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MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 1 Preview - Houston Dynamo vs. Atlanta Utd

MLS returns this weekend with 10 matches kicking off the 2018 campaign, and for many Fantasy players, we're nearing the business end of picking our teams. Ahead of the new season we will be previewing games, with an eye at looking at who will be playing for MLS Fantasy players, in hope of aiding their selection for the highly anticipated first Gameweek of the season. This preview focuses on Houston Dynamo's home encounter with Atlanta United. All aboard.

MLS Fantasy: Gameweek 1

For us in the UK, the first game of the weekend starts at 6pm, with current Supporters' Shield winners and MLS Cup holders Toronto FC going up against Columbus Crew.

Three teams will be missing this weekend, with Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, and New York Red Bulls, omitted from the discussion this week. You can check out the fixture list below.

You can also read all of our MLS Fantasy articles on our specialist page, by clicking here.

Gameweek 1: Houston Dynamo vs. Atlanta United

The second game of the week, Atlanta (east) travel to Houston (west) for the opening game of the season. What we're going to do is run down the Fantasy options from both teams to give a snapshot of who will be playing on the opening day.

In the 2017 season, Houston finished 4th in the Western Conference, whilst Atlanta finished 4th in the Eastern Conference. Houston made it to the conference semi-finals, whilst Atlanta were knocked out by Columbus Crew in the single-legged Knockout round on penalties.

In the 2017 season, Atlanta won a home game 4-1 against Houston, and due to being in difference Conference's, it was the only time the pair played each other. In the 4-1 victory, Julian Gressel scored for Atlanta, as did Miguel Almiron, who nabbed a hat-trick. Erick Torres scored a penalty-kick late on for Houston.

Atlanta have a lethal attack and will be favourites heading into the match.

Houston Dynamo

Manager: Wilmer Cabrera

Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1

Starting 11


GK - Chris Seitz - $5.0 million


LB - DaMarcus Beasley - $5.0 million

CB - Adolfo Machado - $5.0 million

CB - Leonardo - $5.0 million

RB - George Malki - $4.0 million


CM/CDM - Juan David Cabezas - $7.0 million

CM/CDM - Eric Alexander - $7.0 million

RM/RW - Alberth Elis - $9.0 million

LM/CAM - Andrew Wenger - $6.5 million

LM/CAM - Arturo Alvarez - $7.5 million


CF - Mauro Manotas - $8.0 million

Remaining Squad


GK - Joe Willis - $4.5 million

Willis and Seitz have a competitive battle to be number one, so there's every chance Willis could play, even though Seitz has featured throughout pre-season more.


LB - Dylan Remick - $4.5 million

LB - Kevin Garcia - $4.5 million

RB - A.J. DeLaGarza (currently injured, out until the summer period) - $5.0 million

CB - Alejandro Fuenmayor - $5.5 million

CB - Philippe Senderos - $5.0 million

Remick will be pushing Beasley all the way for a starting spot. Fuenmayor may very well start the season at CB, and former Arsenal player Senderos will act as CB cover, or might fight for Machado's spot - so for CB coverage Leonardo's spot looks safe on the opening day.


CDM - Darwin Ceren - $6.0 million

CM - Charlie Ward - $5.0 million

CM - Eric Bird - $5.0 million

CAM - Tomás Martínez - $9.0 million

RM - Boniek García - $6.5 million

LM - Memo Rodriguez - $5.5 million

Ceren will be competing for Alexander's spot in the team.


LW/CF - Romell Quioto - $8.5 million

Quioto missed a few weeks of pre-season, so Wenger might get the nod for the first Gameweek.

There's a lot of digestion about Houston's line up, so for Gameweek 1, Fantasy options will be at risk of rotation. Machado could come in at right-back, allowing Senderos to play.

There's competition for spots across the pitch, especially in the CAM position, which Tomas Martinez usually plays, and we think that Wenger and Alvarez will fill one of the roles each.

Atlanta United

Manager: Gerardo Martino

Captain: Michael Parkhurst

Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1

Starting 11


GK - Brad Guzan - $6.0 million


LB - Greg Garza - $5.0 million

CB - Michael Parkhurst - $5.0 million

CB - Leandro González Pírez - $6.0 million

RB - Franco Escobar - $5.0 million


CM/CDM - Darlington Nagbe - $8.0 million

CM/CDM - Jeff Larentowicz - $6.0 million

LW/RW - Julian Gressel - $7.0 million

LW/RW - Héctor Villalba - $9.5 million

CAM - Miguel Almirón - $10.5 million


CF - Josef Martinez - $11.0 million

Remaining Squad


GK - Alec Kann - $4.5 million

GK - Mitch Hildebrandt - $4.5 million

Alec Kann is the deputy Goalkeeper in case Brad Guzan is injured.


RB - Sal Zizzo - $4.5 million

LB - Mikey Robinson - $4.5 million

LB - Jose Hernandez - $4.5 million

CB - Miles Robinson - $4.5 million

George Bello - $4.0 million

Bello's a 16 year-old, Robinson is cover for Pirez and Parkhurst. The Atlanta back four is locked down, though Zizzo is likely to contest for the spot.


LW - Ezequiel Barco - $9.5 million (Barco has been declared injured)

LM/LW - Andrew Carleton - $4.5 million

LW/RW - Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu - $4.5 million

Lagos Kunga - $4.0 million

CDM - Chris McCann - $5.5 million

CM/CDM - Kevin Kratz - $5.0 million

CM/CDM - Chris Goslin - $4.5 million

CM - Oliver Shannon - $4.5 million

Julian Gressel is the most likely midfield change, providing cover for both wingers (which happens to be the case with Barco's injury), as well as the central spots. Carleton is a fan favourite and will sneak a few minutes off the bench as the season progresses.


CF - Brandon Vazquez - $6.0 million

CF - Romario Williams - $4.5 million

CF - John Gallagher - $4.5 million

CF - Patrick Okonkwo - $4.0 million

SS - Gordon Wild - $4.0 million

Vazquez will be the back up to Martinez, with Romario Williams also vying for a place on the bench.

The 2018 MLS Fantasy Season

MLS returns on Saturday March 3rd 2018, and you can join our very own MLS Fantasy League by clicking here, or alternatively by using the league code RDPUAHR2 whilst on the MLS Fantasy site, or checking out our pinned tweet on our @HypeTrainMLS Twitter account. We'd love to have you aboard for the ride.

You can read more of our latest news from in the FPL, Premier League, and around the footballing world on our Football page by clicking here, or by clicking the image below.

For more MLS, follow @RealHypeTrain and @HypeTrainMLS on Twitter for the latest social media insight from The Hype Train.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.

As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.

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All aboard.


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