MLS 2013, Week 5 preview and fixtures: The depth in MLS continues to impress

Bob Levey

The international break showcased just how deep MLS has become.

The international break is over and all of MLS's best players will be back this weekend, not that you will notice much of a difference. Without a slew of the league's stars last weekend, MLS put together a level of entertainment and quality on par with what it normally does, which is absolutely astounding.

Once a league without depth, MLS has grown and now even the middling teams can go 13, 14 or 15 deep. No Omar Gonzalez? L.A. has Leonardo. No Brad Davis or Boniek Garcia? Houston has Andrew Driver, Warren Creavalle and Giles Barnes. No Victor Bernardez? Hell, no Steven Beitashour or Justin Morrow ether, and Dan Gargan, Jason Hernardez, Nana Attakora and Ty Harden did just fine.

MLS is astonishingly deep for a salary cap league. Unsurprisingly, MLS is also better than it has ever been.

Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy

Saturday, 2 p.m. ET - MLS Live

David Beckham won't play on the turf at BMO Field.

Pick: L.A., 2-1.

New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET - NBC Sports Network

The Red Bulls would have bought Freddy Adu, but the Union wouldn't sell to them.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

New England Revolution vs. FC Dallas

Saturday, 4 p.m. ET - MLS Live

The attendance jokes are too easy.

Pick: 4-4, they have the same number of fans.

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 6 p.m. ET - Univision Deportes

Neither of these teams are boring and they both have some really exciting players, but neither team is quite there yet either. It's the MLS equivalent of blue balls.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Montreal Impact

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

I'm sure Peter Vermes has a brilliant gameplan to slow down Patrice Bernier and not get caught out against the Impact's counter.

Pick: Montreal, 2-1.

Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

This was once a "rivalry." Then the Quakes realized that it wasn't the Dynamo's fault they didn't have a team and that Houston doesn't like AEG either. So that whole Dominic Kinnear vs. Frank Yallop thing is kind of cool, I guess.

Pick: Houston, 2-1.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 9 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Seattle invented going into April without a win.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET - MLS Live

Step forward, Chivas, and end our jokes about forever. Let us focus on Reo C.

Pick: Vancouver, 3-1

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