A loss by the Canucks to the Bruins of Boston in the Stanley
Cup has rocked the city of Vancouver but will the Whitecaps be able to provide
some positivity when they host Philadelphia in MLS action this weekend?
If we go by results up until this point, that seems highly
unlikely and, in soccer betting, it looks a better prospect to fade Vancouver as Bruins backers can testify.
The Union have been the best team in the Eastern Conference
so far on the season. They are tied atop the standings with the New York Red
Bulls but have a game in hand and a full 12 points ahead of bottom club Kansas who play San Jose in the Friday night game.
Undefeated in four straight matches, Philadelphia has been
incredibly consistent throughout the year and the team's defense has been
Clearly the highlight in that streak was the 6-2 thrashing
of Toronto FC on May 28. The Union had not scored more than two goals in any
game leading up but absolutely tore through the Reds.
In two games since, Philadelphia has picked up consecutive
1-1 draws against the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake.
Now facing a pretty dismal squad in Vancouver, the chances
of another positive result for the Union look rather high.
Only having won one game – in comparison, every other team
in the West has at least four victories – things are about as bad they can get
for the Whitecaps.
They did manage a 2-2 tie in their last encounter though, a
Eric Hassli double salvaging a point for a struggling Vancouver side.
East's best battles West's worst
One quick glance at the standings and the considerable gap
between these two teams would be as clear as day.
That disparity is not as large in the soccer odds however,
where Vancouver is at +170 odds to win while Philadelphia is +145 to get the
away victory. Those odds can be found at Bodog.
Forwards Eric Hassli and Camilo Sanvezzo have been a couple
bright spots in what has been a horrendous season for the Whitecaps.
The pair have 10 goals between them already, with Hassli
leading the way with six. But despite decent production offensively, Vancouver
has given up an inexcusable 22 goals thus far on the season.
Conversely, the Union have been dynamite in the back, only
allowing 11 goals through 13 matches. That is second-best in the MLS, behind
only Real Salt Lake (seven).
A balanced attack has also benefited the conference-leaders,
with Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz, Sebastien Le Toux and Justin Mapp all playing a
big part in the Union's success.
This weekend, expect a tightly-contested affair considering
Vancouver is in dire need of points. That sort of desperation is always
dangerous for any opponent to deal with.
Even so, Philadelphia may be the away team in this fixture,
but given the team's sturdy play and the fantastic value at +145, I will be
backing the visitors to secure the three points on Saturday.
FREE Pick: Vancouver 1 Philadelphia 2