WITH top European leagues still in hibernation the focus this weekend moves across the pond.
Interest in the MLS has been revived with the arrival of players such as Steven Gerrard – who made a scoring LA Galaxy debut last night – and Frank Lampard.
David Villa is in sparkling form for New York City and Robbie Keane – who bagged a hat-trick last night – netted a gem for Galaxy last week. While league action continues this weekend the international team are in Gold Cup action and face a quarter-final against Cuba on Saturday night.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side kicked off as tournament favourites ahead of Mexico having warmed up with friendly wins against Holland and Germany.
But they haven’t impressed in the Gold Cup with two 1-0 wins before drawing a weakened team drew 1-1 with Panama having already won Group A.
Klinsmann’s men have landed lucky having been paired with a Cuba side who lost their first two games 6-0 and 2-0 they nailed a best third spot with a 1-0 success over Guatemala.
Cuba haven’t just conceded goals – they’ve lost players too with four of them defecting to the USA after matches. It means they are down to 19 players and USA are a best 1-8 with Coral to win tonight.
The sides have met five times with USA winning all by an aggregate of 20-3. That’s an average of four a game so I’m looking to back the US minus two (8-13, Betway) or minus three (6-4, Paddy Power). If you fancy the co-hosts to bag four or more you can have evens with Coral.
Klinsmann rested Clint Dempsey against Panama but he will be back in the starting line-up and 3-1 at Betfred to score first.
Jamaica have performed well in the tournament and look a decent bet at 6-4 with Ladbrokes to beat Haiti in the second quarter-final (1am).
And so we return to the MLS – and Villa. The former Spain star netted a double in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Toronto last week and should be on target again at New England in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Villa is 9-5 at McBookie to net and 5-1 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power to score first. Defensive lapses cost City last week but I’m surprised to see them as big as 29-10 to win at a Revolution side who have lost five in a row with the last two defeats by three goals to Red Bulls and Dallas.
City must be worth a look at 19-10 with McBookie and BetVictor draw no bet and 20-23 at boylesports not to lose.
USA -3 AH (10pm) WIN
Dempsey to score first WIN
Villa to score (12.30am, Sun) LOST
(9-5, McBookie, BetVictor)
New York City not to lose LOST