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 FC Dallas's home fixture against Real Salt Lake. 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: FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake
To kick off the season, an all Western Conference tie between Dallas and Real Salt Lake kicks us off, with both teams harbouring realistic aims of qualifying for the post-season playoffs.
Travelling side, Real Salt Lake, ended the 2017 season in fine form and Mike Petke's side probably come into the opening match as favourites against a Dallas side who were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League against Tauro FC on away goals, despite a 3-2 home victory.
RSL have a mix of youth and MLS experience, with depth in experience coming from Goalkeeper, Nick Rimando, and club captain Kyle Beckerman. RSL lost on both occasions to Dallas last season, but that was before Petke took over, with RSL losing only 3 of their final 15 matches of the season, so head into the season looking to pick up where they left off from.
If you're on the look out for Fantasy options from this match, Rusnak for RSL looks a tempting bet if you're willing to venture from picking a Valeri or Almiron. The left-back situation at RSL is also one to keep an eye on, with $4.5 million Demar Phillips likely to start, and is by far the cheapest route into any Fantasy team for Gameweek 1.
For Dallas, Urruti looks a decent bet for any players looking for a Forward around the $9.0 million mark. New signing Santiago Mosquera will likely make an immediate debut on the left-wing and is one to keep an eye on.
This encounter of Western rivals looks to be a very interesting match on paper, which is making a definiete conclusion hard to draw, but we've slightly favouring RSL to pull off an opening day upset away from home.
2017 Results: FCD/RSL
May 6th 2017: Real Salt Lake 0-3 FC Dallas
June 6th 2017: FC Dallas 6-2 Real Salt Lake
Manager: Óscar Pareja
Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1
GK - Jesse Gonzalez - $5.5 million
LB - Anton Nedyalkov - $5.5 million
CB - Reto Ziegler - $5.5 million
CB - Matt Hedges - $5.5 million
RB - Reggie Cannon - $5.0 million
CM/CDM - Carlos Gruezo - $7.0 million
CM/CDM - Victor Ulloa - $6.5 million
LM - Santiago Mosquera - $8.5 million
RM - Michael Barrios - $8.5 million
CAM - Mauro Diaz - $10.0 million
CF - Maxi Urruti - $9.0 million
GK - Jimmy Maurer - $4.5 million
GK - Kyle Zobeck - $4.0 million
LB - Maynor Figueroa - $5.5 million
RB - Ryan Hollingshead - $5.0 million
CB - Jordan Cano - $4.0 million
CB - Kris Reaves - $4.0 million
CDM - Kellyn Acosta - $7.5 million (injured)
LW - Roland Lamah - $8.0 million
RW - Paxton Pomykal - $4.5 million
CM - Brandon Servania - $4.5 million
CAM - Ema Twumasi - $4.5 million
CAM - Jacori Hayes - $4.5 million
LW - Francis Atuahene - $4.5 million
CF - Cristian Colman - $8.0 million
CF - Tesho Akindele - $7.0 million
CF - Jesus Ferreira - $4.5 million
CF - Bryan Reynolds - $4.5 million
CF - Adonijah Reid - $4.0 million
Real Salt Lake
Manager: Mike Petke
Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1 (4-3-3 variant)
GK - Nick Rimando - $5.5 million
LB - Demar Phillips - $4.5 million
CB - Marcelo Silva - $5.5 million
CB - Justen Glad - $5.5 million
RB - Adam Henley - $5.0 million
CDM - Kyle Beckerman - $7.5 million
CM/CDM - Luke Mulholland - $7.0 million
LW - Joao Plata - $9.5 million
RW - Jefferson Savarino - $10.0 million
CAM - Albert Rusnák - $10.5 million
CF - Luis Silva - $7.5 million
There's a good chance that Luis Silva and Plata will play in alternating positions, with Silva on the left.
GK - Connor Sparrow - $4.5 million
GK - Alex Horwath - $4.0 million
LB - Danilo Acosta - $5.0 million
RB - Tony Beltran - $5.0 million (injured)
RB - Aaron Herrera - $4.0 million
CB - Shawn Barry - $4.5 million
CB - David Horst - $4.5 million
CB - Taylor Peay - $4.0 million
Acosta and Demar Phillips will be challenging for the left-back spot and we have an inkling that the cheaper option of the two, Phillips, may be played in the first fixture.
CDM - Sunny - $6.0 million
CM - Damir Kreilach - $7.5 million
CM - Nick Besler - $4.5 million
LM - Pablo Ruiz - $5.0 million
LM - Sebastian Saucedo - $5.0 million
RW - Jordan Allen - $5.5 million
CAM - Jose Hernandez - $4.5 million
CF - Brooks Lennon - $5.5 million (listed as a Midfielder)
CF - Alfredo Ortuno - $7.5 million
CF - Yura Movsisyan - $7.5 million
CF - Corey Baird - $7.5 million
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.
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