Another international break is upon us, but we still have a four game MLS slate on Saturday. In order to make sure your lineup isn’t filled with guys on international duty, but sure to read each game breakdown below. As we look at today’s MLS Game Breakdown I will also 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.
Orlando City SC @ New England Revolution
The Revolution will go for their fourth straight win on Saturday against the falling Orlando City SC who have only earned 2 points in their last five matches. The Revolution have a strong squad with only Jermaine Jones on international duty and no other regular starter out for Saturday. The same can not be said for Orlando City who are falling further and further away from a playoff spot in the East. Their stars Kaka and Cyle Larin will both be away on international duty as will Darwin Ceren. Add them to the list of suspended Carlos Rivas and injured Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Tony Cascio, and Harrison Heath and I would say the Orlando City starting eleven will be somewhat of a mystery when released on Saturday. I expect New England to roll at home against Orlando City and move one step closer to securing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Line: New England Revolution (-1) O/U: 3 (o: -135, u: +110)
Players to Watch
* Pedro Ribeiro, Orlando City SC ($4,600)
* Luke Boden, Orlando City SC ($4,100)
* Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution ($9,000)
* Charlie Davies, New England Revolution ($8,700)
Chicago Fire @ Montreal Impact
Montreal will look to avoid their fourth straight defeat, but will have to overcome a majority of their team missing on Saturday. Top players Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba are both questionable with injuries but hope to be available to play. Both will be needed on Saturday with Kyle Bekker, Laurent Ciman, Maxime Crepeau, Eric Miller, Ambroise Oyongo, and Johan Venegas on international duty. Luckily for Montreal, Chicago will have to travel north of the border with some of their key players missing as well. Designated Player David Accam has joined Ghana, Jovin Jones joined Trinidad & Tobago, and youngster Matt Polster joined the United States U-23 squad and will all be out of action on Saturday. They also were dealt a blow with the injury news that Adailton will be out for several weeks with a groin injury. Mike Magee hopes to be back to join the inform Kennedy Igboananike in attack for Chicago, but it may not be enough especially if Drogba and Piatti return from their injuries.
Line: Montreal Impact (-1/2) O/U: 3 ½ (o: -115, u: -105)
Players to Watch
* Kennedy Igboananike, Chicago Fire ($6,300)
* Harry Shipp, Chicago Fire ($6,800)
* Dominic Oduro, Montreal Impact ($8,300)
* Dilly Duka, Montreal Impact ($5,500)
Toronto FC @ Seattle Sounders
Toronto FC will look for their third win in a row on Saturday as they travel to CenturyLink Field in Seattle. This is arguably the most difficult place to play if you are a road team in the entire MLS and Toronto FC will be forced to do so without some of their key contributors. Both Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco were called up for their respective international teams, but Giovinco was recalled after he picked up a thigh injury that may keep him out for several weeks. I would expect the likes of Luke Moore and Herculez Gomez to lead the attack as Michael Bradley will be forced to carry much of the creative responsibility on Saturday. As for Seattle, they lucked out as Clint Dempsey was not called up to the USMNT as he recovers from a hamstring injury and is questionable to join Obafemi Martins in attack. If he isn’t able to play, Nelson Valdez will likely continue to start alongside Martins as they have created a formidable partnership so far. New signing Ramon Torres will be on international duty, as will newly reinstated Marco Pappa. Look for the Sounders to exploit the talent Toronto FC will be missing up front and I expect Obafemi Martins to score at least once.
Line: Seattle Sounders (-1) O/U: 3 (o: -125, u: Even)
Players to Watch
* Herculez Gomez, Toronto FC ($7,000)
* Michael Bradley, Toronto FC ($3,500)
* Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders ($10,200)
* Nelson Valdez, Seattle Sounders ($5,600)
Philadelphia Union @ San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose will now look for their fifth straight win on Saturday as they are now tied with Seattle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand. Fortunately for them, Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa will remain with the squad, but Cordell Cato, Anibal Godoy, Sanna Nyassi, and Marc Pelosi were all called up to their national teams. Although those losses will be critical to San Jose’s starting eleven, they should be fine at home against the also short handed Philadelphia Union. Cristian Maidana, the league’s leader in assists, will be suspended for his “incident” last weekend. He will join Andre Blake, Maurice Edu, Zach Pfeffer, and Brian Sylvestre on the sidelines this week. This leaves the team in the hands of CJ Sapong, Sebastien Le Toux, and newcomer Tranquillo Barnetta, who will likely play the role of Maidana in his absence. I expect the Union to put up a fight as they usually do, but San Jose should win handily as the home team is expected during a playoff push.
Line: San Jose Earthquakes (-1/2) O/U: 2 ½ (o: +105, u: -125)
Players to Watch
* CJ Sapong, Philadelphia Union ($7,400)
* Tranquillo Barnetta, Philadelphia Union ($5,500)
* Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes ($9,200)
* Quincy Amarikwa, San Jose Earthquakes ($7,000)