As of Wednesday morning, MLS has yet to update their disciplinary report...from 2 weeks ago. For this dispatch, I am going to recreate it but only for players whose teams have 2 matches this round. Edit: Mo Adams had his red card rescinded. Check the comments for further updates.
Atlanta (At New England, vs Philadelphia):
Atlanta was off last week, so they should come in pretty fresh although they (like pretty much every one else on this list) play 4 games in the next 11 to 12 days. Pirez is suspended for yellow card accumulation to start the round. Almiron, Larentowicz, and McCann are all one away from yellow card accumulation suspension.
Pick to click: Josef Martinez. I’ll fade Almiron this week on the off chance he picks up a yellow against New England. It’ll be a contentious and physical game, and it’s a good chance to make up ground. There’s still 7 rounds after this week, but it seems worth the risk to me.
Chicago (At Philly, vs San Jose)
Kevin Ellis and Johan Kappelhof are both a game away from suspension which could impact Fire’s clean sheet prospects in game 2 of the round (a tasty matchup against San Jose). Also, as of now, Mo Adams is suspended for the 1st game of the round having picked up a red card in Orlando.
Pick to click: Nemanja Nikolic. Nikolic has racked up 5 of his 6 goals in home dates (7 this year). The back end of this week is too tasty to pass up, and I’d guess he’ll be rested for the USOC date the middle of next week.
FC Dallas (At Los Angeles, vs LAFC)
Hedges is out with yellow card accumulation, and we’ll be missing Nedyalkov for a bit due to a broken collarbone. Outside that, there are no worries about losing a player after the Galaxy match (outside of rotation risk).
Pick to click: Mauro Diaz. The temptation here will be to go with defense since both LA teams will be short attackers due to World Cup callups. You might also be tempted to go Urruti here since he’s scored in his last 4. The thing about Mauro is that he absolutely killed LA last time out (14 points), takes penalties, and before his 10 minute cameo in Toronto last week, had a floor of 5 (including his 2 previous sub appearances). If he starts, he’s in my lineup. If not, I’ll roll with Rollie or Santi.
Houston Dynamo (At Real Salt Lake, At Montreal)
Houston has several long term injuries but no disciplinary worries. They may be without Adolfo Machado this week as he is on Panama’s preliminary World Cup roster.
Pick to click: Alejandro Fuenmayor. 2 road games in the same week is never ideal, and even against 2 teams that aren’t world beaters, I’m fading Houston this week. If you do need a guaranteed 180 minutes though, Fuenmayor is a good bet. He’s popped up twice on the score sheet in recent weeks, and he’s averaged 2.5 bonus points per match over that same time.
LA Galaxy (vs FC Dallas, at Portland)
Perry Kitchen will be suspended for his next card, but LA’s problem is more about callups. Both Gio and Jona Dos Santos are gone, and Ola Kamara will be with Norway after tonight.
Pick to click: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Per Adam Serrano, Ibra is available tonight. I assume that means he’ll be available for this weekend as well. He’s fresh, ticked, and won’t have to deal with Hedges tonight. Additionally, you can use him as a ‘switcheroo’ since he has the early game on Saturday (giving ample time to replace if he decides to slap someone again). The upside is too great to ignore this round.
New England (vs ATL, vs Red Bulls)
Caicedo and Dielna are both suspended with their next yellow. No worries outside of that, and New England have 2 at home on the turf.
Pick to click: Diego Fagundez. It’s 2 tough matchups, but they’re both at home. Penilla and Bunbury have some appeal, but I think they’re more likely to be rotated than Fagundez, and I’ve already got my strikers. Fagundez also has 2 or more bonus points in his last 4, so he’s got a pretty nice floor over 2 games.
Philadelphia (vs Chicago, at ATL)
No worries across the board aside from a tough road date following a nice matchup to start the week. They’ve actually got 4 games in 10 days though (next week on Friday), so they’ll be extra crunched unless they go all newbies for their USOC match.
Pick to click: Alejandro Bedoya. This one is all about floor and a high level of confidence that he’ll play 90 in both matches- dude’s got a motor. He’s averaging over 3 BP over 5 and pops up with an assist or goal every now and then. Don’t look now, but Philly’s unbeaten in 3.
Real Salt Lake (vs HOU, vs SEA)
Stunningly, no suspension worries here. Aside from the long term injuries, Plata is questionable this week, and Rusnak is with Slovakia. I’m not sure where the goals are coming from this week. Maybe Kreilach will surprise as a #10 this week, I’m more interested in...
Pick to click: RSL D. Houston is a tough out for sure, but the inventors of soccer are in freefall at the moment. RSL has been hit and miss this year, but they’ve won 2 out of 3 and have an outside shot at 2 cleansheets this round. With Marcelo Silva out of the doghouse, Glad rounding in to form, and a steady Nick Rimando, I’ll cast my lot with these guys and hope for the best.
Oh, and before I forget- Gambling*!
NER Pick -105
RSL Pick -115
FCD Pick +135
MNU +1.5 -125
MON Pick -120
FCD Moneyline -125
Previous weeks’ picks: 3-3-0 Season: 11-9-1
Good luck, fellow degenerates.
*- Odds courtesy of Bovada. For Entertainment Purposes Only!