There he is. The fangs, the claws, the poised predator stalking his prey; and yet again, as he lurches forward at the critical moment to seize the bunny, the bunny scampers away. Cristian Colman is nearing Wile E. Coyote status when it comes to futility.
It’s easy to forget that Colmán scored twice in four games in CCL including a crucial header that almost sent FC Dallas to extra time in Pachuca. This has everything to do with the fact he only has one assist to show for the entirety of his MLS and US Open Cup matches so far, and that’s down to a spectacular combination of bad luck and self-inflicted misfortune which, although not the product of an anvil or a purchase he made from ACME, are no less tragic. Both, seemingly, could be attributed to a loss of confidence. With confidence at an ebb, the end product of potential looks and sounds like this.
Colmán right now is Mikey. If you’ve never seen Swingers, it’s a tale from the 90’s that’s fun and launched a few careers. It’s also more generally a fable about the power of confidence and the perils of its absence. This is where our Mikey is at the moment, and that’s definitely put the fanbase in the position of Nicky checking her answering machine. If only the fans hearkened back- way back, back, back, all the way back to 2015.
When Michael Barrios joined the team, he did so with only mild fanfare. He also didn’t carry the pressure of being a high dollar transfer in, and even minus that pressure, he didn’t score his first league goal until the annual 4th of July extravaganza. Barrios was never expected to lead the line, but he was expected to add the danger. It took him until about this time two years ago. From that day on, he was the top goal scorer for the team for over a year from that game, and you can argue that he’s the best bang for the buck of any player in the league. Once he found his stride, it’s been mostly good news ever since. He just needed a little confidence...
Colmán has teeth. He’s got claws. He’s a predator. At the very least he managed to be the ‘guy behind the guy behind the guy’ by earning the foul that Javier Morales converted into the 3rd goal against Colorado Wednesday night. That’s a start, and although he looked a little bummed at the end of the match that he didn’t score, his body language was generally good during the match, and you want a hungry striker at all times. Point being, Colmán is doing the work and the little things he needs to do to be dangerous individually and a good teammate collectively. Barrios discovered his teeth and his claws, and it’s just a matter of time before Mikey Jr. (Colmán) finds his. The pickings are prime in the next week. The fields are full of rabbits when it gets hot in Frisco, and when Colmán gets the bunny again, he’ll remember why he’s so f***in’ money.
Along with Gold Cup people leaving, this was another USOC/Voyegeur’s cup week. Several teams played full strength lineups midweek, and I plan on exploiting the leg and road weary as best as I can. If you want to go bold to make up points this round, fade Spork D and Chicago in general.
Kansas City played a mostly full strength team in balmy Houston Wednesday, and it would have probably been an entirely full strength team if Dwyer, Zusi, and Besler weren’t gone on Gold Cup duty. Add that to the fact that Benny Feilhaber is out indefinitely with an ankle sprain, and I’m avoiding Spork all together. Vermes looks like he’s more than ready to grind his regulars to dust again this summer, so watch out!
I’m fading Chicago altogether. On paper, the matchup with Vancouver should be a good one. That said, Dax McCarty is already gone to Gold Cup camp, and Chicago just enjoyed a balmy 120 minutes of defeat on artificial turf at Nippert Stadium. Chicago isn’t particularly young or deep, and the game is out of conference. Avoiding the Fire this round isn’t that big of a risk, actually.
Ben’s Fantasy Round 18
Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 17 3-0-2)
- David Vila F $11.3
- Maxi Urruti F $9.4
- Ola Kamara - F $10.7
- Mauro Diaz - M $10.0
- Diego Valeri - M $10.8
All Lamah all the time- Kendrick Lamah (135- Big D’s round leader) and Lamah I just killed a man (134- Big D’s overall leader) humbled us all last round. Fading Alessandrini (and Atlanta altogether) didn’t hurt me all that much. My theories on both were sound, but the breaks didn’t work in my favor. Trust the process. Lean on cliches and buzzwords. Fake it til you make it. Blah blah blah.
Don’t screw around and miss out on Villa this week. In fact, since you get to see their lineup first, pick he and three of his teammates. Give him the armband. Kamara can make hay against Atlanta’s backline, and I think Dallas catches Toronto on a letdown magnified by the home crowd and the heat. Make sure you have subs though; if Diaz doesn’t start for some reason, you’ll want a warm body (Tabla) or a late switcheroo option (Elliot) at the ready. Finally, Valeri’s rested and, with Guzman out, he’ll be back on all dead balls (as it should be). If you don’t like my picks, feel free to swim with the stream.
Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 17 5-0-0)
- Alexander Callens D $5.0
- Ben Sweat D $4.6
- Kyle Fisher D $4.4
- Jack Elliot D $4.5
- Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla M $3.8
I’ll have my cumulative round totals back next round whenever I figure out my DNS problem (two websites- weird!). Sweat actually made the dream team last round, but I’ll pass on chasing those points. Definitely go big on NYCFC though! Fisher’s been steady and reliable for Impact, and they don’t have to travel. The same applies to Elliot and, although New England isn’t as toothless as DC, no Agudelo and Rowe probably stunts their attack. Finally, BJ (or BJY?) Tabla is going to get some time with Piatti hurt (oh yeah- that’s kind of important! Piatti’s probably out for at least this week) and has exciting potential. He’s cheap bench filler who’ll score like a starter.
That’s all for this week. Good luck and Houston sucks. Let me know if this is a good sign off for this column!
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