With the All-Star game past us, the second half of the MLS season will begin on Saturday with a huge slate of eight games. We will actually skip the early game today as no current DraftKings contests have that game in their slate. 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.

Today’s Contests
$3k Striker – $3 entry fee

$2K Equalizer – $27 entry fee


Real Salt Lake @ DC United
Game Analysis
DC United ended their three game skid last weekend with a solid win against the Philadelphia Union. Alvaro Saborio scored his first goal since joining DC United, but it was the play of Fabian Espindola that really has sparked the DC United attack. He has been a much needed spark since returning from injury especially with the likes of Bill Hamid, Sean Franklin, and Chris Pontius on the sidelines with injuries of their own. As for Real Salt Lake, they have been in good form as of late, winning their last two matches. Jamison Olave continues to be missing from the starting lineup, but the attack of Joao Plata, Javier Morales, and Sebastian Jaime have made up for his absence. With recently acquired Luis Silva and Jordan Allen still injured, they will have to continues to play well if they want a chance to beat a very good DC United team.
Line: DC United (-1) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -111, u: -130)

Players to Watch
* Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake ($8,900)
* Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake ($7,400)
* Fabian Espindola, DC United ($9,000)
* Alvaro Saborio, DC United ($7,700)


New York Red Bulls @ Philadelphia Union
Game Analysis
The New York Red Bulls have been in great form as of late, winning four of their last five matches. The emergence of Mike Grella has been huge for the Red Bulls with the recent struggles of Bradley Wright-Phillips. It’s safe to say the the arrival of this brother Shaun Wright-Phillips should spark a fire under Bradley, as the two will help lead the Red Bulls into the playoffs. Shaun Wright-Phillips may not be match fit, but the return of Kemar Lawrence will be huge for the a backline that has been shuffled recently. As for the Philadelphia Union, they made a big acquisition midweek with the signing of Tranquillo Barnetta for FC Schalke 04. He also might not be match fit yet, but when he is he will provide some additional support for CJ Sapong, as he continues to have a career year. Also Vincent Nogueira will be out with a quad injury leaving the Union a bit vulnerable in midfield. Expect the Red Bulls to control the game from the midfield, but CJ Sapong will still get his chances in attack given the form he is currently in.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 3 (o: -102, u: -141)

Players to Watch
* Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls ($11,000)
* Mike Grella, New York Red Bulls ($6,300)
* CJ Sapong, Philadelphia Union ($6,900)
* Cristian Maidana, Philadelphia Union ($7,900)


Columbus Crew @ Orlando City SC
Game Analysis
After a hat trick last Sunday, Cyle Larin and the Orlando City SC will look to take down the high powered attack of the Columbus Crew. Orlando City SC will be without a few key players as Kevin Molino, Tony Cascio, and Brek Shea are all still sidelined with injuries. As for Columbus, Kei Kamara continues to get banged up, but should be ready to play after his appearance in the MLS All-Star Game. Another guy who shined in the All-Star Game was Ethan Finlay, whose play should start to be recognized by Jurgen Klinsmann. The problem for the Crew continues to be their defense, but they brought in some reinforcements midweek with the signing of Harrison Afful, a Ghanaian fullback who has World Cup experience. I expect him to fit right into that starting lineup when fit, as the Crew have been searching for a serviceable RB since the departure of Hernan Grana. Expect this to be a very high scoring affair especially after Orlando City gave up five goals and Columbus gave up three goals last weekend.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -105, u: -137)

Players to Watch
* Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew ($10,900)
* Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew ($8,900)
* Kaka, Orlando City SC ($10,700)
* Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC ($8,200)


Toronto FC @ New England Revolution
Game Analysis
Toronto FC came from three goals down last weekend to earn a point against the Columbus Crew. A big reason for that was once again the play of Sebastian Giovinco, who continues shine in his first year in MLS. Unfortunately a nagging heel injury may keep him out of this match, which will put even more pressure on Jozy Altidore. Also they received the devastating news that Michael Bradley will be out a couple weeks with an injury, but a lot of that has to do with the amount of minutes he has played for club and country recently. As for New England, it looks like Jermaine Jones may be back in action this weekend, which will provide a much needed boost to the defense. The Revolution are very good at home and I would expect them to dominate much of this game through the midfield. Lee Nguyen and newly inserted Diego Fagundez should both be in the starting lineup and have a chance to take over this game with Michael Bradley missing. Expect both teams to have plenty of chances, but if Giovinco misses the game, that may be too much of a loss for Toronto FC to overcome.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -152, u: +106)

Players to Watch
* Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC ($7,500)
* Marco Delgado, Toronto FC ($5,100)
* Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution ($8,300)
* Charlie Davies, New England Revolution ($8,400)


Houston Dynamo @ Sporting KC
Game Analysis
After reeling off three straight wins, Sporting KC picked up a bad loss last weekend against Real Salt Lake. The injuries to Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic, and Jalil Anibaba means that Sporting KC will have to continue to rely on their young, inexperienced defenders to man the defense. The return of Graham Zusi will definitely help as he is valuable not only in attack, but with his ability to backtrack and help out the full backs. As for Houston, they certainly will be happy that Giles Barnes has returned from the Gold Cup and he will join Will Bruin and Erick Torres in attack. Jermaine Taylor will still be out with an injury, but Oscar Boniek Garcia looks to be healthy enough to return to this potentially dynamic attack. Expect Sporting KC to put on a strong showing at home, but if the Dynamo can find chemistry in attack quickly then they could be very dangerous moving forward.
Line: Sporting KC (-1) O/U: 2 ½ (o: +110, u: -140)

Players to Watch
* Giles Barnes, Houston Dynamo ($8,100)
* Brad Davis, Houston Dynamo ($8,500)
* Krisztian Nemeth, Sporting KC ($8,000)
* Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC ($9,200)


LA Galaxy @ Colorado Rapids
Game Analysis
Colorado’s three game win streak has put them on the verge of moving out of the Eastern Conference basement. Colorado took advantage of a struggling Seattle Sounders team last week, after Kevin Doyle scored a late goal to win 1-0. Unfortunately Luis Solignac will be out, but it does look like Dillon Powers will be available on Saturday. As for the LA Galaxy, they come out of the All-Star break nearing full strength, will Gyasi Zardes and Giovani Dos Santos returning from the Gold Cup. Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard should be ready to play after declining to play in the All-Star game, and you should expect the Galaxy to play well. They did get the news that Jaime Penedo has left the team due to a contract dispute, but they acquired Donovan Ricketts to provide much needed competition for Brian Rowe. Colorado will have the advantage at home, but the Galaxy may be too much to handle with all the talent they will have in their squad.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 ½ (o: +110, u: -140)

Players to Watch
* Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy ($10,600)
* Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy ($8,300)
* Kevin Doyle, Colorado Rapids ($6,300)
* Vicente Sanchez, Colorado Rapids ($5,500)


Vancouver Whitecaps @ Seattle Sounders
Game Analysis
Seattle has been in their worst stretch of form in years and will be glad to welcome Clint Dempsey and Brad Davis back to the starting lineup on Saturday. Dempsey will provide a much needed attacking threat that has been missing since both him and Obafemi Martins have been out of the squad. It also looks like Troy Perkins will continue to start in goal as Stefan Frei is still injured. As for Vancouver, Pedro Morales and Sam Adekugbe will be out with an injury, but the rest of the team should be good to go. They will be looking for their second straight win, but will have to get past a hungry and determined Sounders team looking to get back on track with the return of Clint Dempsey.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 ½ (o: +110, u: -140)

Players to Watch
* Octavio Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps ($9,300)
* Darren Mattocks, Vancouver Whitecaps ($5,200)
* Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders ($10,000)
* Tyrone Mears, Seattle Sounders ($5,600)