Ahh the double-dip: great with chips and dip, even better with MLS Fantasy. For the first time this season, we have teams playing two games in a week, and what a treat that will be for fantasy owners of Real Salt Lake and (to a lesser extent) Montreal Impact players. Twice as many games means twice as many opportunities for points, and with proper planning it can lead you to fantasy victory, where it otherwise may not have been possible.
Even if you decide against adding a player with double the average scoring potential, the deadline for all transfers this week is 8:45PM on Wednesday, so be sure to get your changes in on time. Continue reading below to see which players you should be focused on for Round 5.
Two to Add:
Fabian Espindola – Forward, Real Salt Lake ($9.6M)
The first chance to "double-dip" this season comes in Round Five, as both Real Salt Lake and the Montreal Impact play twice in the span of four days. While Montreal is struggling in its inaugural MLS campaign, RSL is off to a great start this season, and coming off a dramatic 3-2 win in Portland. Several RSL players would make good additions to your team, but Espindola offers the best potential reward (for $1.1M less than Alvaro Saborio).
Espindola has been as reliable as ever to start the season, contributing two goals and an assist in the team's first four games. The Argentine forward was left on the bench until the 70th minute against Portland, in a move that was almost certainly meant to keep Espindola fresh during this busy stretch of the team's schedule. The move paid off in the end, as he set up teammate Kyle Beckerman's spectacular 93rd minute winner.
The bottom line: With a game against a weak Montreal side, followed by a rivalry clash with Colorado, you'd bet on Espindola to score at least once, and have a big impact overall.
Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am ET (ESPN 2, ESPN3) the US Women’s National Team will face Japan on their opponent’s home turf and look to exact revenge after back-to-back losses to this Japanese team. The aforementioned losses include the Americans devastating World Cup final defeat that saw the US give away two leads and then dramatically “collapse” in penalties.
The Lady Yanks will also be taking on Brazil in the coming days, as part of this 3-team friendly tournament that features the top 3 teams in international Women’s football. US and Brazil have had a tumultuous past as well, propelled by the controversial yet exciting US World Cup quarterfinal win over Brazil. Thanks to Abby Wambach’s unbelievable header goal in the last seconds of that game, this match on Thursday (7 am ET) between the US and Brazil will have plenty of juice as well.
To get you ready for tomorrow’s match, I have recapped the last two meetings between the US and Japan as well as offer my analysis on what the Lady Yanks need to do in order to avoid losing 3 straight to Japan.no comments
Clint Dempsey was flying through the air Saturday, literally, as he celebrated his 13th Premier League goal with his patented "fist pump jump". The 1st minute goal proved important as Fulham defeated Norwich City 2-1. Dempsey also assisted on his club's second score, which ended up being the game-winner for the Cottagers.
Meanwhile, Eric Lichaj got his first Premier League start of the season for Aston Villa (last PL start was Dec. 28, 2010.) and made an immediate impression. The wing defender found the back of the net late in the 2nd half (80th min) to tie things up vs. Chelsea at two goals a piece. However in the end, Chelsea was just too much for Villa as goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres followed Lichaj's finish to propel the Blues to the 4-2 win.no comments
For the first time this season, DC United looked inspired, finally showing the hustle and fight that optimized head coach Ben Olsen’s career when he wore the famous red and black as a player. Add to that some initiative and imagination, and United were able to dominate FC Dallas with some free flowing, quick touch soccer.
It took a while for DC to get into the game with the back-line having some nervy moments early. This created a couple chances for Dallas forward, Blas Perez, but United back-up goalkeeper Joe Willis came to the rescue time after time.
Around the 20th minute mark, United began to take control of the game with reigning MVP Dwayne DeRosario running the show just behind the forwards. In the first three games of the season, DeRo had too many defensive responsibilities. With the return of Perry Kitchen in defensive midfield, DeRosario was once again able to focus on staying higher up the pitch.
With FC Dallas following DeRo all over the pitch, a defender was often pulled out of the middle of the field, which opened up space for a black and red jersey to fill this open channel in the center of the park.
This is how Maicon Santos opened the scoring just before the half hour mark. As DeRo pulled out wide and played a quick ball into Santos, the former FC Dallas man took the space and put his former employers to the sword, unleashing a cracking drive into the upper left corner from 25 yards out.
At the other end, Ricardo Villar was playing a bit too far away from Perez for any real interplay to occur between the two forwards. But United’s defense is so shaky and unorganized, that it was no surprise that United’s back-line gifted Dallas a way back into the match just before halftime.no comments
The US U-17 Men’s National Team will play the Houston Dynamo Academy team in what is seen as a soft opening for the new BBVA stadium in Houston, TX. The match will take place on May 10th at 7:30 p.m. and will be for an audience of season ticket holders, sponsors and select guests only.
“To have the chance to be a part of the stadium opening in Houston will be a unique experience for our players,” said U.S. Under-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams. “The atmosphere and excitement around the event will add a different element to the opportunity of playing against a good opponent, and we’re thrilled to be invited.”
Earlier this year the U-17 US Men’s Residency program roster was finalized for the Spring 2012 semester. The 31 players selected will train on a full time basis at the residency program in Bradenton, FL. Currently the program is preparing for the 2013 U-17 CONCACAF Championship.
During the 2011 Nike International friendlies, held in December, several academy teams from across the country participated in training sessions directly led by US Soccer representatives while the U-17s competed in the annual friendly tournament against Turkey, Brazil and France.
Five players from these sessions, were chosen to train in Bradenton as a part of the residency program.
Additionally, there are 26 players representing 19 Development Academy clubs, with New York Red Bulls sending six players and Chivas USA and Concorde Fire providing two each. NC Alliance is the only other club to send two players.
The residency program is a full time training environment with part of the day dedicated to training and part of the day spent in the classroom at nearby St. Stephens Episcopal School.
MLS Fantasy Forecast: Week 4
Another weekend of MLS action is drawing near, and the gap between the top and bottom is probably growing faster than you anticipated in your fantasy league. If you want to climb toward the top of your league, then it isn’t too late to start reading this weekly feature on USFutblog to help you with your transfer moves. Once again this week, we will spotlight players worth adding and dropping, with a bonus “bargain” player to round out your squad.
Two to Add:
Kenny Cooper – Forward, New York Red Bulls ($8.0)
If the first three weeks are any indication, Cooper may be in for a career renaissance with the Red Bulls. After scoring in the season opener, Cooper added a brace last week against Colorado, as the Red Bulls finally showed signs of life. Regardless of the team’s overall outlook, the strike-force is impressive at Red Bull Arena and though the prospect of having to share minutes with Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo may have scared some fantasy owners away before the season began, Cooper is making a strong case for a regular place in the lineup with his play.
With Agudelo ruled out for at least a month with a Meniscus injury and Rodgers' working visa still in doubt, Cooper’s minutes on the field are even more certain in the coming weeks. More importantly, he appears to be forming a positive partnership with superstar teammate Thierry Henry, as the two combined on Cooper’s first goal last week. With opposing defenses focused primarily on Henry, Cooper may find himself with more chances than ever in front of net.
The bottom line: Cooper is still a great value at $8, and should be scoring on a fairly regular basis this season.
Adam Moffat – Midfielder, Houston Dynamo ($6.1)
More than just a great beard, Moffat has become a staple of the Dynamo’s midfield since the team acquired him in mid-2011. The Scotsman was a key figure in the club’s run to the MLS Cup Final last season, even filling in as the main playmaker in the final, when Brad Davis was out with injury.
Though he may not have the same attacking responsibilities with Davis back healthy and playing, Moffat remains a good option for your team (although Houston is off this week so wait until next week to add him). Built like a defender, Moffat is a threat to get on the end of one of Houston’s patented set pieces, and he is even a threat to take set pieces as well, as the team’s top alternate to Davis. Plus, there is always the chance that he continues his run of scoring 35-yard blasts like this one.
The bottom line: He won’t score ten goals (maybe not even five), but for a reasonable price, he will play every week, and throw in a golazo every so often.no comments
Look away but here is Caleb Porter's post-game reaction after Monday's devastating loss that ended the Yanks Olympic hopes followed by more quotes from Porter's press conference:
On Team Performance and On Last Goal:
“It's a painful moment. The players are devastated. To put-in as much as they put-in in that game, the amount of heart they put-in, to play the way they played in the second half, come from behind and score two goals, 3 seconds away from getting the #1 seed, it's unimaginable. But I told them in the locker room though that this won't define their careers as low as this moment is for them and as painful as it is, they have big days ahead a lot of those guys that were out on that field, the future of our country."
"Sad, I'm not going to get a chance to be in the trenches with those guys anymore. They did everything I asked, we made some mistakes that cost us the game. These guys have long careers ahead of them. I’m proud of those guys and I know they are going to do great things in the future."
"I’m sorry for the fans and sorry for us soccer that we didn’t get the job done but there’s nothing to be ashamed about."
On Sean Johnson:
“I hugged him, I cried with him. What do you do.”
“He feels like he let everybody down, let his teammates down. He feels that way, and I told him he didn’t. Kids got a big future and he was very good in the game and he'll move forward from this, it's going to be hard."
"These guys are young players, young players, they're talented players. Are they perfect no? No they are not perfect, they are still learning, they are still growing, they are still maturing but there will be some bright moments in these players' careers. The good majority of them will be wearing the crest and in some ways this will shape their character in a way that will help them achieve greater things in the future because adversity shapes people, winners in a way that will help them achieve more. I know that with these guys and that’s what I told them as well."
On the emotional gravity of the loss:
“No, I have never felt anything like this in my life, that’s honesty.” "I could tell you something different..."
"To see them not achieve, it's not about me, and I have said that all along and I have told them that along. It's about them. I'm here to help them. To help them continue to evolve as professionals, help them achieve successful results, get to London...for me it's painful that they have to suffer like this given what they gave in that second half, unbearable. But again I'll move on from this as well, it's going to take some time. In some ways I'm still at a complete, I'm utterly shocked. It was a last second, second, second play."
On personal US coaching future:
“It’s really hard to frame that right now. I am not thinking about myself right now. I’m thinking about the players, it’s all I care about.”no comments
Devastating. Heartbreaking. Unfathomable. Mind-numbing. Speechless.
These were all words that only begin to describe the shocking moments late that transpired in the 95th minute at LP Field as Jaime Alas' long-range effort bounced over Sean Johnson and into the back of the net. The goal tied up the match at 3s but more importantly meant the US would be eliminated from Olympic qualifying, finishing 3rd in group A. As a result, the Yanks did the unthinkable and failed to even advance to the decisive semi-final match of the tournament, which determines if you are Olympic bound or sofa bound. Instead the Yanks bowed out early in dramatic fashion.
The US had a rough go of it the last two matches with the 2-0 loss to Canada on Saturday inevitably crushing their Olympic dreams. It will be a rough summer for the US program and US supporters located all over the states as they watch the Olympics without seeing their beloved Yanks.
If you luckily missed the match, here are the important events that transpired in what was truly a roller-coaster of emotions...no comments
In the end, both the US and Canada got what they deserved.
Canada did their homework and executed their game-plan to perfection. The Canucks were very well organized defensively, took away the central triangle of Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, and Jared Jeffery, and took their chances when presented to them.
The US never found their flow. The home side was sloppy, predictable and looked nothing like the CONCACAF giants that won 6-0 against the Sunday league team from Cuba.
US head head coach Caleb Porter came to similar conclusions after the match.
"Credit Canada again they were organized," Porter said within in minutes of his press conference. "We never really got into a rhythm. On the ball we weren't as sharp as we needed to be. We didn't use the width," he added as if to list the root causes of the loss.
The US possessed well in the first half, but against Canada’s compact defense, everything was down the wings. Even after it became apparent that the US was not going to score off a cross, the red, white, and blue continued to attack down the same two avenues that Canada was giving them with the men in red knowing full well they would repel everything sent into their box.
"They set up in a Christmas tree: 4-3-2-1," said Porter when describing Canada's formation that stunted the Americans attack. "That's a shape you really use to stop a team, essentially it was 3 vs. 5 though the middle."
"It allowed us to have a 2 v. 1 advantage on the flanks," Porter added. "I didn't think we exploited that well enough."no comments
The saying "March Madness" was never more evident than tonight, when Canada pulled off a shocker, taking down the US by a scoreline of 2-0. The downfall for the US, ironically, proved to be set pieces as both of Canada's goals came off of corner kicks. The US never really looked like they were going to win the game, partially due to the suffocating play of the Canucks, but mostly due to an overall casual performance.
Here is a rundown of how the game played out...
- In the first half, Adu and Shea attacked the wings well, but it meant little as neither Bunbury nor the attacking midfield combo of Corona and Diskerud were making the correct runs in the box. The game was calling for Adu to shift to the center of the pitch so that he could facilitate this lack-luster offense.no comments