MLS Fantasy Focus: Week 9 tips ahead of latest DGW

By Jamie Dawe

With another double gameweek just hours away, MLS Fantasy managers will be scrambling to make sure they have signed on the players who are expected to shine this week.

Here are some players for you to ponder before tonight’s deadline:

Megabucks – David Villa ($11.2)

Even when his side aren’t performing, ‘El Guaje’ is still racking up the points. With two home matches in a row this gameweek, I’m sure the World Cup winner won’t be far from the back of the net during both games. He costs a lot, but he should deliver the goods this DGW.

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Bargain-Priced Superstar – Diego Fagundez ($8.1)

The Revs are another side that haven’t been performing to their usual standards and for the last few games, nor has Fagundez. He may not have ever quite recaptured his form from his stunning 2013 season, but he is a reliable points scorer and is expected to start both games for the Revs this week – which like NYCFC, are both at home.

The Low Budget – Fraser Aird ($6.6)

The Scottish/Canadian wingback and his Vancouver side are looking to push on after their sumptuous victory over Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas on Saturday. Aird has been ever present so far this season and with his side facing SKC at home, followed by a trip to the Yankee Stadium – there’s certainly potential for clean sheets and assists too.

The Shot Stopper – Bobby Shuttleworth ($5.8)

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For me, Shuttleworth has been one of the standout ‘keepers so far this season, even if his defence has repeatedly let him down. Even with DC United putting three past him on Saturday, he managed to pick up 4 points, which is extremely impressive. Just imagine how many points he would collect if he were to keep a clean sheet against either the Timbers or Orlando at Gillette Stadium this week.

The Outsider – Kei Kamara ($10.9)

Kei Kamara and his comrades play just once this week, away to Seattle. ‘Why would you pick him?’, you may ask. Well, Seattle evidently still haven’t fully grown comfortable with playing on grass at home and Kamara and the Crew are finally hitting form, winning their last two, with Kamara picking up two goals. After this week, the Crew have consecutive home fixtures against Montreal Impact and Colorado, so if he doesn’t score this week, he’s bound to garner some precious points across the next few.

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MLS Fantasy Focus: Who should you be bringing in for the first DGW of the season?

By Jamie Dawe & Sam Martin

Week 3 Review

The Good:

LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes ($9.5) helped continue his side’s unbeaten home run as he netted two goals in his side’s 3-1 win against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday as they climbed to 2nd in the Western Conference. Reigning MLS Cup champions Portland came from two goals down to grab a point at home to Real Salt Lake, with Fanendo Adi ($10.2) grabbing a brace, including one from the spot late on. Philadelphia picked up their second win of the season with a convincing 3-0 home victory over the New England Revolution. American forward CJ Sapong ($8.1) opened his MLS 2016 goals account with two in his side’s well-deserved victory, while rookie defender Keegan Rosenberry ($5.5) made four interceptions and two crucial tackles to preserve his side’s second clean-sheet in three matches. 

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The Bad:

Unbeaten Real Salt Lake threw away a two-goal lead at Portland Timbers in the last 11 minutes, but also saw two of their men receive red cards. With his side a goal up, midfielder Kyle Beckerman ($8.3) saw red, followed by defender Jamison Olave ($7.8), who received his marching orders in the 83rd minute. Manager Jeff Cassar will surely be frustrated with his side’s lack of discipline. A further three red cards were dished out across the weekend, making a grand total of 5 across all matches. San Jose’s Jamaican DP Simon Dawkins ($8.6), New England Revolution defender Je-Vaughn Watson ($6.9) and former Wigan Athletic midfielder Roger Espinoza ($7.2) all saw red for their misdemeanours. It certainly was another fiery weekend in MLS!

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Week 4 Preview

Must Buy:

With the first Double Gameweek of the season hurtling towards us at top speed, it’s time for you to stack up on players who could make a real impact in the Week 4 scoring charts. I’m going to attempt to recommend one player from each side that has a Double Gameweek this week. Firstly, from DC United, Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas ($7.1) is definitely a safe bet to score a decent quantity of bonus points in both matches, so if you’re looking for guaranteed points, he’s your man. FC Dallas are missing a number of their key players this international break, so it’s a chance for Mauro Diaz ($10.4) to continue to show his incredible credentials without the likes of Tesho Akindele and Kellyn Acosta surrounding him. The New England Revs have had a disappointing start to the season, but it could’ve been a lot worse if it wasn’t for star ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth ($5.8). A clean sheet and two saved penalties in three games make Shuttleworth by far and away the best performer so far in this poor New England side. I also expect that this week will be the week that Kekuta Manneh’s ($8.5) ability shines through for the Whitecaps in their double header of home games. However, I would not recommend picking up any Whitecaps defenders as they face free-scoring Houston on Saturday, followed by the visit of LA Galaxy, who are also a dangerous attacking outfit.

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Must Sell:

This week, I’m struggling to see anyone or any team that stands out to me as particularly worth selling over everyone else. Obviously, dropping any of the red-carded players can’t be argued against and anyone losing faith in the Sounders ever picking up form would be understood if they were to remove Clint Dempsey ($10.8) or Jordan Morris ($8.2) from their side. The New York Red Bulls also picked up a host of hamstring injuries in their 4-3 victory over Houston, so defenders Gideon Baah ($8.0) and Ronald Zubar ($7.8) could be ones to remove before their match against the Revs on April 1.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2016 Clint Dempsey


There’s a new leader in the MLSGB Fantasy League this week, as Damian Reed’s brilliantly named side De Jong Trousers now tops the leaderboard. However, this week’s highest scorer was SW Whistler’s squad Pits of Passyunk with 87 points, which included double figures from Philly players CJ Sapong and Fabinho, his chosen captain Cyle Larin and Red Bulls midfield maestro Sacha Kljestan.

Who do you think is the best player to select for the upcoming Double Gameweek?

New England goalkeeper says penalty decision ‘changed the game’

New England Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton played his first MLS game of the season against Sporting Kansas City last night in the absence of first-choice shot-stopper Bobby Shuttleworth.

Knighton couldn’t help his side avoid defeat as the Revs lost 4-2, which put an end to their nine-game unbeaten run in which they’d won five and drawn four. The 30-year-old ‘keeper feels New England paid the price for missed chances and points to the penalty decision as the turning point.

“We started the game the way we wanted to and got the early goal, there was a rough patch for ten or 15 minutes and they capitalised on their chances,” Knighton told the New England Revolution official YouTube channel.

“I think the penalty kind of changed the game. We’re in it still at 2-1 and we had chances at the other end that we just didn’t capitalise on. The penalty call changed the game and makes it 3-1.”

PICTURE: Knighton in action. (Photo via http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/)

PICTURE: Knighton in action. (Photo via http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/)

Despite the result, Knighton wasn’t critical of his teammates and has immediately turned his attentions to the next game.

“I thought the guys had a lot of effort tonight and we worked hard to get it back but obviously we came up a bit short.”

“Every game’s massive in the Eastern Conference and playing against DC, your rival, we’re going to have our full force of fans at Gillette Stadium and we’re looking to get three points and stay top of the table.”

Can New England Revolution bounce back when they face DC United on Saturday evening?

Takeaways from the Revs win against the Crew

The New England Revolution moved up to second place in the Eastern Conference with their first win against the Columbus Crew this season.

Jermaine Jones got his second match-winner in as many weeks as the Revs earned a valuable 2-1 victory which all but confirms their place in the playoffs.

Columbus were unfortunate to lose as they had plenty of chances, but their lack of discipline cost them as they played with 10-men for the last 20 minutes of the game, and they are now in fifth place, holding on to the final playoff spot.

Here are the key takeaways from the game:

1) Lee Nguyen sets New England record with another goal

The 27-year-old playmaker has been excellent all season, and his goal last night made him the highest-scoring Revs midfielder in a single season, as he took his tally to 14 for the campaign. Nguyen surpassed Diego Fagundez’s record of 13 goals from a year ago with his opener last night, and he once again proved why he is so crucial for the Revs.

2) Jermaine Jones times it right again

Jones scored the match winning goal for the second game running for the Revs, and he is providing a solid attacking threat as well as being a defensive wall in midfield. The USMNT star headed home Chris Tierney’s free-kick in the 67th minute to give the Revs the lead, and what turned out to be the winning goal. If Jones can continue to cause problems in front of goal, New England will be devastating going into the playoffs.

3) Bobby proves his worth

Bobby Shuttleworth was in inspired form, and his six saves were crucial to the Revs win. The New England goalkeeper made an incredible stop in the first-half, which resulted in the Revs first goal of the game at the other end, and he made several key stops in the second-half to earn his side the win.

4) Waylon Francis cost his team

The Costa Rican international was sent-off in the 70th minute after picking up two needless yellow cards, and he ultimately cost his side dearly. He was booked in the first-half for a kick at Andrew Farrell, and he picked up his second yellow when he waved his arms in the face of a Revs player ready to take a quick throw-in. His ill discipline will have angered his manager, as the Revs controlled the game late on with their one-man advantage.

5) The NFL lines need to go

The game was played on the gridiron lines used by the New England Patriots in the NFL, making it difficult for fans and players alike to actually get a feel for the pitch. The Revs will be hoping that owner Jonathan Kraft sticks to his word and helps the team into a soccer-specific stadium, as the sharing of lines with another sport only appears disrespectful to the game.

Highlights via MLS on Youtube: