One of our old EPL favorites NRC has made his way across the pond to MLS - Tom Shaw
As part of our MLS Fantasy Preview we introduce our MLS Fantasy Insider Ben Jata who will be bringing wisdom from Opta and MLS itself to his work with Never Manage Alone. He kicks off his work with his analysis of five signings new to the league who are worth your fantasy trouble.
Editor's Note: Please welcome Ben Jata on-board as the official MLS Fantasy Insider for Never Manage Alone. Jeremy and I have been playing for years but have never had the time and resources to fully dedicate ourselves to studying MLS fantasy. In order to give you the best experience possible we've invited MLSSoccer.com's very own fantasy expert to provide NMA with some exclusive content as well as linking to additional resources on MLSSoccer.com. We hope you enjoy his columns as well as those from Jeremy and me as supplement Ben.
With the 2013 MLS season just a few days away we're going to take a look at a few new signings that you might not know of. The five players below are significant additions and will likely be key contributors once the season starts. But, the Top 5 new (and more expensive) signings you want to know about have already been published. Have a look once you're done scrolling through the bargains below.
If you haven't signed up for MLS Fantasy yet, here's how to do so. The code for the EPL Methadone (@NMA_Blog) league is 5633-1479. There are a ton of free prizes up for grabs - a trip to the 2014 MLS All Star game, official MLS Foosball table, team jerseys and more.
Nigel Reo-Coker (M), $7.5m, Vancouver Whitecaps - Reo-Coker noted that the conversation and persistence put forth by Vancouver Head Coach Martin Rennie is what swayed him to choose the Canadian side over other MLS clubs interested in his services. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the English Premier League, and at 28 years old, some feel as if he still hasn't reached his full potential. It may take him a few games to get acclimated to the style of play, but expect him to see him on the pitch in Week 1. The Whitecaps have a lot of weapons so there's potential (More on the Reo-Coker signing)
Carlo Cudicini (GK), $5.5m, LA Galaxy - The 39 year-old keeper joined the team earlier this preseason despite the Galaxy still having their starting keeper (Josh Saunders) and adding another as well in William Hesmer. However, since then, Hesmer retired and Saunders went on trial with Real Salt Lake. Cudicini brings over a decade of experience in the Premier League, so it's safe to say he'll be the starter come opening day. He could be a nice buy, but I'm holding off until I see him in the net. (More on the Cudicini signing)
Glauber (D), $5.0m, Columbus Crew - He joins Chad Marshall at center back on a Crew team that saw quite a few defensive players leave. It remains to be seen how good he'll play with his new teammates, but Crew president and GM Mark McCullers is excited regardless. He's guaranteed to start and his upside is better than most because of the company he has around him. Let's just hope Andy Gruenebaum can perform like he did in the beginning of the season as opposed to the end! (More on the Glauber signing)
Andrea Pisanu (M), $7.5m, Montreal Impact - Loads of experience playing in Serie A between 2004-2012. Unfortunately, he was only able to score six goals in 75 games over that span. He can dribble, shoot and find the open man with both feet, but look for him to play more of a flanker role. He has a very creative supporting cast, so I see him getting into space and creating opportunities for his teammates. Look for similar production to Justin Mapp last season, maybe a tad more. (More on the Pisanu signing)
Kalifa Cisse (M), $6.0m, New England Revolution - At 6'2", 180 pounds, Cisse brings that bruiser mentality to MLS. Technically he can distribute going forward, but at the same time he can get back and stop a quick counter attack. He'll likely get you points on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball - how much is my concern. He won't be a high scoring player this season, but he'll give you average production with possible upside in certain games - assuming he gets solid playing time in a midfield that's overly crowded already. (More on the Cisse signing)
For more of Ben's Fantasy MLS analysis, check out this post from MLSSoccer.com - MLS Fantasy: Western Conference team-by-team breakdown