This week had it all, late goals spoiling clean sheets, home teams coming away with wins after going down early against tired defenses, DC United returning to form as a team that can’t score but adding a wrinkle to the mix by becoming a team that can’t defend, and questionable red cards and refereeing decisions influencing the outcomes of games.
Looking ahead, Atlanta United and 15 other teams are not playing this week because of the international games. The six teams that are playing will deal with missing key players, playing for Real Salt Lake, and the loneliness of being one of six teams playing while everyone else is getting rest and preparing for week five. This is one reason the MLS Fantasy game switched to unlimited transfers this year. In the past managers would have had to load up on players that would play this week and wouldn’t have as strong a team they would have without being constrained by the schedule.
Anyway, onto the Rekrap.
Deep dish isn’t pizza and Chicago can’t defend, or score. Lucky for Atlanta United that meant four goals and getting two players on the Dream Team. Josef Martinez got 13 points with two goals and Michael Parkhurst came away with 11 points and probably completed more passes than Chicago has all season.
Me for buying into the Colorado clean sheet last week and telling you to also. Sure the first Minnesota goal was a penalty from Molino but the second score was goal of the week material from Christian Ramirez. I think if it wasn’t for the red card on Davis the Loons could have been in line for their first win and I couldn’t have wished for a more appropriate way to get three points than against a tactical creatian like Pablo Mastroeni, but alas it wasn’t to be.
Jimmy Medranda has been finding his way onto a lot of fantasy rosters as a defender who is playing out of position as a midfielder. Anyone who had him this week got a clean sheet and some bonus points since he was subbed before Sporting KC conceded a late goal and brought keeper Tim Melia back to his typical 3 point performance.
Be familiar with the list of international call-ups that MLS has put out before setting your roster at 2PM EST on Saturday. If you really want to be sure, maybe do a Google search and check if who you are bringing in has been called up at the last moment.
Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (NE, $4.0) is facing Minnesota at home and the Loons will be without starting midfielders Kevin Molino, Johan Venagas, and Rasmus Schuller. United has some pieces they can slot in for those guys but I think they’ll have trouble against a full strength New England side in this one.
NYRB keeper Luis Robles (NYRB, $6.1) had a tough game last week but Real Salt Lake just fired their coach and is going to be missing Albert Rusnak on international duty. I expect RSL to try and stay compact and steal a point here while they sort our their coaching situation and like Robles for a clean sheet this week.
Defenders: It feels weird saying you should load up on New England defenders and I’m not going to tell you to do that. I do like Chris Tierney (NER, $5.4) who is decently priced and on some set pieces for New England though. I think Aaron Long (NYRB, $5.1) is a virtual must own this week against RSL.
Midfielders: The story here is being told by Columbus and Portland, load up. Diego Valeri (POR, $10.3), Sebastian Blanco (POR, $9.0), Lawrence Olum (POR,$6.5), and Justin Meram (CLB, $9.5) are all playing sub par defenses on teams that like to push forward and leave a lot of space behind for counter attacks. Oh, hey, they’re playing each other.
Blanco is a boom or bust pick so if you want a player at his price with a higher floor look at Felipe (NYRB, $9.0) who has a better floor and decent ceiling since he’s on free kicks and might see more of the ball with Sacha Kljestan missing this game, plus Felipe plays like his diet consists of live bats and the most nutrient ones are in New Jersey so he should be primed and ready to go this week. Kelyn Rowe (NER, $8.5) might be an option if he’s starting against the Loons and we will see a lineup before rosters lock on Saturday.
Forwards: Bradley Wright-Philips (NYRB, $10.0) against RSL who will be without Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, and half of their starting defenders is going to have a good game. Ola Kamara (CLB, $10.4) is coming off of two weeks scoring a goal and I’m not impressed with Portland’s defense, time to wave hola to Kamara.
I’ll keep this short and sweet, any defender on Columbus, Portland, RSL, and Minnesota.