We only have two games for you tonight, but both are top rivalries in the MLS. These game will be very exciting games with some of the best atmospheres in American sports today. As we look at today’s MLS Game Breakdown I will be analyzing some injury concerns, point out some key missing players, and look for potential breakout players for both games. Also follow me on Twitter (@jwl_15) for injury and lineup updates throughout the day.
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New York Red Bulls @ New York City FC
For the second time in history, the two New York teams will match up against each other in what could turn into the best MLS rivalry around. The Red Bulls picked up a 2-1 win last time, but will be facing a tougher and more confident New York City FC team tonight. NYCFC has won three straight and the likes of David Villa and Thomas McNamara are playing very well. The Red Bulls will be without Lloyd Sam once again, and Anatole Abang may get the opportunity at striker again after his decent performance midweek (albeit against a 9 man RSL team). I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if NYCFC picked up at least a point this week against a Red Bulls team in poor form.
Line: Toronto FC (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-120 , u:-110)
Players to Watch
* Anatole Abang, New York Red Bulls ($4,900)
* Bradley Wright Phillips, New York Red Bulls ($10,300)
* David Villa, New York City FC ($10,500)
* Mehdi Ballouchy, New York City FC ($6,400)
Seattle Sounders @ Portland Timbers
It’s fitting to end rivalry weekend with the most intense rivalry in MLS right now. The Timbers four game winning streak came to an abrupt end last week in their blowout loss to the Galaxy. To make matters worse, defender Liam Ridgewell was red carded in that loss and is suspended for tonight’s match. As for Seattle, for the third and final game they will be without Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, and Chad Barrett. Along with missing 75% of their attacking players, they also are missing their top midfielder in Osvaldo Alonso who is injured. Based on the recent struggles of Seattle without their top players it leads me to beleive Portland should get back to their winning ways this weekend.
Line: Philadelphia Union (-1/2) O/U: 2 1/2 (o:-120 , u:-110)
Players to Watch
* Marco Pappa, Seattle Sounders ($6,500)
* Tyrone Mears, Seattle Sounders ($5,500)
* Maximiliano Urruti, Portland Timbers ($6,300)
* Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers ($6,800)