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L.A. vs. Seattle Preview | MLS Free Playoff Pick

MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Series Predictions – Los Angeles vs Seattle

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MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Predictions

Matchup: Los Angeles Galaxy (18-7-5) v Seattle Sounders (14-10-6)
Dates and Times: October 31, 8 pm (EST): at Seattle; November 7, 9 pm (EST): at Los Angeles
TV: October 31 on ESPN2; November 7 on ESPN
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds Game 1 from Bodog
Money Line: Los Angeles (+185) Seattle (+145) Draw (+225)

The Galaxy enters the postseason as Major League Soccer’s hottest side, boasting the best regular season record.

It goes without saying that the road to Toronto will go through Los Angeles with a brief stop at Seattle’s Qwest Field on Halloween. The same pitch where Los Angeles thumped the Sounders 4-0 back on May 8.

However, Seattle would avenge that loss with a 2-0 quarterfinal win against the Galaxy on July 7, en route towards its second U.S. Open Cup. Los Angeles was of course without stars Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle during the match.

The postseason is familiar territory for the Galaxy who has qualified for the playoffs 12 times since the franchise was started in 1995. Since then they have made it to the Finals winning it twice and have been able to complete the MLS double back in 2002, finishing first overall in the regular season before beating the New England Revolution to win the 2002 MLS Cup.
Likewise, Seattle, in just its second year in the MLS, is no stranger to an extended season either. The club made it to the Conference Semi-finals it inaugural season in 2009 and now finds itself back again.

This time they will want to make a deeper run, and will look to Colombian forward Fredy Montero who will be looked on to exact some regular season payback. The Sounders forward has 10 goals and 10 assists and will be a focal point for the Galaxy backline. Montero’s partner in crime is midfielder Steve Zakuani, with 10 goals and six assists in the regular season.

Another player to watch out for in this series will be Switzerland’s Blaise Nkufo. The speedy forward has five goals for the season and poses as a serious scoring threat for Los Angeles.

The midfield is stacked with talent including Brad Evans who has been a key component to Seattle’s success, as well as Alvaro Fernandez, Sanna Nyassi and Osvaldo Alonso, all players that can add to the Sounders’ offensive push.

Despite the scoring prowess the Sounders possess, their fate will be determined by how well its backline and net minding can defend against Los Angeles’ offensive blitzkrieg. Defenders James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, and Jeff Parke, along with keeper Kasey Keller, will be charged with containing and shutting down the likes of Buddle, Donovan, and a healthy David Beckham.

Keeler is solid between the sticks and has a 14-10-5 record with a 1.15 goals against average, 82 saves, and a 68.9 percent save percentage.

As for the Galaxy, Buddle narrowly missed capturing the 2010 Golden Boot with 17 goals this season. He should continue that production during the 2010 MLS postseason.

Now a household name, after his dramatic performances for the US National team during the summer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Donovan finished the MLS regular season with 16 assists on the year. He is also second on the team in goals with seven.

Missing much of the 2010 regular season with an injured Achilles, Beckham will add to the already potent starting XI, particularly boosting the Galaxy’s opportunities from set pieces.  Brazilian midfielder Juninho is also performing well on loan, and could help down the stretch.

The backline of Sean Franklin, A.J. De La Garza, Todd Dunivant, and Omar Gonzalez have been solid during the year, and should be able to deflect many of the attacks the Sounders will come at them with.

Finally, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who has been in outstanding form for the very start of the 2010 campaign, will no doubt be a big factor in the series. The Big Cat from Montego Bay finished the regular season with an 18-7-4 record, a 0.90 GAA, 79 saves and a 76 save percentage in 2,610 minutes of action. If Ricketts is on, Seattle is in big trouble.

Prediction: While I don’t expect to see a repeat of the 4-0 blowout suffered by the Sounders earlier in the season in either leg. I do see Los Angeles putting together a 4-2 aggregate, moving them on to the Western Conference Final.

We will continue to provide free weekly MLS gambling predictions due to the responses we’ve gotten on ourSoccer handicapping forums, and survey responses we’ve conducted on our soccer betting blog.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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