After five very exciting games yesterday, including a four goal second half comeback by Sporting KC, these two games have a lot to live up to. As we look at today’s MLS Game Breakdown I will be analyzing some injury concerns and look for potential breakout players. Also follow me on Twitter (@jwl_15) for injury and lineup updates throughout the day.
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Orlando City @ Seattle Sounders
It’s safe to say that Sunday may be a make or break game for the Sounders. They have now lost eight of their last nine games and have only a one point lead for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They also have plenty of other problems including Marco Pappa’s suspension and injuries to Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Barrett, and Obafemi Martins. They did make three signings in the past week with the arrival of defender Ramon Torres, midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz, and attacker Nelson Valdez, but it’s unknown if they will make their debuts against Orlando City. The Sounders will have to hope they are ready given their desperate need for a win. As for Orlando City, they will continue to rely on Cyle Larin and Kaka to lead them into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Injuries to Brek Shea and Rafael Ramos haven’t helped, but newcomer Corey Ashe has been a huge addition. I expect Orlando City to win pretty easily over a Sounders team in disarray.
Line: Seattle Sounders (-1/2) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -115, u: -115)
Players to Watch
* Cyle Larin, Orlando City ($10,800)
* Kaka, Orlando City ($9,100)
* Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders ($10,000)
* Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders ($8,900)
Chicago Fire @ Philadelphia Union
Philadelphia haven’t won in their last four matches and are now just one point ahead of their opponents for last place in the Eastern Conference. Their new signing, Tranquillo Barnetta, got his first start last weekend and played 60 minutes. I would expect him to play a little more this weekend, making him a solid value play as he moves into the central attacking midfield position. The Union will be without Andrew Wenger on Sunday, and the trio of Raymond Lee, Vincent Nogueira, and Brian Sylvestre will all face fitness tests before the match to determine their status. As for Chicago, Matt Watson will be suspended and Mike Magee has found himself back on the sideline with an injury. Their new signing, Gilberto, has also found himself on the injury list and it is unknown if he will be available on Sunday. Both teams really have nothing to lose, leading me to believe that this should be a very open game.
Line: Philadelphia Union (-1/2) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -120, u: -110)
Players to Watch
* David Accam, Chicago Fire ($6,800)
* Shaun Maloney, Chicago Fire ($6,400)
* CJ Sapong, Philadelphia Union ($7,200)
* Cristian Maidana, Philadelphia Union ($8,200)