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New York vs. San Jose Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – New York Red Bulls vs San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes will try to shake things up when they play host the New York Red Bulls in a Major League Soccer inter-conference match-up on ESPN this Saturday night.

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Date/Time: Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Venue: Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Broadcast: ESPN2
New York at San Jose Betting Lines
Money Line: San Jose +140, New York +185, Draw +210
Spread: OFF
Over/Under: 2 ½

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In a repeat of last year’s biggest playoff upset, the Red Bulls return to San Jose with key players rejoining the ranks, as well as few new faces.

Tied for second in the East, only two points below the Philadelphia Union and with a three games at hand lead over the Western Conference leading L.A. Galaxy, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe is hoping to get his side turned around and headed back in the right direction.

He will get a boost from the club’s swapping of Dwayne De Rosario for DC United’s Dax McCarty in a blockbuster trade earlier this week, along with the return of key players Juan Agudelo, Rafael Marquez and Tim Ream, all back from international duty.

Having scored 27 times in 17 matches on the season, the Red Bulls have the most goals of any team in the MLS, including the L.A. Galaxy (25). However, the teams potent offense with its keen knack for scoring has not helped as of late, being held without a win in three straight games, including Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire.

Sure, the Red Bulls were missing a few key contributors, but they still had plenty of firepower on the field to grab a win against a Chicago side that has only two wins on the season. Failing to hold on to a 1-0 lead, after a 40th minute goal from Joel Lindpere, New York allowed Marco Pappa to score from close to 30 yards out in the second half. The loss closed out a four-game West coast swing for the Red Bulls who drew twice and lost once in the other three games, having won just once in the last 10.

In the meantime, the Earthquakes fell 15 points out of first in the Western Conference, and after scoring 13 goals over a five-game span, have now been shut out in back-to-back games including a scoreless draw with Los Angeles last time out.

San Jose blew an opportunity to take advantage of a Galaxy side that was down a man for the entire second half after Josh Saunders was handed a red card just before the break. Still, the Quakes could not generate enough offensive chances even with the advantage. [ad-3678122]

Struggling to find points, the Quakes will be glad to have leading scorer Chris Wondolowski back after he served for the United States in the Gold Cup. Wondolowski had tallied six goals and two assists in San Jose’s first 11 matches this season, scoring once in his last league appearance in a 3-0 win over Columbus before departing for international play.

The Earthquakes hold an 11-2-2 record their series at home with New York, who hasn’t won in league play at San Jose since 2003. However, the Red Bulls did win 1-0 away in the first round playoff matchup between these two teams last year, before the Earthquakes grabbed a 3-1 result on the road to advance to the next round.

Unfortunately, for the Red Bulls, veteran defender Marquez will likely miss Saturday’s contest after limping off during the Gold Cup final due to a hamstring injury. That is not good news for a New York side that has surrendered eight goals in its last three most matches, and having to face last year’s Golden Boot, Wondolowski, who is sure to inject some energy and creativity back into the Earthquakes’ attack.

Matt’s Free Prediction: San Jose –The Quakes have played solid on home turf, and I see Wondolowski leading the way this Saturday against a weakened Red Bulls defense without Marquez.

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CLICK here for INDEPTH MLS SOCCER ATS Stats for this matchup!

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