You'd be smiling like that too if you were in that sort of form. Even if you played for the Red Bulls. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Welcome back to the Thierry Henry show, err, um, I mean Major League Soccer and MLS fantasy. It has been a fascinating week in the Premier League with matches on each of the last 6 days so we haven't had much time to talk about MLS. For those who haven't been paying any attention, you're missing quite a show from TH14 (this is the guy New York was expecting when they spent all that money on a legend), Kenny Cooper (I think Red Bulls are just fine with Luke Rogers not getting his visa situation worked out), and Chris Wondolowski. If you had those three forwards over the last three weeks then it really doesn't matter who else you've had on your roster. Now, we get to see them all on the same field on Saturday, it should be pretty interesting.
In an effort to guide players of both the ESPN SoccerNet and MLSsoccer.com games, we'll break down both the schedule this week and offer up our player picks for Match Week 6 after the jump:
The Schedule - The most important thing to note is that this week is back to single-gamers only with Vancouver getting the week off to recover from 10 horrible minutes against San Jose after going the first 4+ matches without conceding a goal. Next week, DC United, Sporting KC, and and the Vancouver Whitecaps will have two matches.
- Philadelphia Union v Columbus Crew - The Union are at home but of the two struggling clubs, Columbus has been slightly better. I wouldn't spend a ton of mental energy on this one regardless.
- New England Revolution v DC United - Speaking of struggling clubs, the Revs dropped a heartbreaking point at the death last weekend and face the loss of their talisman Shalrie Joseph to a controversial retrospective ban. DC United heads to Boston a bit of a mystery as well. It looked like they'd figured it out against Dallas but a scoreless effort against Seattle sent them back to the drawing board. Slight advantage to the United attack on the road but only slight, I wouldn't take any risks here.
- Seattle Sounders FC v Colorado Rapids - Two solid-but-not-great Western Conference teams, I give slight advantage to the home team but only based on them being at home.
- Toronto FC v Chivas USA - Chivas USA has been surprisingly good, Toronto FC may be at home but they have not been surprisingly good. If I were making investments here, I'd make them on Chivas USA.
- New York Red Bulls v San Jose Earthquakes - Could be an attacking show reminiscent of the dynamite Red Bulls/Galaxy 5-4 extravaganza a few years back. Buy the forwards and try to avoid defenders and keepers in this one.
- FC Dallas v Montreal Impact - Here's a great chance for Dallas to get on track against a team that got it's first win but isn't likely to get many - great opportunity to invest here.
- Sporting Kansas City v Real Salt Lake - A match-up of two very good teams but where RSL has been shaky in compiling a strong record, SKC has been rock solid and they're playing at home. I'd expect a home win and a reasonable return on your investments.
- Los Angeles Galaxy v Portland Timbers - What's up with the LAGals? They've been rotten but how long can you expect it to continue with solid talent on the roster and Bruce Arena at the helm? Hard to bet on Portland at LA unless you think Omar Gonzalez is THAT good.
- Chicago Fire v Houston Dynamo - Houston has been good when you think about the fact that all of their matches thus far have been on the road. Chicago has had two weeks to think about their loss to Colorado but I'm not sure I believe in them 100% yet. If I were betting, I'd bet on Houston here. The only caveat is that Brad Davis is reportedly out with a hamstring strain.
- Forwards - Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper, Chris Wondolowski; Bargain - Maicon Santos (both formats)
- Midfielders - Graham Zusi, Darlington Nagbe, Nick LaBrocca; Bargain - Luis Gil (ESPN)/Nick DeLeon (MLS)
- Defenders - Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Lloyd, Chad Marshall; Bargain - Ihemelu (ESPN); Lloyd (both)
- Goalkeepers - Kevin Hartman, Dan Kennedy, Jimmy Nielsen; Bargain - Zach McMath
- Captain - Henry > Hartman > Lloyd