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 26
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 25 - Player of the Week: Wayne Rooney (DC)
There's a great sense of déjà vu around Hype Train HQ as we look back at the week just gone in MLS. A Double Gameweek for 6 sides ended in big Fantasy performances from LAFC and D.C. United, yet it is the latter who pulls our focus.
D.C. United are well and truly on the proverbial hype train, with the capital side winning back-to-back home games in Week 25 to peak our interest. D.C. United are holding the narrative in Major League Soccer - a rags to riches story is unfolding with Wayne Rooney's arrival spearheading an unexpected charge for the play-offs.
A 4-1 thumping against Portland in midweek was followed a win last night against New England Revolution, a direct rival in the Eastern Conference, which puts D.C. on 27 points with 22 games played. United have 4 games in hand over Montreal impact who are in 6th on 33 points, which means continued form from Ben Olsen's will mean that we will have an incredibly unlikely side enter the play-offs.
Momentum is building week on week, with Wayne Rooney the standout pick. Over here in England, Rooney's exploits against Portland in particular has drawn praise in certain corners, though we are still dealing with casual onlookers referring to the MLS as a 'pub league' - something our persuasion as MLS enthusiasts is struggling to change, regardless of the top performers or quality of finishes.
Wayne Rooney's Week 25 Points - D.C. United 4-1 Portland Timbers
86 mins played: 2pts
2 goals: 10pts
53 passes: 1pt
4 key passes: 1pt
4 crosses: 1pt
4 shots: 1pt
Wayne Rooney's Week 25 Points - D.C. United 2-0 New England Revolution
90 mins played: 2pts
5 shots: 1pt
MLS Fantasy players really relied on D.C. United and LAFC this week. Diego Valeri only bagged 4 points for Portland in a disastrous week for a side who are challenging for the Western Conference crown (well, they were), whilst Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 3 points was a big letdown - the Swedish icon didn't even feature in the 5-0 loss at Seattle Sounders in LA's second match of the week.
We were increasingly sure that Tyler Miller of LAFC, who kept back-to-back home clean sheets for the Californian side, was a lock for our Player of the Week, but after some reflection we felt right that D.C. United kept the crown for a second consecutive week, with Rooney's 19 points this week following Luciano Acosta's hat-trick against Orlando City last week.
The story is D.C. right now, mixed in with Josef Martinez's pursuit of the MLS's all-time record for goals in a single season, a feat which he tied when he netted against Columbus Crew at home this past weekend.
As for Rooney, the former England captain was influential against Portland, scoring twice and setting social media alight with praise, whilst the Evertonian was pulling all the right strings as Luciano Acosta shined with a goal against New England last night. Rooney's been averaging 5.88 points-per-game and week-on-week his Fantasy influence continues to grow to the point that his inclusion is a no-brainer for players.
Though the Player of the Week accolade is deserving of D.C. United this week, a visit to Eastern Conference side New York Red Bulls, who feature twice in Week 26, poses a massive test of their credentials as they make a late rally for a play-off place. Our gut is telling us that the Red Bulls will have too much on home soil, and to avoid the likes of Rooney for one week as there will be brighter days ahead for D.C. United, and more Double Gameweek potential in the weeks to follow.
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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.
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.