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MLS Soccer Parlay Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
MLS Is Back Tournament Best Parlay Bet of the Week





Vancouver vs San Jose
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 9 p.m. ET




Vancouver’s Underrated Defense

Last year, Vancouver scored the second-fewest goals and allowed almost the most goals in the MLS. The former statistic actually says less about their attacking ability and the latter statistic says less about their defense than one may think.

Significantly, the Whitecaps could not stop teams from attempting shots on their goal — they clearly allowed the most shots per game.

These are important details to note because I really like their backline for the restart. Above all, Erik Godoy’s arrival was crucial in February of last year.

He was a difference-maker for Vancouver’s defense based on goals allowed in games he played in. He and Derek Cornelius were and are reliable tacklers and blockers. Godoy, in fact, almost broke the MLS record for blocks in a single season.

Godoy is also crucial because he helps Vancouver’s offense. His high passing percentage and long ball ability help the Whitecaps keep possession and thereby allow fewer shot attempts.

Another reason why the Whitecaps will allow fewer goals is that they've satisfied a desperate need by acquiring a defensive midfielder. Leonard Owusu adds stability in the back and helps his squad possess the ball more.

With the likes of Godoy and Owusu, Vancouver will bring more continuity into a Whitecap squad that, last year, constantly switched formations and constantly struggled to fulfill the vision of their new manager.

Manager Marc Dos Santos wants to build from the back and now he has the pieces to do just that.

In addition to new pieces Godoy and Owusu, Vancouver made a ton of new signings to add depth in the back, particularly at center back.

Vancouver Defense vs San Jose Offense

Depth will be crucial for Vancouver against a San Jose squad that relies on a high-pressing, quick-transition, lung-bursting, and depth-testing style of play, which is considerably well-captured by the term „man-marking."

San Jose featured 16 players in its first game against Seattle. So Vancouver’s ability to rely on depth in the back will help the defense remain steady.

Besides, while they also like to possess and while they will certainly test Vancouver’s newfound optimism about its improvement in possession, the Earthquakes are not too dangerous in finishing.

Chris Wondolowksi is the team’s top goal-scorer. But he’ll presumably ride the bench again.

While the Earthquakes do offer some dangerous pieces going forward, the overall scoring ability that they showed last year is already being accounted for by MLS Oddsmakers, who are showing a higher total for this game.

My point is that Vancouver’s defense is quite underrated with Godoy and Owusu.

Match-up wise, the Whitecaps can consistently rely on what basically becomes a 4-4-2 structure with Cristian Dajome and David Milinkovic responsibly and reliably working back.

Plus, they feature last year’s third-best goalkeeper — as measured by Goals Saved Above Replacement (GSAR) per 90 minutes -- in Maxime Crepeau

Vancouver Offense

Besides, if any scoring does happen in this game, I think San Jose will have to do the lot of it.

The Whitecaps are unable to bring to the restart a host of attackers, three forwards, including Lucas Cavallini, who is also important for Vancouver’s high-press.

They will bring four forwards who have, between them, all of two goals in 22 games. They have one dangerous player in Yordy Reyna, who San Jose’s defense will know to zero in on.

The Verdict

Vancouver’s newfound weakness in attack and in its pressing make me want to lean towards an Earthquake victory.

But, the Whitecaps’ defense is being disrespected by oddsmakers. Their increased possession and San Jose’s own lack of finishing ability will keep the score low.

So for the first leg of my parlay, I want:


Best Bet: Under 3 (-125) with Bookmaker








Atlanta vs Cincinnati
Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 9 a.m. ET (ESPN)



Intro

Please keep the starting time in mind. That is not a typo.

The nice thing about parlays is that laying chalk by picking heavy favorites does not become an issue. So I am happy to back Atlanta here.

Cincinnati’s Defense

We’ll need Atlanta to win, which means that we’ll need Atlanta to score.

If there is any team in the MLS to rely on giving up goals, then it’s absolutely FC Cincinnati.

Cincinnati allowed the most goals last season by far— 75. This was actually an MLS season record.

This squad showed the same inability in back by allowing four goals in its first match since the restart, against Columbus.

In the long run, FC Cincinnati looked to change its defensive ineptitude by signing Jaap Stam to become its new manager in May.

Stam is, still, very much a new piece in the club. There’s very little that he can affect at the moment as the squad adjusts to his vision for a new style of play while at the same time still lacking quality pieces in the back.

Atlanta Attack

In its first match since the restart, Atlanta was shut out for the first time in 28 league games.

This is an offense that scored the third-most goals in the MLS last season and now has the perfect bounce-back opportunity.

In order to ravage Cincinnati’s backline, Atlanta will go with its 3-4-3 formation.

Atlanta enjoys a bevy of quality attackers, which is why this aggressive formation suits them.

On Saturday, top forward Pity Martinez led the team in chances created (four), placing a high number of high-value, dangerous crosses especially when he played out wide on the left side.

He is all the more likely to repeat his performance as the squad realizes manager de Boer’s vision.

De Boer wants to attack with fullbacks like Brooks Lennon who can provide width going forward. Fernando Meza is another good example of an Atlanta player who can pass well out of the back.

This squad has the necessary pieces for a consistent build-up and dangerous guys like Martinez who also score reliably (he is tied for the second-most goals in the MLS in 2020).

The Verdict

Cincinnati can offer negligible resistance against Atlanta’s attack both due to its lack of quality in personnel and due to its adjustment phase with Stam as manager. Atlanta will also dominate possession with its build-up from the back.

When Cincinnati itself goes into attack, it misses its biggest threats due to injury.

For the second leg of my parlay, I want:

Best Bet: Atlanta United FC ML (-196) with Bookmaker




Parlay: Vancouver/San Jose Under 3 + Atlanta United FC ML at +172 Odds with Bookmaker
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Actually i wonder if the rust factor doesn‘t hurt Vancouver. Also read bad things about its CB pairing.
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
I have San Jose to close out parlay and also u2.5 +102. Feel like already having a match under their belts should be a adv plus Vancouver missing lot of their quality attackers.
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
Like 1-0 or 2-0 win for SJ?
Yea if it goes their way that kinda what I expect. If van attack is not rusty and finds some quality Sj could get beat easily, I don’t know much bout any mls teams yet just kinda assuming to see some the ugly attacking form from Vancouver As we did many other teams 1st matches, stands to reason it might be even tougher for them considering sj D has got a game under belts against a tough side, combined with missing front quality from lineup.
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
Or it could be since Vancouver has been down there inside the bubble they might not have played yet but they been able to practice down there i assume? If that the case and they don’t show rust could be really nice value on them! In that case I can go to sleep early!! Lol

Omg I had to search everywhere to find last night mls. I found it using a buddies account to stream something on ruku w the “to (something network) there were 2 channels but both were in freaking Spanish, I could change sap and I got English but the commentary was like 3-4 minutes behind the action! It was freaking awful!! Yet i still watched whole Philly match! Lol
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
Or it could be since Vancouver has been down there inside the bubble they might not have played yet but they been able to practice down there i assume? If that the case and they don’t show rust could be really nice value on them! In that case I can go to sleep early!! Lol
I should have thought bout this possibility way sooner, like before I bet. Lol. Looks like going to bed early wish has come to fruition.
 

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
I should have thought bout this possibility way sooner, like before I bet. Lol. Looks like going to bed early wish has come to fruition.

I always hear coaches and players say that practice is no replacement for game time. But wtf do I know lol
 

2daBank

VC's Valentine
I always hear coaches and players say that practice is no replacement for game time. But wtf do I know lol
True. My point (which i thought of way too late) was just the other teams that attacks looked crappy in their 1st matches hadn’t been down in the bubble adjusting for long I assume or had much practice time there (this a guess I’m not sure), Vancouver on the other hand been down there as long as the teams who already played and I’d guess practicing so wasn’t much different than the teams w a game under belts. Or so it appears now, hindsight and all. Lol.
 
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