This contest slate consists of a single game on Sunday and two games on Wednesday, September 9th. Just a reminder that Wednesday’s games will be updated as we inch closer to the day of the game, but here is an early preview of the matches. 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.
Sunday and Wednesday’s Contests
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FC Dallas @ Columbus Crew
The surging Columbus Crew have earned ten points in their last four games and are now in third place in the Eastern Conference. They will return home against a very strong FC Dallas team, but both teams will be missing plenty of key players. Columbus will be without Kei Kamara, Justin Meram, Harrison Afful, Sergio Campbell, Waylon Francis, Cedrick, Ben Swanson, and Will Trapp who are all on international duty. As for FC Dallas, they will be without Fabian Castillo, Tesho Akindele, Coy Craft, Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson, and Moises Hernandez who are also on international duty as well. They hope Mauro Diaz will be healthy as they need some sort of offensive help with a majority of their attack away from the team. I expect Columbus to win at home and the midseason trade for Jack McInerney will play a huge role on Sunday.
Line: Columbus Crew (-1/2) O/U: 3 (o: -140, u: +115)
Players to Watch
* Mauro Diaz, FC Dallas ($9,500)
* Michael Barrios, FC Dallas ($4,300)
* Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew ($8,500)
* Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew ($8,900)
Colorado Rapids @ Vancouver Whitecaps
Colorado comes into this game winning three games in a row, but will have a very difficult matchup against one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Suspensions and the international break has somewhat depleted the Rapids lineup with Drew Moor and Axel Sjoberg suspended and Maynor Figueroa, Dillon Serna, and Kevin Doyle on international duty. Dillon Powers and Gabriel Torres will need to step up if they want a chance to win. As for Vancouver, they will be without Kendall Watson and Matias Laba who both will be suspended on Wednesday. Octavio Rivero and Pedro Morales should both be available, meaning they should be able to lead the Whitecaps to another win at home on Wednesday.
Line: Vancouver Whitecaps (-1) O/U: 2 1/2 (o: +105, u: -125)
Players to Watch
* Gabriel Torres, Colorado Rapids ($5,400)
* Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids ($5,500)
* Octavio Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps ($8,700)
* Pedro Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps ($8,000)
Sporting KC @ Portland Timbers
After thinking Sporting KC were one of the top teams in MLS, they have now lost three straight games and have fallen to the middle of the Western Conference standings with the Portland Timbers. Sporting KC have a slew of injuries including Roger Espinoza who is out and Jalil Anibaba, Suni Mustivar, Chance Myers, and Amobi Okugo are all in doubt. To make matters worse Krisztian Nemeth, Erik Palmer-Brown, and Marcel De Jong will on international duty, but Matt Besler has returned from the USMNT and will be ready to start at the back. As for Portland, they will be without Liam Ridgewell and Diego Chara who are suspended, but will not be missing anyone due to injury. They will be without defender Alvas Powell who has joined Jamaica on international duty and may not be back in time for the game. Lucas Melano has began to show his worth as of late and I expect him to lead Portland at home against Sporting KC.
Line: Portland Timbers (-1) O/U: 2 1/2 (o: -120, u: Even)
Players to Watch
* Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC ($9,400)
* Graham Zusi, Sporting KC ($6,600)
* Lucas Melano, Portland Timbers ($6,100)
* Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers ($9,800)