MLS Fantasy: Zusi "most-captained" as league's top performers find themselves overshadowed

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Round 6 of MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager was unexpected to say the least. Some of the league’s top players were overshadowed by standout performances from rookies, backups and those acquired during the offseason through trades and free agency. It was a reality check for some owners who thought their star-packed squad was destined for greatness.

With five teams on a bye and several key players nursing injuries, it was time for the unheralded to shine. Here’s the breakdown on the first (4-3-3) Dream Team formation of the 2013 MLS season:

Round 6 Statistics

  • Most Captained player: Graham Zusi (4,089 people)
  • Transfers made: 23,056
  • Wildcards played: 268
  • # teams that scored 0 goals: 3
  • # teams that scored 1 goals: 7
  • # teams that scored 2+ goals: 4
  • # clean sheets per round: 7, 2, 5, 6, 3, 3
  • # goals scored per round: 24, 21, 17, 16, 22, 16

Dream Team formation: (4-3-3)

Top Player: Dan Paladini – 13 points

Defenders (4)

This was the second Dream Team appearance for Sporting KC’s Aurélien Collin ($6.2m) and Matt Besler ($6.0m) and a league-leading fourth clean sheet for Collin and teammate Seth Sinovic ($6.0m). Jámison Olave ($5.6m) scored his second goal of the season against the Chicago Fire on Sunday to earn his first DT appearance of the season. Five defenders tallied seven points in Round 6.

Midfielders (3)

Dan Paladini ($5.3m) gave Frank Klopas’ squad life late in the first half by out-jumping New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to find the net for his first goal of the season. He also added an assist and several bonus points to earn top honors this round. This is Paladini’s first DT appearance of 2013. He had just four points total prior to this game. Danny Cruz ($6.2m) and Brandon Barklage ($5.9m) tallied an assist and multiple bonus points in their outings to land themselves a spot on the DT for the first time this season as well. Two other midfielders had eight points in Round 6.

Forwards (3)

Portland’s Ryan Johnson ($8.0m) earned the media buzz on Saturday, netting two goals in 88 minutes at home against the Houston Dynamo. But the Chicago Fire’s Maicon Santos ($5.6m) would match that performance in only 27 minutes on Sunday, scoring two goals in his team’s 3-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Park. Dominic Oduro ($6.6m) notched eight points in the Columbus Crew’s 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday to round out this group of unlikely candidates. This is the first Dream Team appearance for all three forwards. Four forwards tallied seven points in Round 6.

Goalkeeper – Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids)

Irwin ($4.2m) was named the starter after teammate Matt Pickens broke his forearm against Real Salt Lake earlier this season. Irwin didn't miss a beat this week, saving a penalty and earning a clean sheet to help the Rapids to their first win of the season and a shot at winning their first Rocky Mountain Cup in seven years. Irwin is a great backup option at goalkeeper for only $4.2m.

Congratulations to Conor Houston (Casa) who put up 82 points in Round 6! And for all the latest news and advice regarding MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager follow @MLSFantasy.

*Dream Team subject to change. All point totals are finalized Wednesday for Rounds ending on Sunday.