It’s about time that Houston Dynamo had a bad day at the office, and Saturday 28th July might just be that day as Toronto FC have a bit of previous against The Men In Orange.
The big news coming out of Houston is that (despite late Everton interest) Dynamo Geoff Cameron is on his way to EPL side Stoke City. The national team centerback put pen to paper and signed a contract with the side that finished the 2011-12 EPL in 14th place on Wednesday. “I’m officially a Potter,” said Cameron after John Hancocking the deal. “I’m ready and excited to join Stoke. It’s been a long process. I’m anxious to meet with the guys and I’m anxious to start a new part of my career.”
Listen to the Sportsbooks
There is still the little matter of a work visa to be sorted and a replacement is unlikely to be signed up until he gets his papers as the player must return to the club if his waiver is declined.
Hold the back page
The second biggest story is the fact that Houston have just stuffed Montreal Impact 3-0. The impressive score line somewhat flatters Dynamo as, despite conceding a 7th minute goal and not playing their best, Montreal kept themselves in contention in the game until the last six minutes. Houston’s second goal on 84th minutes confirmed the win and the (late) third was mere icing.
That win capped an inspiring trio of games for the Dynamo, with nine points in a crucial seven-day span. During that stretch, they outscored opponents 9-1 and jumped to third in the Eastern Conference. The Dynamo are now on a six-game unbeaten streak with four (count ‘em!) shutouts since losing to Montreal... but something’s gonna give!
Toronto have less reasons to be cheerful, but can still muster a smile
Toronto’s last game saw them take on the sleeping (dozey) EPL giants that are Liverpool FC. They marked the start of Brendan Rodgers’ stint as manager with a worthy (if uninspiring) 1-1.
The match was defined by two goals from second half subs at the Rogers Centre on Saturday. After a first half display, most generously described as “workmanlike” Quincy Amarikwa came on and made an instant impact with his new club just before the hour mark, pouncing on a rebound from a Peter Gulasci save to give his MLS side the lead. Liverpool took energy from the deficit and Adam Morgan levelled after chasing the game for 10 minutes with the last goal of the match.
If most recent games were all that mattered...
You’d back Houston to do a number on Toronto, something offered up at +170 with the oddsmakers. A Toronto victory isn’t a million miles away at +140 while a draw is at +225. Not that my tea leaves tell me that it’s going to pan out that way, but there’s little harm in a pocket change bet on a draw as the last meeting was a 3-3 stunner, and two of the last five meetings between these two have ended honours even.
Head to head we’ve seen 2 home wins, 1 away win and those pair of draws (1-1 and 3-3). Threes each is offered up at +5000, worth a (very) small change bet but 1-1 is certainly worth a punt at +650. Stay away from 0-0, even at +1100 as these sides have a habit of scoring (Houston have amassed nine goals in their last three games, and Toronto have scored seven in their last five).
The bookies have “Both Teams to Score” at -167. So I’d say Bet Over even at -143 on his match and out of the last five matches only two have ended under (and both times we saw two goals scored). There’s only been one clean sheet between these sides and that was back in July last year when Houston went out 2-0 winners.Prediction:
I’m backing a home victory as Houston are due a defeat, and lets go out on a limb (but not with Mrs Richardson’s shoe fund) and back 2-1 at +800