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New York Red Bulls vs. L.A. Galaxy Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – N.Y. Red Bulls vs. D.C. United

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

Matchup: New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2011
Time: Kick-off: 11:00 PM EST
Venue: The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, CA.
TV: ESPN2/ESPND
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from BetOnline
Money Line: New York (+230) Los Angeles (+110) Draw (+225)
Spread: OFF
Over/Under: Over 2.5 (-111), Under 2.5 (-125)

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Two of Major League Soccer’s prime time sides will square off on Saturday night as the LA Galaxy hosts the New York Red Bulls in a star-studded affair.

Ex-premier league, and La Liga star David Beckham along with former Aston Villa forward Juan Pablo Angel will lead the Western Conference leading Galaxy against the Eastern Conference’s top flight Bulls who boast their own international flare, with the likes of former Arsenal and FC Barcelona striker, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez who plied his trade alongside his teammate.

New York holds a 4-2-1 record through seven league games with a goal differential is at +8, good for first among all teams in Major League Soccer.

Winners of three straight without having allowed a goal, the Red Bulls are in fantastic form and overcame Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at home last weekend. Though Marquez missed from the penalty spot in the 13th minute, Luke Rodgers came through with the game-winner at the 22-minute mark to secure three points for New York. Rodgers has now scored one goal each in his last three games.

Bulls’ boss Hans Backe has been adjusting his forward line, switching between Rodgers and youngster, Juan Agudelo who he has paired on and off with Henry who has three goals along with three assists in his past three appearances, while Agudelo has one.

Backe also has the luxury of employing the skills of Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario.

All three have been clicking well together and should give Backe plenty of options to strike at the heart of the Los Angeles defense.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles saw its five-game unbeaten streak end, falling 2-1 at FC Dallas on Sunday. The Galaxy now have 15 points from nine games on the season. BetOnline

After falling behind by one in the 47th minute, Landon Donovan scored the equalizer, but Break Shea scored for Dallas with only two minutes remaining. For Donovan, it was a triumphant breakthrough as he’s been trying to get back into game shape following a small layoff due to a knee injury.

It’ll be interesting to see whether veteran striker Juan Pablo Angel is in the starting XI this weekend. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena returned Angel to the lineup, in place of Miguel Lopez after the side’s 3-0 beat down of the expansion Portland Timbers on April 23. A member of New York last season, Angel will look to terrorize his former club.

Finally, Beckham has been in good form for Los Angeles, leading the team with three assists on the season. His crossing ability and deadly free kicks could prove to be the difference on Saturday against a strong New York midfield.

The visiting team has won each of the last three meetings in the all-time series. Last year, the Galaxy won 1-0 at Red Bull Arena, before the Red Bulls pulled the reversal with a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center. In 2007, the teams played an extraordinary match at Giants Stadium in Beckham’s first appearance in the Big Apple that ended in a 5-4 Red Bulls win in front of 66,237 fans.

This one should be close as both teams look to stay atop their respective conferences. I don’t see either team pulling away and a draw seems like a reasonable result.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Los Angeles 2, New York 2

Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, Springfield Republican, Sacramento Bee, and the San Diego Union Tribune. I leave handicapping to the pros. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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