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Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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

Matchup: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC
Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011
Time: Kick-off: 6:30 PM EST
Venue: Empire Field in Vancouver, BC.
TV: TSN
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: Vancouver +120, Toronto -150
Spread: Vancouver -1/2, Toronto +1/2
Over/Under: 2

Click Here for MLS MATCHUP Stats —>
CANADIAN? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT BODOG.CA SPORTSBOOK —–>

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC will kick off their inaugural MLS season on Saturday at Empire Field against their Canadian MLS rival, Toronto FC.

The Whitecaps will be looking forward to taking their rivalry with their Eastern Canadian counterparts to a new level. Off the ice and on to the pitch. Throughout the years, the Blue and White have played seven different Toronto-based clubs in Canadian professional soccer history posting an all-time record of 34W-23L-10D.

Vancouver also holds a favorable all-time home record against teams from Canada’s largest city, having amassed 23 wins, six defeats, and six draws between 1975 and 2010.

The Reds on the other hand, were 9W-13L-8D during the 2010 MLS regular season and have compiled a MLS regular season record of 34W-54L-32D during their first four seasons.

At the North American second division level, Whitecaps FC have battled Toronto six times in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, posting a winning record of 2W-1L-3D and a home record of 1W-0L-2D. Toronto FC is the reigning two-time Voyageurs Cup winners, having won the title in 2009 and 2010.  

If you discount the second-year Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC is the only Major League Soccer team yet to participate in the playoffs. And this year’s preseason efforts aren’t showing much in the way of changing that. The side struggled to score goals in both the Disney Pro Soccer Classic and the Carolina Challenge Cup tournaments.

The Reds have had numerous off-field issues that may be stunting their efforts on game day. Defender Adrian Cann left camp over a dispute with his contract, while Dwayne DeRosario’s demands for new contract and controversial trip to Scotland have the entire club asking questions.

The injury to Designated Player Julian de Guzman, who has yet to see the pitch in 2011, doesn’t help either. For Toronto to be successful, they will need Guzman’s help and need to have a focused DeRosario.

For the Whitecaps, they have had a rather impressive preseason and will look to follow in the footsteps of the Sounders, who enjoyed a successful first campaign.

Vancouver strengthened their squad and chances of a sold first season by recently signing of 22-year-old Chinese striker Long Tan and 23-year-old US midfielder Blake Wagner. Other key players include veteran defender Jay DeMerit, who returns to the United State after a long career in England, and forward Atiba Harris, a key player for Dallas last season.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Toronto’s problems make it an ideal opponent for the Caps to come out on top. I expect Vancouver to win a low-scoring game that will be decided by a single strike.

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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