The dog days are here! August and September will be a busy two months for several MLS clubs. The deadline to set your lineup is at 7pm CDT. Let's dive in.
Who likes a good chart?
|Club||August matches||September matches||Total over 2 months|
|Real Salt Lake****||7||5||12|
|Sporting Kansas City*||7||5||12|
|LA Galaxy **||7||4||11|
|New York City FC||6||4||10|
|New York Red Bulls||6||4||10|
|*- US Open Cup. Will add a game in September with a win in August|
|***- Canadian Championship|
|****- US Open Cup and CCL|
|*****- Can Championship and CCL|
Over the 9 weeks in August, 16 clubs will average more than a competitive match a week. For teams playing in the CONCACAF Champions League, a long trip to the Caribbean and/or Central America will be a part of the equation. For the 10 teams playing 11 games or more, you should expect heavy squad rotation. There's also an international fixture dates from September 3rd through September 8th which will effect your international teamers, including your Euros (Robbie Keane, Shaun Maloney, Kristian Nemeth...possibly Sebastian Giovinco). I'll reference this table later in this article, but one general note for down the road- 10 MLS teams are on a bye in Week 27, including 5 teams (DC, RSL, LA, SKC, and VAN) whose schedules are further compressed by missing a game week.
The FC Dallas train derailed on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat to bottom of the barrel Chicago. Only Dan Kennedy posted more than 3 last week (he scored 4), and the team was generally ineffective despite holding a massive edge in possession over the course of the match. This match was begging for Blas Perez, and we can all hope he's ready to go against LA after the bye this week.
Adds/Drops: If you have high dollar players like Mauro Diaz ($10.0) and Fabian Castillo ($10.7), I would definitely swap out for a stud this week.
Kaka (11.8) (out with an injury), Ignacio Piatti ($10.4), and Bradley Wright-Phillips ($11.3) all have DGWs this week, so these would be obvious switches (although BWP is a Forward so you'd need to make another transfer to accomodate him, obviously). If you've got cheaper players on the roster, I can see saving the transfer since Dallas is one of the 10 teams playing in Round 27, and you've only got so many free transfers between here and now. Here's a good idea on some targets that will be active Round 27 that I published a couple of weeks ago.
Red Bull New York, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, and Orlando SC pull double duty this week. New York City, San Jose, SKC, and Columbus (who is on a bye next week) all have DGWs in week 25. Chicago, Colorado, Houston, and New York Red Bulls (bye in Week 25) have DGWs in week 26. Again, a handy schedule for all of this can be found here. Here's a few random thoughts leading into this week.
CCL Thoughts: RSL kicked off CONCACAF Champions League with a first choice lineup in Guatemala last night and earned 3 points against Carlos Ruiz and Municipal. They'll have an extra day to recover for a tough road game against Vancouver (more on them in a second) on Saturday. LA draws another Guatemalan side and a club from Trinidad and Tobago. I would expect a strong dose of Los Dos for them during CCL, so there's a decent chance it doesn't effect their first choice starting lineup for MLS games. It will likely be the same for DC United who went 4-0-0 playing a 2nd choice lineup against island clubs last year and drew pro clubs from Panama and Jamaica this year.
For Vancouver and Seattle, it may be a different story. They're drawn into a tough group with each other and Honduran champs, Olimpia. That's 2 more Cascadia matches and a trip to Honduras in August and September with continental advancement and regional bragging rights on the line. For Seattle, they now find themselves in tenuous position to even make the playoffs this year. How seriously will they take this tournament with a season on the brink. For Vancouver, they're currently top of the table and may have eyes for the Supporters' Shield. Furthermore, they've got the Canadian Championship (August 12th and 26th) that they'll be contesting against Montreal so they're going to be stretched even further. I'm not bullish on either team this month.
Montreal: Speaking of the Canadian Championship, the Impact is tied for the most overall competitive matches (13) and MLS matches (11) over the next 2 months. There's certainly opportunity there, but be aware that there will be some rotation with this club, too. Your best bet for getting both ends of the DGW is making Evan Bush ($5.1) your keeper, and he might even be rotated out at some point. Also, Didier Drogba is now available at $10.0, but I imaging the earliest he features will be next week (I wouldn't be surprised if he they hold him out of turf games, too).
Picks to click:
Marco Delgado (5.5) M- This is pretty much a must add. Delgado is averaging over 5 a game over his last 5, and over 6 a game over his last 4. He gets 2 home games this week. Michael Bradley will miss both games this week and possibly next week as well. After that, he might be bench fodder or he might be an every week starter like Sebastian Lleget ($6.6). He's good to go this week, a potential caperoo player in the future, and frees up money to go after a big dog.
Luke Boden (5.2) D- Need another cheap DGW defender not named Matt Miazga? Boden actually played in the midfield last game, and he looks prime for another run out in the midfield this week against leaky Toronto and leaky Philadelphia. He actually took several set pieces last week, and he netted an assist on top of both attacking and defending bonus points. He's only 0.9% owned, so he's a good differential play as well.
Kristian Nemeth (8.6) F- He's only owned by 5.3% of the community, and he's averaging over 10 in his last 4 home games at Sporting Park. Sporting have a busy October, and they've been playing their starters in US Open Cup, so he may be subject to rotation later in the month. As a fill-in for Keane this week, you could do a whole lot worse.
Shaun-Wright Phillips ($7.5) M- I'm not sure exactly how he fits with Red Bull yet, but he netted his first assist and earned a penalty in his substitute appearance this weekend. For the pedigree, he's extremely reasonably priced, and he's almost a cinch for a start this week in RBNY's DGW. Red Bull have another DGW in 3 weeks, so it makes sense to have a couple of Red Bull guys this week. Don't go crazy though, or you'll be in a tough spot the week before when they are on a bye in Week 25.
I caught Tyler Hester last week, and I'm only transferring in Delgado this week (need an extra next week with 5 guys on bye). I also broke into the top 1000 after some serious grinding. I'm less than 50 from the top 500. How many weeks will it take me to get there?