Welcome to another week of Major League Soccer insanity. It has been a wild season so far. Almost enough to break through the even more exciting conclusion to the Premier League (the races for first, third/fourth, and to avoid relegation are still all in full swing) and Champions League (seriously, I'm still not sure how Chelsea won yesterday). We'll have more time for those other topics later but for right now we're going to refocus on the MLS season and the upcoming week of fantasy choices. Unlike last week, there are only two teams - Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas - with two matches so while we'll focus on those two teams, we'll actually have room to discuss some one-gamers as well.
Here's the schedule and we'll get to the player picks after the jump:
- FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake - The two-gamers square off with the away team being in decidedly better form.
- Montreal Impact v Portland Timbers - Montreal certainly looked better against DC United on the road than the far more glamorous Red Bulls did. It might be time to start assuming they'll be at least adequate at home.
- New York Red Bulls v New England Revolution - The Red Bulls have been terrible without Marquez and they still won't have him this week. Looks like it could be a high scoring match.
- Philadelphia Union v San Jose Earthquakes - The Union are starting to figure it out with their younger players but San Jose has had it figured out with Wondo and a tight defense for a while so I'd expect an Earthquake in Chester on Saturday.
- Columbus Crew v Vancouver Whitecaps - 15 or so bad minutes aside, Vancouver has been amazing on defense and there's no reason to assume it won't continue against the punchless Crew.
- DC United v Houston Dynamo - The Houston road trip continues in DC with the streaking Red and Black looking likely to get a win behind surprise starters Nick DeLeon, Danny Cruz, Joe Willis, and Maicon Santos.
- Chicago Fire v Seattle Sounders FC - Tough call but I'll give Seattle the slight edge despite being on the road.
- Colorado Rapids v Chivas USA - Without much attack, Chivas are walking a tightrope every week. If they get the clean sheet, they get points but that's tough against a solid team at home. Feels like it could be a nil-nil draw.
- Real Salt Lake v Toronto FC - This is the match that differentiates RSL from Dallas when it comes to picking your two-gamers. Toronto FC is just bad.
- Los Angeles Galaxy v FC Dallas - Dallas' two matches are against very good RSL and the resurgent LAGals. If you're at your limit on RSL players then there may be cause to go after some FC Dallas players but otherwise, I'd focus in the Mountain time zone.
Forwards - Alvaro Saborio (w/ Espindola on a Red Card), Fabian Castillo (with Blas Perez facing disciplinary committee action), Thierry Henry; Bargain: Maicon Santos (until his price rises).
Midfielders - Kyle Beckerman > Luis Gil > Brek Shea (time for him to shine with Perez and Villar out?); Bargain: Nick DeLeon (until his price rises)
Defenders - Tony Beltran > Zach Lloyd > Young Lee; Bargain: Rauwshan McKenzie
Goalkeepers - Nick Rimando > Joe Cannon > Kevin Hartman; Bargain: Joe Willis
Captain - Rimando > Saborio > Beckerman (unless TH14 gets his hat trick mojo back which is entirely possible against New England)