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Columbus vs. New York Preview | MLS Free Pick (May. 20)

MLS Soccer Predictions – THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010 – Columbus Crew (4-0-2) at New York Red Bulls (5-3-0)

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The MLS began its 15th season this year and we’ve finally decided it’s time to give this league some handicapping love and provide some free SOCCER gambling analysis every week.

Onto the week’s MLS preview and prediction for the week.

ESPN, ESPND – MLS Betting Odds – Columbus vs. New York:

Columbus +175
New York +138
Draw: +225

The second place Columbus Crew will try to leapfrog the Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls with a win on Thursday night as the two rivals square off at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

The rolls were reversed in the pairs last meeting on Aug 30, 2009 as the first place Crew were upset by a struggling bottom table Red Bulls side 1-0.

After a non-impressive 1-0 victory over last place Chivas USA at home on Saturday, the Crew is far from superior form. Both the defense and the midfield made sloppy passes and bad clearing choices that could have easily translated into sure-fire goals for a more formidable opponent like upcoming New York.

Nonetheless, Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s penalty kick at the 90th minute saved Columbus, preserving their perfect home record.

Now boss Robert Warzycha will have to make some adjustments heading into Thursday’s match.

Schelotto was given a one game suspension for an elbow on Michael Umaña last Saturday, meaning the Crew will be without their star striker for the first time this season. They will also be without Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall who are away for training with the US national team in preparation for next month’s World Cup.

But, how will the Crew do without Schelotto? The Argentine has been responsible for most of the team’s offensive success this season and in this game we will see what kind of strength there is on the Crew bench.

MThey will be tested for sure as the Red Bulls defense is in top form. It’s the rest of the team that is still in question.

The midfield is giving up possession far too easily and control is an issue with many passes not reaching their intended target. The side has been shut out in their last two matches including their first loss in new Red Bull Arena against the Sounders, 1-0 over the weekend.

The only change to the current line up may be to start Conor Chinn or John Wolyniec, in place of newly acquired forward Salou Ibrahim who is out for several weeks with a hamstring injury.

Houston Dynamo vs Real Salt Lake Free Pick:

The Red Bulls will fight hard but mistakes on both sides of the ball will be enough for the Crew to take the game.

I expect them to edge out a slim 1-0 victory in this one, leaping over New York to take over the top spot in the conference.
We will continue to provide free weekly MLS gambling predictions due to the responses we’ve gotten on our Soccer handicapping forums, and survey responses we’ve conducted on our soccer betting blog.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “ Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”


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