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Which MLS team will be crunched most by international departures in Round 28?

Sep 3, 2013, 9:15 PM EDT

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Difficult as it is, let’s try to skip the part where we wonder about Major League Soccer’s ongoing, stubborn insistence of playing through this week’s FIFA international break.

In fairness MLS has made some progress here, attempting to shrink the slate of league contests around World Cup qualifiers and other international dates – but this “progress” is arriving at a plodding pace.

But, again, let’s just power through that for now. Rather, let’s talk about which teams will be taxed the most star power.

The Galaxy, on such a roll lately, top this unfortunate list. They will miss fabulously in-form Landon Donovan (pictured), league MVP candidate Robbie Keane and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo for this week’s visit by Colorado.

That’s going to hurt, especially as L.A. has ground to recover in the Supporters Shield chase. Keane and Donovan will take so much of the offense with them, while the goalkeeping gloves will be handed back to Carlo Cudicini, who just can’t help the team with the big save the way Penedo can. (We all remember the work of wonder from just a couple weeks back, right? Video of that one is at the bottom of this post.)

FC Dallas, desperate for points to help arrest that long summer slide and still in pitched battle with about five teams for three playoff spots, will also miss its starting goalkeeper and leading scorer. In fact, Dallas’ date at home against Vancouver could be called a “playoff six-pointer.”

And then there is Sporting Kansas City, where Kei Kamara just flew the KC coop for a second England adventure. Peter Vermes’ team will also be without center back Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi, both called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man camp for the pair of important upcoming qualifiers.

Kansas City hosts Columbus, which will be in “fresh start” mode under interim boss Brian Bliss – but without its top man, suspended playmaker Federico Higuain.


  1. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Hey Steve, you forgot to mention Omar Gonzalez. He’s another player that Galaxy will miss.

  2. smorris793 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Really, no PDX? They lose starting striker, keeper and RB. They

  3. smorris793 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Really, no PDX? They lose 3 starters. Between that and injuries they have 15 players…

    • sickstring - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      +1 to this. with injuries and suspensions, losing the potential GK of the year, the only healthy right back, and starting striker, for a jamaica callup that won’t mean much to them, is a huge blow to portland. while LA’s attack may be threatened, Portland is the team on the cusp of the playoff picture with the most to lose in this scenario, seconded by Seattle, who will be without their strike force for TWO games this week.

  4. jabuspub - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Davis, pull your head out. Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans (Evans called up before getting injured) from the Sounders and you completely omit them? You mentioned Galaxy’s hit to their Supporters Shield run but Sounders are actually .02 ppg ahead in that race (1.67 to 1.65 with two games in hand). Take some time to research next time you hack!

    • sickstring - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      are you sure it’s not .02119666? isn’t martins out too? better hope lamar neagle is feeling the goal.

  5. cougkeeper - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    And Seattle has 3 games that will be effected, tomorrow night, Saturday and next Friday. If Sigi pulls this off he should be manager of the year. But probably Davis won’t notice.

  6. talgrath - Sep 4, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Seattle is losing two of their best strikers and (before he was injured) one of their key midfielders in Evans and they play 2 games in that span unlike Sporting Kansas City and the Galaxy; Chivas USA tonight, and a resurgent Fire on Saturday. The game against Chivas tonight is not a surefire bet as they have been playing better as of late and Obafemi Martins may not be able to go the full 90 yet. A home game against the Fire that would normally be fairly surefire is in doubt thanks to the losses and the quick turn around from the game tonight. Both games are key to Seattle remaining in 3rd place or above to retain the automatic playoff berth.

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