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MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 1 Preview - Orlando City vs. D.C. United

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

Orlando City

Manager: Jason Kreis

Likely Formation: 4-3-1-2 (potentially a 4-2-2-2 variant)

Starting 11


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

Remaining Squad


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.

D.C. United

Manager: Ben Olsen

Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1

Starting 11


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

Remaining Squad


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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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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