My record is a little unbalanced, but I’ll take 3-3-4 and expect this to look a bit better after the weekend is over.
It appears my Minnesota pick was a week too early. We all saw Minnesota bring it to the stingiest defense in all of MLS. Yes there was some rotation, and they were coming off a short rest, BUT if Minnesota really is the dumpster fire people like to call it, then this was SKC’s chance to show us their depth and that they have what it takes to go all the way this year. At the beginning of the season I said Minnesota just needed some time, but I underestimated how long. They’re finding their form and identity, and will make a push for the playoffs the rest of the season.
Chicago, on the other hand, appears to have cooled off. They lost to the Red Bulls last week, when I though Schweinsteiger would right the ship, and then this past week they suffered a defeat, in my eyes, to the Galaxy. This was their chance to make a statement. Instead, they gave up 2 goals and consequently 2 points. Their next chance is against another stumbling super power, the Sounders. If they give up points at home to the Sounders I’d be a bit worried as a Chicago Fire Fan, because it won’t be any easier after that with FC Dallas coming to play and then an away game in Orlando.
Bold Predictions Round 11
- Picks of the week: ATL vs. POR and CLB vs. TOR
Atlanta is in rough shape after another defeat 3-1 defeat, but I don’t expect them to take a third 3-1 loss. Meanwhile, a lot of people are expecting the opposite of what you’d think for the CLB vs. TOR game. Two high powered offenses spell lots of goals, but a lot of the experts will avert your attention to the snooze of a 0-0 draw last year between the two sides, especially with TOR in its 2nd DGW in a row.
Atlanta Starts Up the Hype Train Again
You heard Tata Martino after their loss to NYC, “[Atlanta United] was outplayed by a superior team.” The performance was so bad and not representative of past performances, that I’d be surprised to see Atlanta fall to a 3-1 scoreline for the 3rd week in a row. This is a tough one because Portland are a really tough team to beat at home, but it’s exactly that barrier that is going to draw out a performance from a team too embarrassed to show their face in public.
Portland is going to do what Portland does, attack. Their defensive midfield will do what it does best, disrupt. Atlanta will do what they do best, attack. The game will progress in that manner and the best attack will win. With both teams suffering rough defeats last week expect there to be goals in this game. My money is on Atlanta. Your team may be bloated with DGW players, but I expect this game to be wide open and ripe for some goals.
Result: POR 2-3 ATL
My Picks: Almiron ($9.3), Villalba ($9.7) and dare I say Martinez? ($9.4) are going to be the catalyst for this attack if anything is going to happen against the Timbers. They’re who you want. I’ll have Almiron most likely since he’s the cheaper of the two. I really want Martinez, but he’s far too bold and we don’t even know if he’s going to start.
Even if Valeri ($10.5) is back from injury I wouldn’t expect too much out of him just yet, which is even more reason to hop on the Atlanta Hype Train and take advantage before everyone else gets on the same page.
A Rested Giovinco is Ready to Unleash the Kraken
I’m not really sure why I used kraken, but it just seems right for such a little man to have such a large beast inside of him ready to absolutely demolish opposing teams. That’s exactly what’s going to happen. We all know Giovinco hates sitting and an upcoming DGW isn’t going to keep him from going off on Columbus. They rested a bunch of starters against Seattle, a game many would expect them to lose without Giovinco, which means all bets are off for Columbus. Giovinco won’t be taking it easy again. Instead, he’ll be looking to make a statement on Columbus turf. Oh and don’t forget Altidore. The man is in beast mode. He may only get 30 minutes against Columbus, but if he does start he’s going to be in my squad and he’s going to score.
Columbus has a reputation to uphold on home turf, which means they can’t come out of this game with a 0-0 draw at home. I expect one of the more exciting attacks in the league to come out guns blazing and put up a goal or two, but ultimately get out scored by an savage Toronto team.
Result: CLB 2-3 TOR
My Picks: Giovinco ($12.5) should be on your team and your captain. I get the feeling he’s going 120 min this week, which means money in the bank for your fantasy team. Altidore’s ($10.3) performance last week speaks for itself, but look out for the lineup to see if he’s starting or not. If not, it may be worth checking out a SGW player.
As for Columbus, I’m loading up on attackers, because I expect them to score some goals. They may not win but their are certainly points to be had. Take your pick of the lot.
As always please come at me in the comment section or on twitter (@tbartels12)! I’m more than happy to be your punching bag as you weep over the fact that I was right and you were wrong.