Is this a dawn of a new era in Toronto? Newly signed Designated Players Danny Koevermans and Torsten Frings are expected to get on the field as the new-look Reds take on FC Dallas on Wednesday night. The Forecast expects Frings and Koevermans to make Toronto immediately more competitive, especially against an FCD team that hasn’t scored in its past two games.
We have 11 matches on tap this week and a handful of friendlies. New York, San Jose, Toronto, Columbus, Dallas, New England and Colorado all play twice this week, while Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle take a break from MLS play to host European squads.
Let’s get to the picks.
Caleb Folan, F, Colorado Rapids: The monstrous former Hull City striker is the obvious choice to replace Conor Casey, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Rapids offense put three past a good Seattle unit Saturday, with Folan netting off the bench. While Casey’s loss hurts, the Rapids offense is fortunate to have a player like of Folan’s caliber ready to step in.
Jeff Larentowicz, MF, Colorado Rapids: Along those lines, the Forecast likes Larentowicz. As the team’s primary free-kick and penalty taker, the midfielder could find the score sheet for an offense that showed signs of life against Seattle. The Rapids may benefit from two home games against Eastern seaboard teams (New York and New England) playing at altitude.
Aurélien Collin, D, Sporting Kansas City: What a game for the Frenchman against Houston: two red cards drawn on the opponent and the equalizing goal in stoppage time. He has three goals out of the back as SKC have now gone 11 games unbeaten. A promising match-up against Toronto FC awaits.
Jan Gunnar Solli, D, New York Red Bulls: When the Red Bulls are keeping possession well, Solli comes up so far forward that you’d mistake him for a midfielder. Against an inconsistent back line like the Rapids have, he’s a good bet for an assist on Wednesday.
Danny Koevermans, F, Toronto FC: The Forecast’s experience says teams undergoing huge shakeups like Toronto can be dangerous opponents in the first couple games. Why not take a flyer on the Dutchman? With holding midfielder Frings not a viable option for goals, Koevermans could cooperate will with TFC’s two other dangerous, Joao Plata and Maicon Santos.
Shalrie Joseph, MF, New England Revolution: The Forecast can’t believe it is recommending a New England player after the team’s performance against Philly, but Joseph is actually a good bet based primarily on the matchups. The Revs play two middling defensive teams, D.C. United and Colorado. Joseph’s prowess in the air could have him stealing a goal or two.
Chad Marshall, D, Columbus: Coming off two straight shutouts, the Crew mainstay gets a two-match week that includes a game against Portland. In addition to his defensive abilities, Marshall has been a threat to score off set pieces in the past. With the Crew offense sputtering, maybe he can find the magic to spark his team this week.
All Sounders, Union and Fire players: As noted above, these teams have the week off in league play.
George John, D, FC Dallas: Two road games against Toronto FC and New York isn’t an ideal set up for FC Dallas. Even the darling of the Castrol Index will have a difficult time getting a shutout or a goal in one of those matchups.
Drew Moor, D, Colorado: After getting torched for four goals against Seattle, Rapids coach Gary Smith had this to say about the high line utilized by the back four: “It was a decision made by the players during the game, and it is not often this group looks as vulnerable as they did today.”
Maybe we're reading too much into his statements, but it sounds like they’re ignoring the coach’s directives. Stay away.
Luke Rodgers, F, New York: The injury bug flared up again for Rodgers, who missed the Chivas USA match last week. Watch his health carefully before plugging him into the starting lineup.
If you wanted goals this week, you had to look at Colorado-Seattle. There were six league games last Saturday, with the Seattle and Colorado combining for a stupefying 70 percent of the combined goals scored that day.
Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales continued their strong play of late with a goal and an assist each, while (dare we say it?) Roger Levesque is making a viable case for consideration in fantasy lineups.
Casey’s unfortunate injury occurred before he could record any goals or assists.
Elsewhere in the league, defenses reigned king as Sebastián Miranda’s crew were one of seven MLS teams to post a shutout. Also, we predicted Will Bruin wouldn’t score last weekend — he was held out of the starting lineup as Brad Davis accounted for the only Dynamo goal.
The postponement of the Vancouver-RSL game certainly hit our RSL-heavy lineup hard — it was probably no different for many of you.
Andrew Winner writes about Fantasy Soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS