MLS Week Two: Here's the Poop

So without further - in fact, without any - ado, here are the latest odds for today's MLS matches:

Columbus vs. Toronto 1.80/3.90/5.02

DC United vs. Chicago 2.30/3.60/3.45

New York vs. New England 2.45/3.55/3.31

Colorado vs. Kansas City 2.34/3.38/3.75

Seattle vs. Salt Lake 2.15/3.47/4.10

San Jose vs. Houston 2.38/3.50/3.26

Dallas vs. Chivas 2.22/3.31/3/45

(For those of you who aren't familiar with so-called "English" odds, the number represents the payoff for every dollar (mark, peso, ruble) bet on home win/ draw/ away win.)

Both Columbus and Toronto are coming off of strong opening day performances. The Crew looked like they haven't missed a beat in an away draw with Houston and Toronto looked very sharp beating KC 3-2, also on the road. The big news of course was that the Reds, who have been hopeless away from BMO, not only won in someone else's building but actually scored some goals, not previously a strong suit. Their much-touted midfield held up their end but nobody is convinced that their defense is all that much improved. International absences will handicap both sides, although the injury to Robbie Rogers could be the key absence. Still, expecting TFC to win on the road two weeks in a row is asking a lot. I'll take Columbus @ 1.80

Last week's frustrating last minute el-foldo against LA - with considerable help from an incompetent official, to be sure - undoubtedly has them in a particularly sour mood. Meanwhile, in Chicago, last week's 3-1 win was almost immediately overshadowed by the announcement that Mr. White wants out, for a number of reasons which seem to boil down to him not liking how the team is being handled. Then you can toss in the fact that, like the teams who'll be meeting in CBus, these two outfits just don't like each other much AND the fact that the Fire, in what was a strong year for them, nonetheless went 1-2-0 against the Uniteds last year and, honestly, this one could be both very interesting and extremely ugly. The draw @ 3.60 seems about as good as anything else, and it'll pay more

Then there's the battle of the News, York and England. Of course it wouldn't be a Revolution game without the guys who're missing being a big part of the story, but they managed a win last week anyway. Juan Carlos Osorio's outfit, conversely, looked positively dreadful against Seattle and another bad showing will sink them to 0-2, not exactly how they wanted to come out of the box. The Bulls hope that the debut of former Rev Khano Smith can give them some bite out of the midfield and, on their home plastic I'm looking for les Taureaux Rouges to gut out a win. Just don't ask me how. Take New York @ 2.45

Two other teams desperate to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start are Colorado and KC, who'll be playing in Denver where, incredibly, the Wizards have not won since June of 2004. It's of course insane to pick the away side in a match like this but, honestly, I don't see what Raps coach Gary Smith has done to make anyone believe that this team is going to turn it around, and their only big-time player, Pablo Mastroeni, will be off with the US Nats. The key for KC may be whether Santiago Hirsig is ready to carry some of the load. If so, maybe Davy Arnaud can score 40 this year and Curt Onolfo can keep his job. Way out on a limb with KC @ 3.75

The schedulemakers having decreed that Seattle is to start out strong, they're at home again, this time vs. Jason Kreis' RSL team, and while all the talk is about Freddy Montero, I look at the guy and think "Digital Takawira". But that's just me. Anyway, even with the much touted first appearance by The Gimpy Swede today, the Sounders just don't thrill me. On the other hand, I have a hunch about The Royals this season. Don't ask me why. Still, in front of another big Qwowd at Qwest, maybe this game won't be the dull, stupefying affair it looks like at the moment. I'll take the draw @ 3.47

Houston would really love to avoid a repeat of the horrid start of 2008 when they went six games without a win. San Jose knows they need to win their home games and this would be a good time to start. A little-noticed statistic from last week was that the Quakers outshot NE 16-7 but just couldn't cash out and lost 1-0. And with Houston missing Ching (Nats duty) and Kamara (moron duty) and with Eddie Robinson still out with that injury, I'm going with the homestanding San Josers to get off the schneid @ 2.38

Last, and quite possibly least, comes Dallas hosting Seedy Chivas. What can you say here. exactly? Dallas went up early on the Fire but then tanked and lost 3-1, while Chivas was down early at home but came back and beat an uninspired Colorado side 2-1. Let's look at it this way: the big question mark this weekend is international absences. Most everybody is looking to fill a couple holes. Excepting Dallas, who has nobody that Bob Bradley - or anyone else- is interested in. Preki's side on the other hand, has just one, but that one is named Sasha Kljestan, and he's so crucial to how that team operates that it's really hard to envision them winning without him. It says here to go with Dallas @ 2.22

And please remember: this information is for entertainment purposes only. Unless you win some money, in which case I get a taste.