MLS Fantasy Focus: Time to invest in Crew attackers for Week 7?

By Jamie Dawe and Sam Martin

Double delirium for the Rapids in Week 6, alongside a duo of poor performances for the Red Bulls made last week a complete reversal of form from the 2015 season. However, FC Dallas have stayed true to last season’s form and top the Supporters’ Shield rankings with 17 points from 8 games, six of which were gained in Week 6 with comfortable wins over SKC and the Timbers. A first goal for Seattle’s Jordan Morris ($8.1) could signal the start of things to come from this much-hyped youngster. Overall, Week 6 was a positive one, with plenty of things to build upon in the coming weeks of the campaign.

Week 6 Review

The Good:

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Only six minutes into his MLS return for Montreal, Didier Drogba’s ($11.5) cheeky back heel leveled the score up at 1-1, as Montreal went on to earn three huge points away to Chicago. Impact teammate Ignacio Piatti ($10.6) netted a stunning 90th-minute winner with a curled effort from the edge of the box in a game dominated by Montreal. Meanwhile, the Sounders’ revival continues as Seattle beat Philadelphia 2-1 with defender Chad Marshall ($8.6) heading home from a corner to score for the second consecutive week. While it may have been a disappointing defeat for New York City, World Cup winning forward ‘El Guaje’, David Villa ($11.3) netted a brace – his third and fourth goals of the season. An emphatic victory for LA Galaxy was was started and continued by a Giovani Dos Santos ($10.9) double, with the Galaxy running away as 4-1 winners in Houston. Portland’s Fanendo Adi ($10.2) also continued his fine form, netting his second brace of the campaign against San Jose. Michael Barrios ($8.1) netted in both of Dallas’ games, which leaves the Western Conference leaders on a six-game unbeaten run. On the theme of unbeaten runs, Real Salt Lake remain the only MLS side yet to lose a league match this season. Juan Manuel Martinez ($8.5) netted early in the second half to make it consecutive 1-0 victories. How long can this incredible run continue for RSL?

The Bad:

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Philadelphia midfielder Roland Alberg ($8.1) picked up two yellow cards within 53 minutes of his side’s 2-1 defeat to Seattle. Columbus Crew’s Tyson Wahl ($6.0) conceded a penalty that teammate Michael Parkhurst then saw red for in a case of mistaken identity in his side’s eventual win over NYCFC. Wahl has since been handed the suspension that Parkhurst was wrongly given. Portland’s Diego Valeri ($10.3) also saw red in the dying moments of Portland’s 3-1 triumph, picking up a 90th minute yellow and 95th minute red card. The Red Bulls made it six defeats from seven as the star club from the 2015 season are being let down by key attacking players such as Bradley Wright-Phillips ($10.5), Lloyd Sam ($8.9) and Mike Grella ($7.8), with the team having only netted five goals from their seven matches so far. A club with such high expectations will be expecting to push on sooner rather than later. Houston Dynamo dropped to the bottom of the Western Conference after being outclassed by LA Galaxy, despite taking the lead within the first minute. The Dynamo have only managed one win so far this campaign (admittedly it was a resounding 5-0 romp against Dallas, with this being Dallas’ only defeat). It summarises the thrilling unpredictability of the league!

Week 7 Preview

Must Buy:

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With Columbus finally returning to form in their victory over NYCFC, now’s the time to stock up on their star players. When Kei Kamara ($10.9), Ethan Finlay ($10.7) and Federico Higuain ($10.3) are firing on all cylinders, they are an unbeatable side. Looking ahead to upcoming DGW’s, adding some SKC players would certainly seem wise. Nuno Coelho ($8.3) is quickly building a name for himself in Kansas City, along with their only two other ever-present starters, goalkeeper Tim Melia ($5.7) and French fullback Amadou Dia ($6.0).

Must Sell:

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Chicago Fire only play once in the next three weeks, so budget-hogging players like David Accam ($9.2) and Kennedy Igboananike ($8.1) need to be discarded for now. Portland are relying incredibly heavily on Adi and the now suspended Valeri, and won’t play in Week 7. Even when they do return to action, it might be worth transferring out Lucas Melano ($8.7), who is extremely pricy for a player that’s yet to really shine. Injuries to Marco Pappa ($8.2), Matt Hedges ($9.0) and Alvas Powell ($7.1) mean these three players will be dead weight for at least the next two or three game weeks and replacements should be brought in.

Who will you be transferring in for Week 7?

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PHOTOS: Exclusive images from Seattle’s 2-1 win over Portland on Sunday

Seattle Sounders managed to beat Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers 2-1 on Sunday night in a key Western Conference clash at CenturyLink Field, despite being outplayed for large parts of the game.

The Timbers wasted several opportunities and will be kicking themselves for leaving Seattle with nothing as they now sit just two points clear of the Sounders with seven regular season games to play.

An early Obafemi Martins goal settled Seattle supporters’ nerves before Brad Evans doubled their lead against the run of play from the penalty spot.

The Timbers rallied to score early in the second-half through Jack Jewsbury but couldn’t find that elusive equaliser as Seattle beat them for the second time at CenturyLink Field this season.

Check out our exclusive images from the game below, courtesy of our North American photographer Denise McCooey.

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Portland Timbers sign five players in major reshuffle

The Portland Timbers have signed five players today in a major reshuffle as they reshape their squad ahead of the new season.

Veteran defender Nat Borchers joined in a trade from Real Salt Lake for allocation money, while Ghanaian international goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey, Colombian winger Dairon Asprilla and Brazilian left-back Jeanderson Salvador Pereira were also signed.

The Timbers exercised their purchase option on Jamaican fullback Alvas Powell on Monday too in a busy day for the club.

Borchers will undoubtedly strengthen a Timbers defence that allowed 52 goals in 34 games in 2014 – the sixth-worst amount across MLS. He could form a solid partnership with Englishman Liam Ridgewell for the Western Conference side.

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Norwegian born goalkeeper Kwarasey joins the club from Strømsgodset of the Tippeligaen and is an experienced shot-stopper at both club and country levels.

The 26-year-old, who won the Tippeligaen Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2013, made over 150 appearances for the club. He has represented the Ghanaian national team 21 times at international level too, and played in the World Cup game against the USA in June.

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Asprilla joins Portland from Colombian Primera División side Alianza Petrolera and at just 22, is an exciting signing. Primarily a right-winger, the Colombian will hope to impress in his debut campaign next season.

Brazilian Jeanderson is another signing to bolster the Timbers backline and the left-back adds further youth at just 23 years of age.

Portland also exercised the option to purchase defender Powell from Jamaican side Portmore United. The 20-year-old has signed a “long-term contract” with the Timbers and will hope to add to his 15 games played in 2014.

What do you make of Portland’s signings on Monday?