top of page


MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 1 Preview - San Jose vs. Minnesota 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 San Jose Earthquake's home fixture against Minnesota 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: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United

San Jose's new Swedish Head Coach, Mikael Stahre, couldn't ask for a better game to make a good impression in MLS this season. Finishing 6th in the Western Conference last season, there's a lot of expectation to build on their play-off appearance last season, and cement another season in the top 6 teams in their division.

San Jose's big problem last season was scoring too few goals (39), and conceding too many (60), so Stahre's job will be to make the Quakes a more compact and organised side this season. It's likely that San Jose will utilise a 4-4-2 system, and play in an organised manner, which by all accounts puts them in the same bracket as Premier League sides such as Bournemouth and Burnley, but with an attacking emphasis more akin to Bournemouth than Burnley.

Stahre's first game is against Minnesota United, a side who aren't fancied at all in MLS this season. San Jose did the double over Minnesota last season, and head into this match as the clear favourites for victory, and with Magnus Eriksson and Chris Wondolowski's firepower, should overcome a team without a Designated Player on opening day.

English Head Coach, Adrian Heath, like every other team will be aiming to make the post-season play-offs, but hismelf recognises that it will be a tall order this season. Minnesota conceded 70 goals last season, more than any club in MLS, and scored 47. Only D.C. United had a worst goal difference.

From a Fantasy perspective, Kevin Molino is the man to back, but we're quite sceptical about Minnesota's chance in the opening weeks of the season, and at this stage would only consider some of the budget choices in defence to bolster the ranks.

2017 Results: SJE/MIN

April 29th 2017: Minnesota United 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes

October 22nd 2017: San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 Minnesota United

San Jose Earthquakes

Manager: Mikael Stahre

Likely Formation: 4-4-2 (4-2-2-2 varient)

Starting 11


GK - Andrew Tarbell - $5.0 million


LB - Shea Salinas - $5.0 million

CB - Harold Cummings - $5.0 million

CB - Yeferson Quintana - $5.5 million

RB - Nick Lima - $5.5 million


CM/CDM - Anibal Godoy - $8.0 million

CM/CDM - Florian Jungwirth - $7.0 million

LM/CAM - Vako - $9.0 million

RM/CAM - Magnus Eriksson - $9.0 million


CF - Chris Wondolowski - $9.0 million

CF - Danny Hoesen - $7.5 million (listed as a Midfielder)

Remaining Squad


GK - Matt Bercano - $4.0 million

GK - JT Marcinkowski - $4.5 million


LB - Joel Qwiberg - $5.0 million

CB - Francois Affolter - $5.0 million

CB - Jimmy Ockford - $4.5 million

CB - Jacob Akanyirige - $4.0 million

The battle for left-back appears to be the only contentious decision in San Jose's defence, with Salinas most likely of the two to start against Minnesota, with the new Swede probably going to have to work his way into the team.


CDM - Fatai Alashe - $5.5 million

CDM - Luis Felipe - $5.0 million

CM - Gilbert Fuentes - $4.0 million

CM - Tommy Thompson - $5.5 million

CM - Eric Calvillo - $5.0 million

LM - Jahmir Hyka - $8.0 million

LM - Chris Wehan - $5.0 million

CAM - Jackson Yueill - $6.0 million


CF - Quincy Amarikwa - $6.0 million

Minnesota United

Manager: Adrian Heath

Likely Formation: 4-2-3-1

Starting 11


GK - Bobby Shuttleworth - $5.0 million


LB/RB - Tyrone Mears - $4.5 million

CB - Francisco Calvo - $5.5 million

CB - Michael Boxall - $4.5 million

RB/LB - Jerome Thiesson - $5.0 million


CM/CDM - Ibson - $8.0 million

CM/CDM - Rasmus Schuller - $6.0 million

LM - Collin Martin - $6.0 million

RM - Ethan Finlay - $8.0 million

CAM - Kevin Molino - $9.0 million


CF - Christian Ramirez - $9.0 million

Remaining Squad


GK - Alex Kapp - $4.0 million

GK - Matt Lampson - $5.0 million


LB - Marc Burch - $4.5 million (injured)

CB - Brent Kallman - $4.5 million

CB/CDM - Bertrand Owundi Eko'o - $4.5 million (listed as a Defender)

With Marc Burch injured for the trip to San Jose, it is likely that Tyrone Mears and Jerome Thiesson will occupy the full-back spots, most likely with Mears as the acting left-back.


LM - Sam Nicholson - $7.5 million

LM - Jose Leiton - $7.0 million

CDM - Sam Cronin - $6.5 million (injured)

CDM - Luiz Fernando - $5.5 million

CM - Harrison Heath - $5.0 million

CM - Collen Warner - $6.0 million

CF - Frantz Pangop - $6.5 million (listed as a Midfielder)

There's a few question marks over who will be playing in midfield. Collen Warner may come into CM instead of Schuller, and new signing Luiz Fernando could also push for minutes, so there's a lot of depth there.

Sam Nicholson might also be favoured on the left-wing, but word around town is that Collin Martin may get a start against San Jose.


CF - Abu Danladi - $6.5 million

CF - Mason Toye - $4.5 million

There's one chance potentially in the offing from some Minnesota fans, and that is Danladi will be starting in place of Ramirez, so this is one to look out for, potentially.

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.

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at

All aboard.


bottom of page