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 27
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 26 - Player of the Week: Jefferson Savarino (RSL)
No other league does it, no other league would dare to attempt it, but in a young league with teams cropping out of the woodwork on a regular basis, MLS have an annual Rivalry Week, which is what it sounds like. Rival clubs battle in an attempt to put some heat in a league which is often laughed off as lacking history.
As part of Rivalry Week, New York Red Bulls featured twice, the only team to feature twice in a Double Gameweek. After the Red Bulls battled to a 1-1 draw against city rivals, NYCFC, before a Kaku goal saw RBNY beat D.C. United 1-0 at home. This week was all setting up to reviewing a New York player, which tends to be the case when a team plays twice, but such is the nature of Major League Soccer, we've ended up in unexpected waters in a fixture that most MLS Fantasy players overlooked.
We are of course talking about Real Salt Lake's massive victory over rivals, Colorado Rapids, which ensured their the Rocky Mountain Cup, which is only defended between the two sides, stayed with Real Salt Lake.
Colorado second to last in the Western Conference and will certainly not be contesting a play-off place this fall, with the final nail put in the coffin by a rampant Real Salt Lake side in a big derby match.
MLS Fantasy players largely overlooked RSL's unexpected heroes as this result has come out of the woodwork by surprise. All of the pull and focus for the week was with the Red Bulls, which is why it is interesting that Jefferson Savarino and a host of RSL players took the plaudits after only one bite of the cherry.
In terms of output, it's not been an explosive year for Savarino, who only held four goals and 7 assists to his name from 25 league appearances before the rout away at Colorado, with the winger the usually in contention for set-pieces or penalties. A brace of goals and an assist helped propell the lively winger to a massive 20-point week, which was head and shoulders above the competition in the rest of MLS Fantasy, so much so that his influence could not be ignored this week.
The nature of an unpredictable league means that key players, like a Jefferson Savarino (who was only selected by 0.16% of players - which is 56 in total), often find themselves as differential gems that are regularly unearthed. We have found ourselves talking about key MLS figures in recent months, so it is a refreshing change of face to pull focus on a team who is quietly going about their business in hopes of reaching the post-season play-offs.
Jefferson Savarino's Week 26 Points - Colorado Rapids 0-6 Real Salt Lake
90 mins played: 2pts
2 goals: 10pts
1 assist: 3pts
Clean sheet: 1pt
38 passes: 1pt
3 key passes: 1pt
1 big chance created: 1pt
5 shots: 1pt
RSL's win puts them on 41 points from 27 matches, placing them 5th in the Western Conference. A Seattle Sounders, who have won their last 7 matches, are just below below them in the West with 2 games in hand, so we're envisioning that with some teams involved in a Double Gameweek this will leave the club clinging on to 6th place by the next of next week.
Mike Petke's side host LA Galaxy next up during Week 27 in a huge match in the West. Having both played 27 matches, RSL's 41 points is only 3 points more than the Galaxy. RSL are the only team currently in the play-off places with a negative goal difference, so will move below LA should they slip to defeat at Rio Tinto Stadium next Sunday morning, and with just 6 games left after that, there is no room for error as the table begins to take its final form.
Fortunately for RSL the 6-0 win couldn't be better timed as the side are in a good vein of form, with Savarino, Plata and main-main Albert Rusnak all in fine form ahead of the big game on Sunday.
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