The Whitecaps are without several key players as midfielder Davide Chiumiento is out with a hamstring issue while former FC Zurich striker Eric Hassli is questionable with a leg injury. Caps defender and captain Jay DeMerit will also sit out with a groin injury that refuses to go away. Last week they were pretty much in the same boat and did not register a shot on goal against Toronto which has been given up plenty of goals this season. The Crew will be without three starters on Wednesday. Andy Iro (red card) and Emmanuel Ekpo (yellow-card accumulation) will serve one-game suspensions. Rich Balchan suffered a groin injury in the second half and was replaced by Danny O'Rourke, who made his first MLS appearance since knee surgery last fall. Also Emilio Renteria has been out quite a while and it’s never good when your best player is out.
New York –1 (-147)
The Red Bull should be close to full strength for this one. Last week against San Jose they were without both starting strikers as Rodgers was out and Henry was a late scratch. Both players are expected back tonight. Toronto finally got a couple of much needed wins last week but both games were against a Vancouver team that has been hit hard with injuries putting and end to a ten game winless streak. Always dangerous to lay goals with this Red Bull team as the defense has not been very sound the last two months. At least tonight they will be up against the worst offense in the MLS. Toronto has been shut out in 8/19 games this season and average less than a goal per game. The guys that they have capable of scoring Santos and de Guzmen have both been out a while and veteran Alan Gordon has missed the last few games and is listed as questionable tonight. Since the start of Gold Cup play the Red Bull team was decimated by call ups and not surprisingly they struggled over the last month with a 1-2-8 record. Other than Marquez this team is talent wise where they were earlier this season where they got off to a great start. They desperately need to get all three points tonight so I expect a great performance against the worst team in the league.
This is a match up of the top two offenses in the league. The Red Bull are averaging 1.79 goals per game this season and over the last six games are averaging 2.50 goals per game. They have scored 2+ goals in five out of the last six and much of that was done with several players not available due to international duty. They got both Rogers and Henry back Wednesday against Toronto and really poured it on. Should have had six goals but one was called back due to interference with the keeper. DC United has the worst defense in the league with a goal against average of 1.81. With DC United recently trading for De Rosario the offense should only get better and we know that Red Bull defense is still not that good. Even though they did end up with a clean sheet against Toronto the Reds did come up with some pretty good chances.
Just simple math says the total on this game should at least be 3 –
DC United games have averaged 3.25 goals per game this season
New York games have averaged 3.00 goals per game this season
This total in my opinion is way off. The game with Toronto closed at o3 +102 and DC United offense is much better than Toronto’s while their defense is worse. I guess it is possible that maybe Rodgers may sit this one out since he is coming of injury and played Wednesday. With Agudelo I’m not sure that is really that big of a drop off but it would concern me since him and Henry seem to work really well together. I think he does start as he only played 56’ Wednesday and really look like he had no ill effects from the layoff.
I think much off the recent struggles with the Rapids is due to Cummings missing a lot of games over the last two months and it also has not helped that Folan missed games and Mullan was suspended for 10 games. No doubt they have not played well over the last two months but I think that has a good chance to start turning things around, as these players are all back and have a few games under their belt. The Whitecaps on the other hand have not fared well on the road with zero wins and three draws in 10 games this season. The injuries to Chiumiento, Hassli and DeMerit really hurt this team because I think those are their best three players and it looks like all three will be out again tomorrow. With Chiumiento leading the team in assists and Hassli in goals the offense is severely limited. Also in Wednesdays game Shea Salinas another starter was red carded late in the game and will have to sit this one out. Keep in mind this team did manage to lose to Toronto twice in one week before last week’s loss to Columbus.