- The Group B title is on the line in Tuesday action at the MLS is Back tournament
- Will Toronto FC or the New England Revolution top Group B?
- Predictions on this and other outcomes and analysis of all the odds in Tuesday’s matches follow in the story below
It’s all coming down to the short straws at the MLS is Back Tournament.
You say you want a revolution in Group B? Well, the oddsmakers are leaning toward Toronto FC over the New England Revolution. Meanwhile, will DC United tie one on again, or will the Montreal Impact finally make one and gain their first points of the tournament?
In Group E, will the unbeaten Columbus Crew keep rolling, or might Atlanta United FC finally find their footing?
All three of these matches are on tap during Tuesday’s group-stage action.
MLS is Back July 21 Odds
|Toronto FC||+114||-0.5 (+115)||O 0.5 (-5000)|
|New England Revolution||+250||+0.5 (-137)||U 0.5 (+1050)|
|Atlanta United FC||+160||-0.5 (+160)||O 0.5 (-5000)|
|Columbus Crew||+160||+0.5 (-200)||U 0.5 (+1050)|
|Montreal Impact||+215||+0.5 (-152)||O 0.5 (-5000)|
|DC United||+125||-0.5 (+128)||U 0.5 (+1100)|
Odds taken July 19.
The top two teams from each group will automatically advance to the 16-team knockout phase of the competition, along with the four best third-place sides. All matches in the MLS is Back Tournament are being contested at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
TFC Firing On All Cylinders
Arriving late to training in Toronto, TFC star striker Jozy Altidore was sidelined while forced to endure the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon entering Canada. That left the USA international behind his teammates in terms of conditioning.
Ayo Akinola sends Jukka Raitala all the way back to Finland and secures his hat trick. He now leads the league in goal scoring ? pic.twitter.com/Nv5pihVXBm
— Future USMNT (@FutureUsmnt) July 17, 2020
TFC coach Greg Vanney opted to give the start instead to Ayo Akinola. It’s a move that’s paid huge dividends.
Akinola scored both goals in a 2-2 draw with DC United. He followed up with a hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Montreal. Akinola, 20, scored once in his first 12 matches with TFC.
Last night’s @EnelGroup Power Play of the Match: ??9️⃣#NERevs pic.twitter.com/wS6L3vDQ8M
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 19, 2020
The Revolution also reached this point in the same manner. New England scored a one-goal victory over the Impact and drew 1-1 with DC United. The Revolution have surrendered just one goal through two matches. TFC has allowed five.
New England has scored just twice and that inability to finish will enable battle-hardened TFC to finish off the Revolution.
Pick: Toronto FC (+114).
Fit To Be Tied
No, the D in DC United doesn’t stand for draw. Nonetheless, that’s been the outcome of both of DC United’s matches in the tourney. They tied 2-2 with Toronto FC and again shared the points with the Revolution.
The Impact can only wish for such good fortune. They’ve lost both low (1-0 to New England) and high (4-3 to TFC) scoring matches. Montreal’s defensive miscues against Toronto were perhaps predictable. Rudy Camacho, the team’s best defender, exited the bubble to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
Higuaín doesn’t forgive. 2 on the year for Pipa. @Audi | #ReclaimOurReign pic.twitter.com/Ii3l5Sunzl
— dcunited (@dcunited) July 18, 2020
Lackluster against New England and porous against Toronto, the Impact will need to give birth to some level of consistency to have any chance against DC United.
DC capitalized on a Revolution defensive blunder to gain a tie with New England. United managed just three shots on goal. They have two wins and a draw in their last three matches with Montreal and haven’t conceded a goal.
Pick: DC United (+125).
Crew In Ship Shape
The Crew have been sailing on a take no prisoners course through two matches. They crushed Cincinnati 4-0 and followed up with a 2-0 whitewash of the New York Red Bulls. Gyasi Zardes netted three goals in the two wins.
Columbus is already through to the knockout round. Against the same two sides, Atlanta United FC came out on the wrong end of consecutive 1-0 decisions.
Another dub.#Crew96 | #MLSisBack pic.twitter.com/XkGzcNQrTi
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) July 18, 2020
Already without top scorer Josef Martinez (torn ACL), AUFC saw both Jake Mulraney and JJ Williams sent off during the loss to Cincinnati. Atlanta are all but eliminated from the competition.
Columbus won both matches from Atlanta last season by a combined 5-1 margin. But the Crew have nothing to play for here.
On the other hand, all AUFC have shown so far in Orlando is that they have nothing at all.
Pick: Columbus Crew (+160).