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MLS Fantasy: Injury concerns, important USMNT dates and when to call it quits on a player

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MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager Experts Jason Saghini and Andrew Wiebe are back again with another episode of Starting Lineup (above), answering the questions you submitted to @MLSFantasy. This week we gave you the chance to vote on our first fantasy poll of the season. The results were revealed in the video above so be sure to check it out.

REMINDER: All transfers need to be finalized by Saturday, April 27, at 1:45 pm ET. Good luck, managers!

1. Matthew Pollard (@HurricanelDoter) asks: When can we expect to lose players to the late May/early June national team duty? (@MLSFantasy comment)

US national team call-ups will likely take place sometime between Rounds 12 and 13. The USMNT is scheduled to play Belgium in a friendly on May 29 in Cleveland, so expect head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to name his roster about a week before that. Since it’s just a friendly and geared for players set to play in the three World Cup qualifiers in June, I would expect MLS players to play in Round 13 (May 24-25) and then meet up with the USMNT shortly after that. This is something you’ll want to prepare for so keep this in mind as the camp approaches.

Tip: All players leaving for national team duty will be red-flagged. Their prices will be protected, so they might be worth holding onto if you have the depth on your bench.

2. CJ Luttinen (@cjluttinen) asks: What was up with Daigo Kobayashi last week? Is he injured or is this just the coach's decision? (@MLSFantasy comment)

Kobayashi is not injured. Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie has been mixing things up quite a bit the past few weeks, and Kobayashi's removal from the lineup was solely a coaching decision. As of right now, Kobayashi is a must-drop, in my opinion. He’s been stripped of several set-piece opportunities (even when he’s on the field) and things likely aren’t going to improve anytime soon. He could be in line to start this week, but there are no guarantees.

Tip: I sold Kobayashi a few weeks ago and turned a profit. He’s currently down to $7.2m and dropping. Offload him now before he drops any further.

3. Kevin Urrutia (‏@kevin_u10) asks: Should I start selling players that have byes in Week 10? I have five players with byes that week. (@MLSFantasy comment)

Three teams have a bye in Round 10 (FC Dallas, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire) and all of them are playing in away matches this week. Of the three, only two (FC Dallas and D.C. United) play multiple games in Round 11. If you have three Dallas players, I would hold onto them. Dallas have two home matches in Round 11 and they'll be popular pick-ups the week after their bye. D.C. United haven’t had a clean sheet since the middle of March, and their offense has been inconsistent as well. Steer clear of them until they find their form.

Tip: I wouldn’t recommend owning anyone from Chicago at this point. It’s still a shaky situation there with regards to the starting lineup.

4. Justin Brightbill (@JustinSaysThis) asks: Jámison Olave or Chris Schuler this week? Both have injuries but seem like they could play. (@MLSFantasy comment)

Schuler is back in training and says “he feels great” after having surgery earlier this week to repair a small fracture in his left hand. He will likely be wearing a small cast if he does play. With Kwame Watson-Siriboe fit and ready to fill in at a moment’s notice, I wouldn’t put it past Jason Kreis to start him instead and give Schuler a rest this week.

Olave is progressing and should be ready in time for the game on Saturday, but Toronto FC have scored seven goals at home this season so don’t put all your hopes on a RBNY clean sheet.

Tip: I like to steer clear of all injury prone players. I’m not an Olave owner and probably won’t be for the remainder of the season. He’s too much of a risk in my opinion.

5. Sam Beall (@‏sambeall) asks: Why has Robbie Keane led all fantasy transfers out (4,233), but has yet to fall in price? (@MLSFantasy comment)

Keane has been dropped by more than 4,000 owners, but added by roughly 1,500. This puts Keane somewhere around 2,500+ Net Transfers Out. What you have to keep in mind is that Keane was red-flagged for International duty and injuries. He was also yellow-flagged at one point as well. When news on a player is changed, it takes more time for that player’s value to be affected. The system is working exactly how it should in his situation.

Tip: Keane’s value will likely fluctuate in price the closer we get to Round 11-12. Keep in mind that he’s only played one MLS game since returning from injury.

That does it for Round 9 of Q&A with the experts. Tweet your questions to @MLSFantasy and don’t forget to check out the MLS Fantasy homepage when you get a chance.