Sunday’s slate of games will be small. First there is a matchup between two of the biggest and most successful teams in MLS history. Then there is a rivalry in the making with the New York derby. 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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Seattle Sounders @ LA Galaxy
Giovani Dos Santos made his debut for the LA Galaxy midweek and scored in their blowout win versus Central FC. The Galaxy have now won three of their last four matches and will have one of the strongest squads in MLS history on the field this weekend. With only Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic, and Todd Dunivent out with injury, the likes of Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, and Gyasi Zardes should all join Dos Santos in the starting lineup. As for the Seattle Sounders, their losing streak has now reached four straight. The return of Clint Dempsey last week wasn’t able to spark the team to victory, but maybe this week that will change. Osvaldo Alonso is still out with injury and Obafemi Martins is nearing his return after nearly two months on the sideline. I expect the Galaxy to control much of this game, and if Martins is out, the Galaxy should win pretty handily.
Line: LA Galaxy (-1) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -122, u: -118)
Players to Watch
* Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders ($10,300)
* Tyrone Mears, Seattle Sounders ($5,200)
* Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy ($10,400)
* Giovani Dos Santos, LA Galaxy ($7,400)
New York City FC @ New York Red Bulls
In the final game between theses two New York teams this season, the Red Bulls will look to complete a sweep as they would damper New York City FC’s playoff hopes. Is this the week that Shaun Wright-Phillips finally joins his brother in the Red Bulls starting lineup? He has played very well in his brief appearances and it’s only a matter of time until he gets the start. There are no new injuries for the Red Bulls with Ronald Zubar and Chris Duvall still sidelined, but Damien Perrinelle is suspended. As for New York City FC, their big three are all expected to be in the starting lineup for the first time this season. Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, and David Villa will surely provide them with the composure and skill to have a chance to finally beat their New York rivals. They do have a few injuries with Chris Wingert, Khiry Shelton, and Ryan Meara all questionable for Sunday’s match. I expect this to be a very open match as it usually is between these two teams, and expect both teams to score at least one goal.
Line: New York Red Bulls (-1) O/U: 3 (o: -125, u: -105)
Players to Watch
* David Villa, New York City FC ($12,500)
* Frank Lampard, New York City FC ($6,400)
* Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls ($11,200)
* Lloyd Sam, New York Red Bulls ($7,800)