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 Orlando City's home fixture against D.C. 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: Orlando City vs. D.C. United
Orlando City are proving to be the equivalent of Watford in the Premier League, having revamped large sections of their squad ahead of their opening home game against D.C. United. Head Coach, Jason Kreis, has made 13 signings, but MLS Fantasy players will be concerned about where the goals are coming from this weekend.
Orlando have gone all out to force a playoff spot this season, and with 7 of their opening 10 games at home, Orlando will look to strike some good early season form.
Forward Dom Dwyer is injured, new signing, and top assist maker in 2017, Sacha Kljestan, is suspended, leaving another new signing in Justin Meram as the major talking point. Orlando are likely to field budget options in attack against D.C., which might attract a few Fantasy owners from day one. Stefano Pinho looks set to lead the line, though there is a glimmar of chance that $4.5 million Forward Chris Mueller will see some game time.
Ben OIsen is also attempting to turnaround a D.C. side that finished 21st of the 22 MLS clubs last season, and on paper looks like the revamped squad is more settled in regards to its lineup. For D.C., the obvious pick is the reasonably priced Yamil Asad, who played for Atlanta United last season.
We're talking about two teams who have been rebuilding in the off-season after disappointing 2017 campaigns, so there's little in way of prediction, other than Orlando have a run of good home games, compared to D.C. United who are playing 7 of their first 10 games away from home.
Home comforts might be the order of the day in Orlando, even if by way of an attacking punt, and a defensive asset. Orlando did the double over their opposition, but this game is a wildcard fixture and anything can happen.
2017 Results: ORL/DCU
May 31st 2017: Orlando City 2-0 D.C. United
September 9th 2017: D.C. United 1-2 Orlando City
Manager: Jason Kreis
Likely Formation: 4-3-1-2 (potentially a 4-2-2-2 variant)
GK - Joe Bendik - $5.0 million
LB - Mohamed El-Munir - $5.0 million
CB - Ludovic Sane - $5.5 million
CB - Jonathan Spector - $5.5 million
RB - Scott Sutter - $5.0 million
CM/CDM - Yoshi Yotun - $8.5 million
CM - Will Johnson - $6.5 million
RM/CAM - Christian Higuita - $6.0 million
LM/CAM - Justin Meram - $9.5 million
SS/CF - Jose Villarreal - $5.5 million (listed as a Midfielder)
CF - Stefano Pinho - $6.0 million
GK - Earl Edwards Jr. - $4.5 million
GK - Adam Grinwis - $4.0 million
GK - Mason Stajduhar - $4.0 million
Edwards will be the Goalkeeper on the bench against D.C.
LB - Donny Toia - $5.0 million
LB - Victor "P.C." Giro - $4.5 million
RB - R.J. Allen - $4.5 million
CB - Amro Tarek - $4.5 million
CDM - Cameron Lindley - $5.5 million
CDM - Richie Laryea - $5.0 million
CM - Tony Rocha - $5.0 million
CDM - Oriol Rosell - $8.0 million (lacking match fitness)
CM - Dillon Powers - $6.5 million (ankle injury)
CAM - Sacha Kljestan - $10.0 million (suspending for the first two games)
LW - Pierre da Silva - $4.5 million
CF - Dom Dwyer - $9.0 million (injured with a quad strain)
CF - Chris Mueller - $4.5 million (listed as a midfielder)
There is a chance that Mueller might play against D.C. so he is one to keep an eye on this weekend.
Manager: Ben Olsen
Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1
GK - David Ousted - $5.0 million
LB - Oniel Fisher - $4.5 million
CB - Frederic Brillant - $5.0 million
CB - Steve Birnbaum - $5.0 million
RB - Nick DeLeon - $5.0 million
CM/CDM - Junior Moreno - $7.0 million
CM/CDM - Ulises Segura - $7.5 million
LM - Yamil Asad - $8.0 million
RM - Paul Arriola - $8.0 million
CAM - Zoltan Stieber - $8.5 million
CF - Darren Mattocks - $7.5 million
GK - Steve Clark - $ 5.0 million
GK - Travis Worra - $4.5 million
There's been a pre-season battle for the Number 1 spot at D.C., so there's a chance that Steve Clark could appear. Might be best to go with another GK option this week if you are considering Ousted.
LB - Taylor Kemp - $4.5 million (injured, hernia)
RB - Chris Odoi-Atsem - $4.5 million
CB - Kofi Opare - $5.0 million
CB - Jalen Robinson - $4.5 million
CM - Russell Canouse - $7.5 million (injured, knee sprain)
CM - Jared Jeffrey - $5.5 million
CM - Chris Durkin - $4.5 million
CAM - Luciano Acosta - $8.5 million (suspended)
CAM - Ian Harkes - $5.5 million
CF - Bruno Miranda - $6.5 million
CF - Patrick Mullins - $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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