Hannah, my five-year old daughter, had a very rough Week 6, and add in the fact she’s feeling a bit under the weather, I’m going to give her the week off. So, that means, it’s just you and me, MASL Nation! Week 7 is upon us, and we have a full schedule this weekend, so let’s get right into it!

FRIDAY 1/11/19:

UTICA over Mississauga: Utica will make its first trip up north to face the MetroStars. These two teams have one thing in common: Their last losses were against the Milwaukee Wave, so both teams are in need of a bounce back victory. Along with the Rogue Street Elite, and the Sauga City Collective (fan clubs of the MetroStars), another superfan will be in attendance: ME! Captain Bo Jelovac will be out for this game after suffering a red card in the game on Sunday, but his absence will not sway the result of this game. Utica 9, Mississauga 4.

MILWAUKEE over Kansas City: Milwaukee passed a huge test last weekend after beating both the MetroStars and Utica City on consecutive nights, on the road, and without Ian Bennett or Josh Lemos on Sunday. Their statuses to play in Friday’s game at home are in doubt, but I’d play this safe, and rest them another week. No matter what happens, the Wave roll to another win over the Comets 10-5.

EL PASO over Turlock: The Coyotes pulled a huge upset last week in defeating the Tacoma Stars at home, and almost had a 2-0 record in Week 6, but lost to Dallas in overtime. Meanwhile, Turlock is the only team in the MASL to not win a game yet this season. This streak will unfortunately continue, as El Paso downs the Express 8-3.

SAN DIEGO over Ontario: Last week we saw one of the best games of the year between these two teams in San Diego, with the Sockers winning in overtime 3-2. Why not replay this “instant classic” again, and let’s do it back at Pechanga Arena San Diego? Sounds good to me! Chris Toth and Boris Pardo are 1-2 in GAA so far this season, and I think this will come down to the both of them again. The Sockers and Fury will be another great game, with the Sockers taking this one 5-3.

MONTERREY over Tacoma: Tacoma would like a do over of last week, after going 0-2 on the road, with losses to both El Paso and Rio Grande Valley. Meanwhile, the Flash made quick work of the Sidekicks on Sunday by an 8-2 score. Which Tacoma team will show up at home: the one that beat the San Diego Sockers on the road, or the team that lost to El Paso? It will be a closely contested match, but I give the edge to Monterrey, 6-5.

SATURDAY 1/12/19:

MILWAUKEE over St. Louis: Milwaukee has no time to rest, as they face the Ambush the next night at home. St. Louis is currently in second place in the South Central Division with a 4-4 record, and they are coming off of a great win at home against the Florida Tropics. Last week, Milwaukee played back to back games, and they were just fine. I have a feeling it will be the same result as Friday with the Wave cruising to another victory, 8-3.

BALTIMORE over Harrisburg: Pat Healey returns home to Baltimore to face his former team in this Eastern Division matchup. The Blast are coming off of an overtime victory over the MetroStars, but this was without Tony Donatelli and Vini Dantas. If both of these players are active for this game, the difference in goals could be a lot greater. I’ll play this one conservative and say Baltimore wins 7-3, keeping pace with Utica in the East.

ORLANDO over Florida: I did this upset a couple of weeks ago, and I’m going to do it again. WHY AM I DOING THIS? Well, Orlando will have Victor France back in the lineup for the first time this season, which will boost this SeaWolves offense. The Tropics are returning home after two defeats in the Midwest to both Kansas City and St. Louis. I do like both teams in this matchup, but will take the upset 7-5.

TACOMA over Ontario: Let’s be honest. The rest of the season for these two teams will come down to matchups against each other, and whoever has the better record between the two teams will be the second seed in the Pacific Division, so this is my Game Of The Week. Both teams will be coming off of games the night before, so Ontario will be more tired, as they have to make the trip up north to Kent, Washington. Coach Nick Perera will have their team ready for this game, and will play a huge role in a 6-4 victory.

SUNDAY 1 13/19:

UTICA over Harrisburg: Playing in Baltimore on Saturday plus a long drive to Utica plus a sold out crowd at Adirondack Bank Center equals a loss for the Heat. Harrisburg is going to be facing both the Blast and Utica City for the next six games, and unfortunately an 0-6 record in those games is a definite possibility. Utica 9, Harrisburg 4.

MONTERREY over Dallas: The Flash head to Dallas to face the Sidekicks after facing Tacoma two nights before, so there’s a possibility of a tired Monterrey team. I can see this being a close game because of that fact, so let’s go with Monterrey over Dallas 7-4.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY over Turlock: The Express travel east to face a Barracudas team that just beat Tacoma rather handily 8-4 last Sunday. RGV is gaining confidence and it will continue to grow after beating Turlock this Sunday. Rio Grande Valley 10, Turlock 3.

SAN DIEGO over El Paso: In the final game of Week 7, San Diego will host El Paso. This is another instance of both teams having to play already during the weekend. In this case, the advantage would go to the home team, and in this case that’s San Diego. I think if this game was held in El Paso, I’d still pick the Sockers to win. If El Paso can do to Boris Pardo, what they did to Danny Waltman last week, they do have a chance to win, albeit a slight one. San Diego is just too good right now, and will continue their winning ways, 9-5.

So, last week I ended up going 9-3, while Hannah did the opposite 3-9. She did have quite a few upset specials that didn’t come to fruition, so I commend her for her aggressive picks. Don’t worry MASL Nation, she is excited to do next week’s picks!

Merlin –
Last week: 9-3, Season: 40-15

Hannah –
Last week: 3-9, Season 21-18

Here’s my fantasy team for Week 7: GOALIE: Boris Pardo (San Diego), DEFENDERS: Ben Ramin (Utica City) and Drew Ruggles (Milwaukee), MIDFIELDERS: Edgar Flores (Monterrey) and Jonatas Melo (Baltimore), FORWARD: Moises Gonzalez (Rio Grande Valley)

MASL Nation, Friday, I make my annual trip to watch my favorite team in another arena, my first time watching in Canada. I’ll post an article about my experience sometime before Sunday’s match-up at home. Until then, WHAT SAY YOU?