MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 5 Review - Player of the Week
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 6
For us in the UK, the first game of the weekend starts at 00:30am on Saturday (which is a Friday night game over in the States), with Montreal Impact travelling to New England Revolution. 7 teams miss out on the action this weekend, and there are 10 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 5: LA Galaxy 4-3 Los Angeles FC
Major League Soccer's fifth round of games will live long in the memory for many viewers, and it will be long remembered as the weekend which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic mark his arrival in MLS in spectacular fashion.
LA Galaxy hosted Los Angeles FC in the first city derby between the two sides, and the encounter lived up to the hype, and in our mind, shattered expectations, especially in a league like MLS which isn't heavily endorsed with praise across the world. LA Galaxy's 4-3 victory was pulsating viewing from the first minute to the last, with an unforgettable comeback to cap off a highlight of Gameweek 5.
LAFC opened the scoring through Carlos Vela's brilliantly placed left-footed curler from the edge of their box, with the travelling side doubling their lead minutes later when Diego Rossi found Vela inside the box again. Vela had to twist and turn away from the rushing Goalkeeper, and charging defenders before looping a shot off the bar, with the ball creeping in from the underside of the crossbar.
Leading 2-0 at half-time in a one-way affair, LAFC trebled their lead when Marco Urena's squared ball across goal was turned in by Galaxy's Daniel Steres.
Seemingly down and out of the contest, Galaxy found a way back into the match when Servando Carrasco robbed LAFC of possession in their own half, and feeding Sebastian Lletget for a first time finish past Tyler Miller in the Black and Gold goal.
At 3-1 down Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench for his Galaxy debut on the 71st minute and was involved in the play straight away. His hold up play on the left-wing put Emmanuel Boateng in good space for an eventual cross, which would be prodded home by Chris Pontius to put the score at 3-2.
Ibrahimovic's moment in the spotlight would then send shockwaves around the footballing world as a headed clearance from an LAFC goal kick would fall to Zlatan 35-40 yeards from goal, with Zlatan volleying over Miller to level the score. Zlatan's goal brought a thunderous response from the LA crowd.
Just before the 90 minute mark Ibrahimovic decided against chasing a ball over the top, with former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole lashing onto the ball on the left-flank, before crossing to Zlatan who would beat Miller to the ball in the air, with the ball dipping into the far corner for the winner.
There is certainly debate over Zlatan's winner as he is slightly ahead of the ball for the winning goal when Cole's crossed is played into the box, and with MLS hosting VAR there was calls for the play to be assessed by the referee and his team, but they deemed that there wasn't anything clear and obvious about Zlatan being in an offside position for the goal.
Zlatan's winner concluded a game of the season contender, and a match that put many eyes on MLS as a product, which can only be a good thing for the beautiful game in America and Canada.
Over at @HypeTrainMLS we provided live social commentary of the occasion, which you can view online by clicking below.
Gameweek 5 - Player of the Week: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy)
Shortly after Gameweek 5 concluded we put out a poll to deem our Player of the Week, something that we chose to do for the first time this season as we here at The Hype Train were conflicted over our selection.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic the obvious selection due to his massive impact for LA Galaxy in the 4-3 victory over LAFC we expected the household name to get an easy victory at the polls, which was the case.
We were an inch away from putting Colorado's Dominique Badji as our Player of the Week, with the Forward scoring a first career hat-trick in the 3-0 victory over Philadelphia Union.
Dom Dwyer also haunted New York Red Bulls and Jozy Altidore was ruthless in front of goal against Real Salt Lake, and both were up for consideration, as was Carlos Vela who managed 15 Fantasy points in the 4-3 defeat to LA Galaxy, but was greatly overshadowed by Zlatan's arrival.
Zlatan's Gameweek 5 Points:
19 minutes played: 1pt
2 goals: 10pts
Yellow card: -1pt
Ibrahimovic was selected by a lowly total of 2.31% of Fantasy players for Gameweek 5's win over LAFC, and that was down to fear over his availability and minutes, which would certainly be the case.
What many armchair analysts wouldn't have guessed was a 19 minute cameo that would explode Zlatan's Fantasy potential through the roof, scoring twice, the equalising and winning goals against their newly established city rivals who were unbeaten in the league heading into the fixture.
Zlatan earns our Player of the Week title in his first week due to his stardom as an internationally recognised football player bringing eyes across the world to MLS, which is coupled with delivering on the big stage in LA Galaxy's biggest home match of the season. It helps that the encounter featured 7 goals and was the best match of the weekend by an absolute mile.
That sounds harsh on less-established names like Badji and Dwyer, and other big names in MLS like Altidore and Vela, who who performed exceptionally during Gameweek 5, but the lasting legacy of this week will be remembered by one name only.
MLS Fantasy players will be expecting more from Ibrahimovic for Gameweek 6's home tie against Sporting Kansas City, expecting similar returns if the Swede gets any more minutes to his name than the 19 he managed against LAFC. Zlatan's set his own bar incredibly high, and has potentially turned LA Galaxy's season into one about potential play-off potential.
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.
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.
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.