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 19
For the 2018 MLS Fantasy season there is a 'Rolling Lockout', which means you can make substitutions and transfers until the second a player's game kicks off, which means you can chop and change your lineup as any Gameweek progresses.
You can view the schedule and a real time Gameweek deadline countdown clock (in the London GMT timezone) on our dedicated MLS Fantasy page.
MLS Fantasy Week 18 - Player of the Week: Adama Diomande (LAFC)
It's turning out to be a debut season to remember in California for LAFC. Bob Bradley's side thumped Philadelphia Union 4-1 at home, not only to keep them unbeaten at the Banc of California, but was a result that moved LA up to 30 points with a game in hand over Sporting KC who have 32 points.
Victory over The Union was made possible with a first ever hat-trick in MLS for LAFC, which was courtesy of Norwegian attacker, Adama Diomande.
Adama Diomande's Week 18 Points - LAFC 4-1 Philadelphia Union:
73 mins played: 2pts
3 goals: 15pts
Dio's been the talk of the local and international media this past week due to his goal-scoring heroics for Bob Bradley. Diomande scored 25 goals in 26 games for Norweigen side Stabaek whilst Bradley was Manager, and now has scored 7 goals in 6 MLS appearances.
The World Cup couldn't have come at a better time for Dio or the club. With Marco Urena and Carlos Vela, two favourites of Bradley's this season, involved in Russia this summer, a door of opportunity opened for Dio, and he's taken his chance with some authority.
Underlying stats in MLS Fantasy indicate that aside from the 3 goals against Philadelphia, Dio wasn't heavily involved in the play. There was no attacking or defensive bonus (which includes no added points for recoveries, shots). Diomande only completed 13 passes, but scored with each of his 3 shots, highlighting the clinical nature of his MLS honeymoon period.
When Urena and Vela both eventually return from Russia Bradley's going to have a wealth of options to choose from, and it may be Urena that will find his place up for grabs, with Urena's work rate replaced by brute strength, power and directness.
Within touching distance at the summit of the Western Conference, LAFC face the prospect of a Double Gameweek for Week 19, with Bradley's side first travelling to Houston Dynamo in midweek, before returning to the Banc of California Stadium for a home fixture against an Orlando City side in utter free-fall right now.
With many expecting the World Cup period to hit LA hard, it's had the opposite effect, with Diomande refreshing an attack that was teetering on becoming predictable. Dio's new dimension in attack is something that defences haven't figured out, and due to his physical playing style is something that most teams will struggle with point blank.
Dio is a worthy Player of the Week, and we're excited to see more of the 28-year-old in the months to come as LAFC look to secure a place in the play-offs come the end of the season.
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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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.