The semifinals of the Major League Soccer playoffs start tonight and the battle in the west will be hot as L.A. hosts the Seattle Sounders in the first leg. Kickoff is at 9pm EST.The Galaxy is coming back home after eliminating the top team in the league in the San Jose Earthquakes. Confidence is continually rising in the California side, but it will be in for a real battle as it will try to take out the best defence in the west in Seattle.
It is more because of the strong Seattle defence that I am leaning towards a low-scoring affair. Former Austrian international Michael Gspurning has been a rock for the Sounders all season long. He stone-walled Real Salt Lake in both matches during the previous round, while the team recorded five clean sheets during their final seven games of the regular season. They were one of two teams all year (Sporting K.C. the other) to concede an average of less than a goal per match.
Additionally, though the Sounders have been a tough nut to crack at the back, they are also notorious for some of their offence as well. Freddy Montero and Eddie Johnson are one of the most dynamic duos in the entire league, combining for 27 goals during the season.
I also like the fact that in the three contests between the sides this season, Seattle have won two, though the Sounders did drop a 1-0 decision at the Home Depot Center only a couple of weeks ago.
Though Seattle is tempting at 4.00 over at UWin.com (formerly known as Sportsbook.com), I prefer the draw which can be had at 3.45 at the same firm.
L.A. has been one of the best teams in the league over the last few months, and a lot of that recent success can be attributed to its offensive prowess which is devastating when on its game. The Galaxy's star forwards are well known throughout the soccer world with Landon Donovan and - arguably MLS’ best player since the summer - Robbie Keane lead the charge. Midfielder David Beckham appears healthy now while Mike Magee has also been stellar as of late and always shines in the postseason.
Beckham and co. are offered at 1.88.
Consider looking at the under 2.5, which is being issued at 1.80. For a correct score market selection take a look at the 1-1 offering which is currently slated at 6.40 while a 1-0 win for either L.A. or Seattle is being issued at 6.30 and 10.02, respectively.
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