The theme of the weekend was parity as a good number of good teams got spanked by bad teams this weekend in a display of choking that I haven’t seen since B Rabbit vomited his mom’s spaghetti on his sweater in 8-Mile. It was also a double game week which let NY Red Bulls manager Jessie Marsch display his coaching prowess by basically not even bothering to put half his team on the plane to Sporting KC to rest his players for their eventual 3-0 embarrassment to the Philadelphia Union. Say what you want about Atlanta losing to NYCFC 3-1 but at least the Pigeons made the playoffs last year and had won a game in their past 15 matches. I wonder if the Red Bulls miss Dax McCarty? Even eccentric gun collector, artist, and formerly exciting soccer player Brek Shea got a surprising result with Vancouver beating Colorado on the road 1-0.
Other unexpected results this weekend included Minnesota United beating SKC 2-0 and Houston putting Orlando City in the graveyard after a 4-0 embalming. Also, Atlanta United, Minnesota United, and DC United all have 11 points on the year and being even in the standings with those two teams makes me want to walk through the Krog St. tunnel barefoot (there’s a lot of broken glass in there, get off my lawn).
Anyway, onto the Rekrap:
We’re on a second straight double game week! Don Garber must be trying to punish Toronto for having hyperbole master Kurt Larson write about them because they will be playing their 4th game in two weeks coming up. TFC will face Columbus and then host Minnesota United with the Crew playing at home against the Reds and then traveling to Montreal over the weekend. I think it is wise to load up on these teams attacking players but for Toronto you will definitely want to check Twitter for lineups ahead of the first match as they seriously risk squad rotation with their congested schedule.
Rosters lock at 7:30PM on Wednesday so set your sundials.
Goalkeeper: Zach Steffen (CLB, $4.8) is cheap and playing two games. Admittedly, his matchups aren’t great so if you want to look elsewhere David Bingham (SJ, $6.1) and Bill Hamid (DC, $5.5) if he’s healthy have good chances at a clean sheet.
Defenders: I’m staying away from defenders with Toronto and Columbus this weekend. For one thing, I’d rather have Columbus’ midfielders and forward, Toronto will have to rotate players, and San Jose is playing Colorado. The Rapids are bad at soccer and the only owner that Pablo Mastroeni could manage a team for is Stan Kroenke since only someone who has all that Wal Mart money could look at the assemblage of worthless junk that Mastroeni trots out every week and be satisfied with the results he’s seeing.
I digress - Florian Jungwirth (SJ, $6.1) and Victor Bernardez (SJ, $5.5) should be must own players this week and if you want to sell out on San Jose defenders get Nick Lima (SJ, $4.6), who hasn’t been starting but may play, and put Kofi Sarkodie (SJ, $4.6) on the bench so you can flip on manager substitutions on and put whoever of those two makes the 11 against Colorado.
Midfielders: Columbus and Toronto have double games this week and should be filling your midfield. Michael Bradley (TOR, $9.1) has legs for days and in addition to being as scapegoated as he is underrated makes the Toronto game plan work. His teammate Victor Vazquez (TOR, $8.8) showed that he is a rotation risk last week but still put up a decent score of 6 points in a little over an hour of play.
For Columbus, the Crew have excellent options including Justin Meram (CLB, $9.9) and Frederico Higuain (CLB, $10.0) in attack and Will Trapp (CLB, $7.1) gets decent points for his price. Otherwise, I like Alex (HOU, $7.7) at home against Vancouver.
Forwards: This isn’t hard. Giovinco (TFC, $12.5) Jozy Altidore (TFC, $10.3), and Ola Kamara (CLB, $10.3) are all on a double game week and Gio and Jozy play Minnesota in game two on Saturday. At the very least, get and captain Gio.
Clint Irwin and Alex Bono, sure Toronto is better defensively and I expect they could hold a clean sheet at home against Minnesota but they have two starting caliber goalkeepers and their congested schedule has me staying away. I also don’t love their matchups and am staying away from their backline as well.