Although college football will continue to dominate Saturday’s, don’t forget about a very important three game MLS slate starting in the early afternoon. All three games have vital playoff implications and after Saturday the playoff picture will likely be much clearer than before. 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.
$1k Striker – $3 entry fee
Columbus Crew @ Toronto FC
After clinching a playoff spot midweek, Toronto FC will face off against a potential playoff opponents in the Columbus Crew on Saturday. Toronto will be without Jozy Altidore who was shown a red card from the bench midweek. As for Columbus, they can clinch a playoff spot if they were to pick up at least a point. Jack McInerney and Tony Tchani are both questionable with injury, but Tchani should be ready to retain his place in the starting eleven. Toronto FC are outstanding at home and it doesn’t hurt that they have the league MVP in Sebastian Giovinco. Kei Kamara may disagree with that statement and would love to score a goal or two to stay in the conversation. Toronto FC are healthy and have full confidence coming into Saturday and expect them to put on a show in front of their home crowd yet again.
Line: Toronto FC (-1) O/U: 3 (o: -110, u: -110)
Players to Watch
* Michael Bradley, Toronto FC ($7,900)
* Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC ($14,400)
* Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew ($11,600)
* Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew ($7,600)
Montreal Impact @ New England Revolution
This is another crucial Eastern Conference matchup as both teams can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Saturday. Montreal are currently sitting in the final playoff spot, but are four points ahead of Orlando City SC. They will have a tough matchup away from home against a strong New England Revolution side. Montreal were dealt difficult news midweek as Andres Romero’s knee injury will force him to the sidelines for the remainder of the season. There are also some concerns over Didier Drogba and if he will play on the turf in Gillette Stadium, but one would think his competitive drive will trump those concerns. As for the Revolution, Teal Bunbury will be suspended for Saturday, but the rest of the team healthy and back from international duty. Expect the Revolution to put on a strong performance at home and clinch a playoff spot in the East.
Line: New England Revolution (-1) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -140, u: +115)
Players to Watch
* Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact ($11,400)
* Dominic Oduro, Montreal Impact ($7,800)
* Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution ($9,900)
* Charlie Davies, New England Revolution ($8,400)
FC Dallas @ Real Salt Lake
Although some may think this game is meaningless, this is a great opportunity for FC Dallas to clinch the top spot in the Western Conference. They will be facing a Real Salt Lake team that lost midweek to Portland and lost Jamison Olave to suspension. As for FC Dallas, they beat Vancouver 2-0 midweek and will look to win again on Saturday. Kellyn Acosta shows up on the injury list once again, but that didn’t keep him out of Wednesday’s match against the Whitecaps. FC Dallas have a great opportunity to clinch that top spot against one of the worst teams in the league and expect them to capitalize on this great opportunity.
Line: (Pick) O/U: 2 ½ (o: -115, u: -115)
Players to Watch
* Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas ($9,500)
* Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas ($9,200)
* Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake ($9,900)
* Juan Manuel Martinez, Real Salt Lake ($6,100)