As we look at today’s MLS Game Breakdown I will be analyzing some injury concerns, point out some key missing players due to the Gold Cup, and look for potential breakout players for both games. Also follow me on Twitter (@jwl_15) for injury and lineup updates throughout the day.

Today’s Contests

$1.5K Striker – $3 entry fee

$1.5K Equalizer – $27 entry fee

New England Revolution @ New York Red Bulls

Game Analysis

The New York Red Bulls are favorites to win this week and that shouldn’t be a surprise. New England has lost four matches in a row and five of their last six. Ever since Jermaine Jones left the starting lineup with an injury, they have struggled in defense. They will go against a very strong and determined New York team that has a majority of their starting eleven. Kemar Lawrence will be missing as he is becoming a star with the Jamaican National Team and Chris Duvall is out after his gruesome injury last week, but other than that they will have a very strong team on the field. Expect Bradley Wright-Phillips, Lloyd Sam and newcomer Anatole Abang to have plenty of chances in front of goal.

Line: New York Red Bulls (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-130 , u:Even)

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls ($11,400)
  • Lloyd Sam, New York Red Bulls ($7,300)
  • Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution ($7,500)
  • Charlie Davies, New England Revolution ($8,800)

Portland Timbers @ Philadelphia Union

Game Analysis

Ever since Diego Valeri and Will Johnson returned to the starting lineup, Portland have been rolling. They have won seven of their last eight matches including the last two since their blowout loss to the Galaxy. Although both Darlington Nagbe and Diego Chara are questionable to play, I would expect both to be in the starting lineup if healthy. As for Philadelphia, they return home this week after earning points in their last two matches. CJ Sapong has been outstanding, but it does look like Fernando Aristeguieta may be available this week after renewing his loan deal. His return will hurt Sapong’s overall value, but I would expect his goal scoring record to continue as they get more comfortable up top together.

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-105 , u:-125)

Players to Watch

  • Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers ($8,500)
  • Fanendo Adi, Portland Timbers ($8,500)
  • CJ Sapong, Philadelphia Union ($6,400)
  • Cristian Maidana, Philadelphia Union ($7,000)

FC Dallas @ Orlando City SC

Game Analysis

Orlando City SC will be without Kaka for the first time this season and he isn’t the only key player missing. Both Brek Shea and Cyle Larin will also be out due to an injury and international duty. This means that Orlando City will rely heavily on the play of Pedro Ribeiro and Carlos Rivas, although they have yet to fully impress this season. As for FC Dallas, they will be missing both Blas Perez and Tesho Akindele again due to the Gold Cup, so Mauro Diaz will get another chance up top. He thrived in that position last week and I would expect the same this week against a depleted Orlando City side.

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:Even , u:-130)

Players to Watch

  • Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas ($8,700)
  • Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas ($11,200)
  • Pedro Ribeiro, Orlando City SC ($4,900)
  • Carlos Rivas, Orlando City SC ($5,400)

Columbus Crew @ Montreal Impact

Game Analysis

Columbus picked up a huge win last weekend against the New York Red Bulls and will look to do the same this week north of the border. Ethan Finlay picked up two goals last week on two assists by Kei Kamara, as those two players have proven to be a force in attack. Finlay leads the league in assists, while Kamara leads the league in goals. Combine them with the fact that Will Trapp will be returning to a midfield that includes Federico Higuain and Columbus should be a feared team week in and week out. As for Montreal, Andres Romero will be suspended, but other than him there are no new injuries or suspensions. Expect the Crew to ride some momentum into Montreal and try to beat an Impact team that struggles to score.

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-140 , u:+110)

Players to Watch

  • Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew ($8,000)
  • Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew ($10,000)
  • Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact ($7,800)
  • Jack McInerney, Montreal Impact ($6,900)

Seattle Sounders @ Chicago Fire

Game Analysis

Seattle picked up a very difficult and surprising win last week against a strong DC United team. They were without Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, and Marco Pappa last week in that win, and will do the same on Saturday. Chad Barrett and Lamar Neagle will lead the line again, but look for role players such as Cristian Roldan and Tyrone Mears to continue to make an impact. They will be going against a Chicago Fire team at home that will be missing Joevin Jones and leading goal scorer Jeff Larentowicz. David Accam and Shaun Maloney may be able to return after injuries that have kept them out for a few weeks, but their status remains in doubt. Expect Seattle to push forward similar to last weekend, especially against a Chicago team that struggles to score goals.

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:+115 , u:-150)

Players to Watch

  • Patrick Nyarko, Chicago Fire ($5,100)
  • Mike Magee, Chicago Fire ($5,600)
  • Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders ($7,000)
  • Tyrone Mears, Seattle Sounders ($6,000)

Real Salt Lake @ Colorado Rapids

Game Analysis

Colorado will look for a rare second win in a row this week as they take on a shorthanded Real Salt Lake team. RSL will be without Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio, Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips, and Nick Rimando. Add them to the list of suspended Abdoulie Mansally and injured Jordan Allen, Luis Gil, and Chris Shuler. Basically, over half of RSL’s first team will be out of action this week, leading me to believe that a revitalized Rapids team with Luis Solignac and Kevin Doyle in attack, will likely pull out at least a point on Saturday.

Line: Colorado Rapids (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:+110 , u:-140)

Players to Watch

  • Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake ($6,300)
  • Sebastian Jaime, Real Salt Lake ($5,900)
  • Luis Solignac, Colorado Rapids ($5,000)
  • Kevin Doyle, Colorado Rapids ($5,600)