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 8
For us in the UK, the first game of the week starts bright and early on Saturday morning, with Sporting KC hosting Vancouver Whitecaps at 2am (which is another Friday night MLS fixture). 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 7: New York City FC's Double Gameweek
NYCFC 4-0 Real Salt Lake // Atlanta United 2-2 NYCFC
Competing twice during the 7th round of fixtures, Patrick Vieira's New York City side not only coped well with two games in quick succession, but the team from the Big Apple have already solidified their tags as Supporters' Shield favourites.
RSL and MLS icon Kyle Beckerman believes he has already played against the best side in MLS this season during his sides 4-0 loss at Yankee Stadium. First-half goals from Tajouri-Shradi, Moralez, and a first NYC goal for Berget, was capped off in the second-half with Ofori tapping in a Moralez cross.
New York played terrific attacking football, and limited the visiting side to very little in RSL's own attacking third. Maxi Moralez was man of the match against Salt Lake, controlling much of the game from first to last whistle.
NYC looked a stronger side when David Villa returned to the field after missing 3 matches due to injury. The win on Wednesday evening would set Vieira's men up nicely for an away day at an in-form Atlanta side who had won their last 4 MLS matches.
Atlanta couldn't deliver goal-scorers that MLS Fantasy owned would have been too happy about, with Greg Garza slotting home the rebound from a Miguel Almiron shot to give Atlanta the lead. David Villa converted a penalty a few minutes later after coming on as a substitute to leave the game at a knife's edge at half-time.
The home side restored their lead in the second-half when Miguel Almiron's cross was headed home by Chris McCann just 6 yards out from goal, before a rocket from Alex Ring outside the box found a way into the net from the underside of the crossbar.
Poised at 2-2, both sides settled for a point in the dying minutes, giving NYCFC a massive point on the road against a side directly below them in the Eastern Conference. We have a feeling that it may very well be these two sides that finish top and second of their division come the end of the season, based purely on the quality of players that both teams possess.
After 7 rounds of MLS both Atlanta and NYCFC have match-winners, and difference-makers, which a lot of clubs do not have, which could be telling over the course of the season when form rises and falls throughout the season.
Gameweek 7 - Player of the Week: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC)
Despite being the overall leaders in MLS's standings, a New York City FC player had not yet featured as our Player of the Week. NYC are a proper team with points shared across the squad in the opening 7 rounds of MLS Fantasy, but one man has been standing to attention time and time again, and finally has his recognition after a fine Gameweek.
Maxi Moralez was the man of the match against Real Salt Lake, managing a massive 18 points for Fantasy players, aided by a further 5 points against Atlanta to buffer his points to an impressive 23 point haul.
Moralez's Gameweek 7 Points:
NYCFC 4-0 Real Salt Lake
90 mins played: 2pts
1 goal: 5pts
1 assist: 3pts
1 clean sheet: 1pt
1 penalty earned: 2pts
8 key passes: 2pts
1 big chance created: 1pt
4 interceptions: 1pt
11 recovered balls: 1pt
Atlanta United 2-2 NYCFC
90 mins played: 2pts
5 tackles: 1pt
74 passes: 2pts
7 recovered balls: 1pt
Yellow card: -1pt
Moralez's points secure his place as the top MLS Fantasy player with 64 points from 7 appearances, and has scored in 4 of his 7 league appearances this season. Maxi was aided by the absence of David Villa in the first-half against Real Salt Lake, earning a penalty and taking the spot-kick himself, a potential 5 points that David Villa could have scooped instead of the top-performing Midfielder.
Prior to kick-off against RSL, Moralez was the overwhelming favourite for captaincy, and he did not letdown his 15.24% ownership. In general, we would suggest that NYC's Double Gameweek was a success, but you might be looking back in anguish had you not went with Moralez with the armband.
New York have another potentially complicated away day next week for Gameweek 8 with a visit to Portland Timbers, who were successful in their first home match of the season against Minnesota United in a 3-2 victory. With Portland winning for the first time this season, it sets up a visit from NYCFC very nicely indeed.
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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