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MLS Picks: June 26

By Ryan Nadrajan

Two of the top teams in the MLS are in action today afternoon as the New York Red Bulls travel to the Banc of California Stadium to challenge Los Angeles FC.

The New York Red Bulls (7-5-4) currently hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference with 26 points. They come into the match riding high on confidence after defeating local rivals and conference leaders New York City FC by a score of 3-0 on Wednesday during the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. Prior to that game, they had a convincing 2-0 win against Toronto FC last weekend. Scottish forward Lewis Morgan has found the net in his previous two games and will be heavily relied upon today in Los Angeles, as the team hasn’t scored on the road in three straight MLS encounters.

Sitting atop of the MLS standings are the Los Angeles FC (9-3-3) with 30 points. After starting the season very strong, the team has gone 2-1-2 in their last five.  A late equalizer (79’) by Cristian Arango was needed for LAFC to pick up a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders last weekend. Some good news for LAFC fans was that former golden boot winner Carlos Vela looked healthy again as he played in the second half of that game and should now be expected to be named to the starting XI. Some even better news is that Wales international Garreth Bale is expected to be joining LAFC as soon as his contract expires with Real Madrid on June 30th. When the free transfer is completed LAFC will surely be the favourite to win it all.

Both teams have won against one another in two previous regular season matches. Most recently LAFC thumped the New York Red Bulls 6-1 in preseason action back in February. I think the Red Bulls are too skilled to go another game on the road without scoring, even though LA has been a tough place for visitors to get on the board. LAFC has two clean sheets this season at home but came against weaker sides Minnesota and Portland. LAFC should be able to secure a home victory, but a draw is a very possible outcome, that is why I am leaning on both teams to score.

Pick: LAFC vs. New York Red Bulls Both Teams To Score -151 (Royal Panda)

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