Babouli and the MetroStars will find a way to beat the Blast, and send their rowdy fans home happy. Mississauga 5, Baltimore 4. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks I’m crazy for picking the MetroStars, so she’s going against me and picking Baltimore.
MILWAUKEE over St. Louis: This also has upset written all over it. Milwaukee has to travel from Orlando to St. Louis to play the Ambush, who gets the luxury of staying home on back-to-back nights. Both teams will be tired, as Harrisburg will not be an easy win for St. Louis by any means. But, I’m going to give the edge to the Wave in this game. They have had some success when it comes to multiple games in several days, as they showed earlier in the season, beating both Mississauga and Utica on the road. Milwaukee should pull away from the Ambush in this one, winning by a 7-4 score. HANNAH’S PICK: Once again, Hannah is going against me as she thinks the Ambush will have enough in the tank to take down the Wave.
KANSAS CITY over Harrisburg: While Orlando and St. Louis host a couple of games this weekend, the Comets get to host just one. Kansas City gets to host Harrisburg, who will come into this game very tired after traveling right after their game against the Ambush. To keep pace with the other teams in the South Central Division, they will need to win this one. I like the Comets to take this one by three goals, 8-5. HANNAH’S PICK: Hannah thinks Harrisburg will start a road winning streak after beating Kansas City, in another upset!
MONTERREY over Dallas: The final game of the week has Dallas continuing their road trip, going across the border to face Monterrey. The Flash played most recently on Monday against the Ontario Fury, and won rather easily 10-5. I see this game having the same outcome, but instead of Ontario getting the loss, the Sidekicks get their second loss of the week. HANNAH’S PICK: We’ve disagreed on every game taking place on Sunday so far, so let’s go 4-for-4!. Dallas takes down the Flash in Monterrey!
That’s it for Week 14’s picks. What say you MASL Nation? I may have a surprise or two up my sleeve for next week’s picks. Stay tuned!
Last week: 8-4, Season: 96-35
Last week: 7-5, Season: 58-44