After each round of matches for MLS Fantasy players, we'll be providing our Player of the Week, the player who we think is deserving of top spot, even if they didn't finish on the most points for a week. We'll take a look at the impact the player is having on his team, as well as the MLS Fantasy returns that they are providing. Strap in, it's time to get nostalgic. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Gameweek 5
For us in the UK, the first game of the weekend starts at 01:00am on Saturday (which is a Friday night game over in the States), with Real Salt Lake travelling to Toronto FC. 1 team misses out on the action this weekend, and there are 11 matches to be contested. You can check out the fixture list in full below.
You can also read all of our MLS Fantasy articles on our specialist page, by clicking here.
Gameweek 4: New York Red Bulls 3-0 Minnesota United
Round 4 of MLS was reduced down to 6 fixtures due to the international break, meaning there were a few faces left out of the action this weekend as international football took the spotlight.
Minnesota's trip to New York Red Bulls couldn't have come at a worse time due to international fixtures taking their two central defenders from the field of contention for a game against a Red Bulls side who blew away Portland Timbers 4-0 in their home opener during Gameweek 2.
The Loons were without 3 of their 4 regular starting defenders. Tyrone Mears (right calf), Michael Boxall (New Zealand), and Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica), were either injured or away on international duty, whilst Rasmus Schuller (Finland), and star-man Kevin Molino (ACL injury), were also out of commission for the visitors.
The Bulls were also missing regular starters in Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica), Michael Murillo (Panama), and Tyler Adams (United States), due to international duty, but a squad full of depth never looked like struggling against a Minnesota side who were second best throughout the night at Red Bull Arena.
New York took the lead when Kyle Duncan teed up a star performer in Alex Muyl, before Bradley Wright-Phillips finished off a fine set-piece play with an immaculate flick at the edge of the six yard box which evaded the travelling defence.
Leading 2-0 at half-time, Muyl effectively ended the contest just past the 70th minute, finding BWP with a looping through ball, with the Englishman striking sweetly with the laces into the net from the edge of the box.
The Red Bulls were the top performing team this weekend, and with Columbus, the only 2 teams to win this past weekend, with 4 draws played out elsewhere across the league.
Gameweek 4 - Player of the Week: Bradley Wright-Phillips (RBNY)
Alex Muyl ended Gameweek 4 as the top points scorer in MLS Fantasy, with 14 on the board after an assist and goal combination, but it is Bradley Wright-Phillips who would have made or break your Fantasy team this week.
BWP's 13 points against Minnesota came as a relief on a weekend which saw Urriti (Dallas), Zardes (Columbus), Kamara (Vancouver), and Mattocks (D.C.), all failing to perform from a points perspective. That left BWP as the standout Forward pick from GW4, with 2 immaculately finished strikes proving the difference for most players at the top end of the overall standings.
With fewer options on show this past weekend, BWP's importance is ten-fold as there was unlikely to be a 'Plan B' as captaincy, unless Federico Higuain (Columbus) Felipe Gutierrez (Kansas)) were banked on instead. Just featuring 6 fixtures means that if you didn't have BWP your overall rank would have most likely plummeted and it would have been difficult if any Head to Head opponents were having a decent week.
In previous Gameweek's, MLS Fantasy players were registering big scores because of more depth in options, but Gameweek 4 we found that a few key exclusions meant that some players were faced with a low score for the first time this season.
BWP's Gameweek 4 Points:
81 mins played: 2pts
2 goals: 10pts
1 big chance created: 1pt
Next up for New York Red Bulls is a visit to Orlando City, a side who have struggled during the opening weeks of the season. BWP's inclusion might be clear to some, but with 22 teams featuring this coming weekend, an away day might not be one to bank on for the Red Bulls after they lost to Real Salt Lake by a lone goal during Gameweek 3.
Add on top their Champions League commitments, with Jesse Marsch's side in the semi-finals, rotation complications for MLS Fantasy players could come to bite back once again.
The 2018 MLS Fantasy Season
MLS has returned, 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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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.
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