The second leg of the Conference Semifinals start Sunday afternoon, with four teams looking to clinch their spot in the next round. 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.


DC United @ New York Red Bulls

Game Analysis

In the first leg, DC United were shorthanded from the start as defender Bobby Boswell was suspended before the match. The Red Bulls took advantage and won 1-0 as they return home for the second leg. Dax McCarty scored the all important away goal last week, putting the Red Bulls in a very good spot to move on to the next round. To make matters worse for DC United, both Sean Franklin and Chris Pontius are both in doubt for Sunday with injuries that have kept them both out of practice. The Red Bulls will unfortunately be without Damien Perrinelle who sustained a knee injury last weekend and will miss the rest of the playoffs. Ronald Zubar will replace him in the starting lineup, but the Red Bulls should be able to overcome the loss of Perrinelle and move onto the Conference Finals.

Line: New York Red Bulls (-1) O/U: 3 (o: -110, u: -115)

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls ($8,300)
  • Lloyd Sam, New York Red Bulls ($6,400)
  • Fabian Espindola, DC United ($7,300)
  • Chris Rolfe, DC United ($5,700)


Montreal Impact @ Columbus Crew

Game Analysis

Last weekend, Montreal took an impressive 2-1 lead in the first leg of the Conference Semifinals against the Columbus Crew. A late goal by substitute, Johan Venegas, gave the Impact the win, but Federico Higuain did score an important away goal for the Crew. Luckily they return home on Sunday with a good chance to score and put themselves in a good position to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Crew do have two injury concerns to key substitutes with Mohammad Saeid out with a hamstring injury and Cedrick questionable with a calf injury. Montreal will not have any new injury concerns, so expect them to have a very similar lineup to last weekends. Kei Kamara will not want his comeback season to end just yet, so expect him to lead Columbus to the next round on Sunday.

Line: Columbus Crew (-1/2) O/U: 3 (o: Even, u: -120)

Players to Watch

  • Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew ($8,100)
  • Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew ($6,500)
  • Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact ($6,200)
  • Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact ($8,200)


Seattle Sounders @ FC Dallas

Game Analysis

Similar to the game between the Crew and the Impact, the away team took an early lead but lost 2-1 in the opening leg of the Conference Semifinals. FC Dallas scored early after Mauro Diaz played Fabian Castillo in on goal with a beautiful pass that Castillo buried for the opener. Seattle battled back though with a goal halfway through the second half by Andreas Ivanschitz, and then completed the win with a late goal by Clint Dempsey. As mentioned with the Columbus Crew, the away goal by FC Dallas may be key as they return home for Sunday’s game. They do have an injury concern with Kellyn Acosta questionable with a hamstring injury, although he is expected to play. As for Seattle, they are facing a slew of injury concerns with Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, and Leo Gonzalez all questionable and limited in practice all week. FC Dallas are one of the best teams at home and should be able to justify their top spot in the Western Conference with a comeback win on Sunday.

Line: FC Dallas (-1) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -130, u: +110)

Players to Watch

  • Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas ($6,800)
  • Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas ($7,000)
  • Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders ($7,500)
  • Andreas Ivanschitz, Seattle Sounders ($4,600)


Portland Timbers @ Vancouver Whitecaps

Game Analysis

Last weekend, the Timbers and Whitecaps played to a scoreless draw and now will travel to Vancouver for the second leg on Sunday. Vancouver are favorites at home but will be without key defender Pa Madou Kah who is out with a knee injury. Also midfielder Pedro Morales continues to battle injuries and is questionable again after making a substitute appearance last weekend. As for Portland, they were without star goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey last weekend after he was unable to go with flu-like symptoms. He should be ready to return to the starting lineup and will hope to slow down the dangerous Vancouver attack of Octavio Rivero and Kekuta Manneh. As expected in Major League Soccer the home team is favorite, but it’s the playoffs and anything can happen is this scoreless game.

Line: Vancouver Whitecaps (-1/2) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -105, u: -120)

Players to Watch

  • Kekuta Manneh, Vancouver Whitecaps ($6,100)
  • Octavio Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps ($5,700)
  • Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers ($5,100)
  • Lucas Melano, Portland Timbers ($5,100)