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 34
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 33 - Player of the Week: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
A reduced 4-game weekend due to the international break saw wins for LAFC, New England, D.C. United, and a surprise away win for Colorado Rapids at Minnesota United. The standout match this weekend took place at the Banc of California Stadium, with an instant classic between LAFC and Houston Dynamo.
A 4-2 home win for LAFC was electric from the first whistle to the last, a perfect advert for the exciting and unpredictable nature of MLS. With the Designated Player rule in place, what you'll find is that once in a while a player will run riot, with Week 33 providing just one key player for the league and MLS Fantasy players.
Step forward Mexican international, Carlos Vela, who was central to everything positive for LAFC against The Dynamo, a victory that has put LAFC on the verge of a small piece of league history - Bob Bradley's side have earned 56 points from their debut season, joint most with Chicago Fire in 1998, a team also managed by Bradley.
Carlos Vela’s Week 33 Points – LAFC 4-2 Houston Dynamo
90 mins: 2pts
2 goals: 10pts
2 assists: 6pts
1 penalty earned: 2pts
5 key passes: 1pt
3 crosses: 1pt
2 big chances created: 2pts
6 recoveries: 1pt
4 shots: 1pt
Fouled 4 times: 1pt
Total: 27 points
With some mightily impressive Fantasy stats at play for Vela, this is perhaps the most one-sided Player of the Week this season, and the biggest performance by a player in a single game this season (something we wouldn't thought would be beaten after Nicolas Lodeiro's 23 points against Colorado just a few weeks ago during Week 31).
No other player boasted more than 12 points in MLS Fantasy this week which means The Mexican scored 15 more points than any other player this weekend, with Cristian Penilla (NE) the next prolific points-scorer with 12 on the board. That is an absolutely ridiculous margin of success for Vela, the largest of the season with just two rounds of the season left.
With LAFC assured of a play-off place, we're entering some incredibly exciting times in the Western Conference for the final few weeks. LAFC could find themselves winning their bracket if they prevail at home against Vancouver Whitecaps during Week 34, and then travel to Sporting KC on the final day in a potential league-topping encounter.
Dallas (57 points) entertain SKC (53 points) next weekend, with Sporting playing their final game in hand away at Vancouver Whitecaps, meaning that SKC could be just a point behind Dallas for a massive encounter next Sunday. A Dallas victory will put them firmly in the driving seat, but any other result for the pair could open the door for LAFC to sneak in at top spot with just 90 minutes of the season left to play, and with Boby Bradley's side travelling to SKC on the final day, we could be about to witness a breathtaking end to the season (especially as Atlanta and The Red Bulls battle it out for the Supporters' Shield crown).
Carlos Vela, whose influence was far exceeding expectations, will be a crucial cog in the machine if LAFC are to make history in their maiden season.
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