We're less than a week away from the 2019 MLS season kicking off, with Toronto travelling to Philadelphia Union. With the MLS Fantasy game up and running ahead of the new campaign, we simply look at the subtle changes made to the game this season, as well as going over what is very much the same. All aboard.
What is different in MLS Fantasy in 2019?
After scanning the Fantasy site ahead of the new season, even though earlier in the year we championed for more in-depth changes, as it turns out there have only been minor changes made to the game. Let us know on our Twitter handle, @HypeTrainMLS, if you think we've missed anything.
1) Last season you could pick any 4 players from one club to feature in your Fantasy team. This season, the player cap by club is 3.
2) One the 'My Team' page, the upcoming fixtures below your squad has been fixed. Rather than the schedule of games being bunched up, the format is nearly identical to the fixtures on the Schedule page.
3) The expansion of FC Cincinnati now means that there are 24 teams in MLS, 12 in the East and West Conferences.
4) Cincinnati's arrival has impacted on the MLS schedule this season. 2018 saw 35 rounds of games for MLS Fantasy players, but with an even spread of teams, there are now only 31 Week's of the season. This isn't Cinci's fault, but more the league crunching fixtures so the regular season ends earlier.
5) 31 Week's of the season has also altered when the Spring and Fall seasons start. The Spring season runs from Week's 1-15, with the Fall season taking place during Week's 16-31.
6) So far, all of the Fantasy articles on the 'Fantasy News' tab are not housed on the Fantasy site, instead you are diverted through to the main MLS website on a new tab. Last season, you'd remain on the Fantasy page. You also can't view any articles that are live on the Fantasy site as there is only a 'view more' button.
7) The social team behind MLS Fantasy have named themselves 'Fantasy United FC'. It's the most irrelevant change, but a change in reporting nonetheless.
8) Social Media and website backgrounds for MLS Fantasy changed from blue to black, as has the secondary banner beneath the main header. Last season the top header was grey.
9) All of the buttons on the Fantasy website (social shares, picking a player in my Tab, and navigation across the different tabs) are now black.
10) There is now a 'Double Game Week' button on the My Team page below the drop-down selections. You can presumably search for players playing twice in a given week. There is also a search bar above the drop-down where you can search names.
11) Mini-leagues can now feature a 'final series', with the final 3 Week's a battle between top performing players.
12) In each Conference, the top 7 sides qualify for the play-offs, rather than 6 last season.
What is the same in MLS Fantasy in 2019?
Just to touch base with some of the features from the 2018 season, there's much of the same to enjoy in MLS Fantasy this upcoming season.
1) The Stats Center is exactly the same, and currently very hard to search for new players in the league due to the inability to search by team.
2) Player prices still change depending on their form on the field, rather than by ownership of Fantasy players.
3) The points scoring system is the last as last season, with attacking and defensive bonus adding on to the base points, is still the same, so expect attacking midfielders to shine yet again.
4) The Schedule tab is unchanged, with drop-downs for each week of the season.
5) Besides the colour, the barren top banner featuring the MLS logo is ever present.
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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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