This is the last weekend before mid-week matches start creating two-match situations for a couple of teams each week. If you're looking ahead a little bit, two of the league's better teams (RSL next week and Sporting Kansas City the week after that) have doubles that you want to start adjusting your roster to take advantage of. RSL are joined by the Montreal Impact next week as two-gamers and SKC is joined by DC United and the Vancouver Whitecaps the following week. Of the two "power teams" listed (RSL and SKC), both have away matches this week but neither is overly daunting with RSL traveling to middling Portland and SKC visiting strugglers Chivas USA.
If your view is a bit more "right here, right now" then here's a quick analysis of the schedule for the upcoming week followed by my top candidates for your transfer activity for this week:
- NOT PLAYING - Houston is on a bye week so to the bench with Brad Davis, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe and company.
- DC United v FC Dallas - Beware the Friday start to the schedule that finds DC United struggling so far and Dallas doing just OK. Both sides are likely to get key players (Brek Shea for Dallas and Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen for DC) back from unsuccessful Olympic qualifying. Hard to get excited about diving into this match-up with your scarce budget and transfer allocations.
- Toronto FC v Columbus Crew - Both of these teams are bad with Columbus looking better in the standings after playing another bad team (Montreal) at home last weekend. With Toronto playing at home, I give them the slight edge but with little confidence.
- New York Red Bulls v Montreal Impact - I watched some of the NYRB match last weekend (what? I was at the gym doing cardio and the UNC/Kansas game hadn't started yet) and they looked much better with some key players returning. With expansion Montreal coming to town you should load up if you can.
- Philadelphia Union v Vancouver Whitecaps - I respect Peter Nowak for the work he did at DC United and in his first two years with the Union so I'm giving his off-season makeover the benefit of the doubt but it certainly doesn't look good right now. I'd stick with any and all Whitecaps players you have for this one, especially defenders and Cannon since Philly can't seem to find the net.
- Portland Timbers v Real Salt Lake - Hard to know what to make of RSL's stinker last weekend against Chivas but based on their recent track record I'm willing to assume that it was just one of those bad nights. Given their upcoming double and middling opposition I'd be looking to keep or add to the RSL players in your squad.
- Seattle Sounders FC v San Jose Earthquakes - Home to a bad team - sounds like a good time to invest in Drew Carey's boys to me.
- Los Angeles Galaxy v New England Revolution - Same as above but substitute Bruce Arena for Drew Carey.
- Colorado Rapids v Chicago Fire - Two good solid teams with the slightly better one being on the road. I'd stay away from investing in this one this week no matter how much I've enjoyed the past two weekends of Dom Uduro.
- Chivas USA v Sporting Kansas City - SKC is very good, Chivas USA showed signs of life against RSL last weekend but hard to believe they'll beat two good teams in a row even at the Home Depot Center. I'd invest in KC players where you can and look to keep them at least through the two-match week two weeks from now.
Head past the jump for my player picks:
Forwards: Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, CJ Sapong, Sebastien Le Toux; Bargain Option - Kenny Cooper
Midfielders: David Estrada, Graham Zusi, Joel Lindpere; Bargain Option - Estrada (but if you have him then Luis Gil)
Defenders: Matt Besler, Wilman Conde, Young Lee; Bargain Option - Kevin Alston
Goalkeepers: Nick Rimando, Jimmy Nielsen, Joe Cannon; Bargain Option - Matt Reis