MLS has a small slate of games for you this weekend, as they are sandwiched between an international break and some US Open Cup matches. As we look at today’s MLS Game Breakdown I will be analyzing some injury concerns, look at who will be missing on international duty, and look for potential breakout players in each game. Also follow me on Twitter (@jwl_15) for injury and lineup updates throughout the day.

Today’s Contests

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$1.5k Equalizer – $27 entry fee


Montreal Impact @ New York City FC

Game Analysis

New York City FC returns home this week after a confidence building win last week against Philadelphia. Patrick Mullins scored a game winning goal late, but that was after a stunning long distance strike by Thomas McNamara. Mullins will probably get the chance to start this week alongside David Villa, since Adam Nemec is on international duty. As for Montreal, they have won four of their last five matches, and have seen the likes of Andres Romero and Ignacio Piatti step up their game. I expect this to be a very open game and both attacks will have several chances against these lackluster defenses.

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-110 , u:-120)

Players to Watch

  • Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact ($7,700)
  • Andres Romero, Montreal Impact ($6,000)
  • David Villa, New York City FC ($10,800)
  • Patrick Mullins, New York City FC ($6,600)


LA Galaxy @ Columbus Crew

Game Analysis

The Galaxy are winless in their last two matches and will once again be missing some key pieces of their starting lineup this week against Columbus. Robbie Keane, Bradford Jamieson IV, and AJ DeLaGarza are all with their respective international teams and to make matters worse, Jamieson suffered a nasty shoulder injury early in their World Cup match. They also could be without Robbie Rogers, Todd Dunivant, Dan Gargan, and Jose Villarreal as they all continue to battle the injury bug. As for the Columbus Crew, Justin Meram will be their only major absence as he is with Iraq on international duty. Although the Crew are in their worst form of the season, they are playing a team that is winless in their last 14 road matches. I expect this to be a very well played game, but will the missing Galaxy players give the Crew the edge tonight?

Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-110 , u:-120)

Players to Watch

  • Stefan Ishizaki, LA Galaxy ($8,400)
  • Baggio Husidic, LA Galaxy ($6,200)
  • Steve Clark, Columbus Crew ($5,200)
  • Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew ($11,300)


Chicago Fire @ New England Revolution

Game Analysis

The big news going into this game is the announcement that Jermaine Jones will miss 6-8 weeks with a sports hernia injury. This is a huge blow for New England, who are in desperate need of a win after starting the season so well. They may get a break with the return of Juan Agudelo from international duty, but the defense will need to step up in Jones’s absence. Chicago is also struggling with only one win in their last six matches. This week won’t be any easier as the international break has hit them hard. They will be without leading scorer David Accam, as well as Shaun Maloney and Joevin Jones, which will once again give guys like Quincy Amarikwa and Michael Stephens a chance to showcase their talent. With all of the players missing for Chicago, this is a prime opportunity for New England to turn around their poor stretch of form.

Line: New England Revolution (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-120 , u:-110)

Players to Watch

  • Kennedy Igboananike, Chicago Fire ($6,900)
  • Harry Shipp, Chicago Fire ($8,600)
  • Teal Bunbury, New England Revolution ($7,500)
  • Scott Caldwell, New England Revolution ($5,300)


FC Dallas @ Seattle Sounders

Game Analysis

After a draw earlier this season, both teams will look to earn a point to make some moves in the Western Conference standings. Seattle will be without Marco Pappa on international duty, but Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will likely return to the starting lineup. As for FC Dallas, they will be missing five players on international duty, including key players such as Tesho Akindele, Kellyn Acosta, and Moises Hernandez. The return of Fabian Castillo though will be a huge boost, as the MVP candidate was clearly missed last weekend against San Jose. Another draw wouldn’t surprise me, but Seattle’s attack might be too much for the Dallas defense.

Line: Seattle Sounders (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:EVEN , u:-130)

Players to Watch

  • Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas ($8,900)
  • Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas ($8,200)
  • Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders ($10,100)
  • Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders ($9,700)