Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Round 25 of Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Wednesday night's action begins. Five teams play twice this week: FC Dallas, Columbus, Portland, Toronto FC and Vancouver. No teams have a bye.
Field Player to Buy
Eric Hassli (Toronto FC, $9.8 million) — Hassli and the Reds are the only squad who have two home games this week. With the recent season-ending injury of designated player Danny Koevermans, the main offensive targets for TFC now are Hassli and Ryan Johnson. However, Johnson is away on international duty for Jamaica, leaving Hassli to step up. In addition, Toronto FC’s first match of this round is against the Portland Timbers, who have allowed 20 goals in just 10 road games (2.00 GAA). Also, Hassli is tied third among forwards for most “big chances created” (three), possibly racking in offensive bonus points for your fantasy team as well.
Field Player to Get Rid of
Kris Boyd (Portland Timbers, $8.9 million) — Boyd is currently on a four-game goalless streak, scoring two goals in his last eight games, not to mention only tallying more than two fantasy points once in this span. He has seven goals in his first season in MLS, but six of them have been scored at home. This round, Boyd has two road games, at Toronto and at New York. Knowing that Portland have scored two goals in 10 road games and he has only scored one of them, I wouldn’t count on Boyd earning you fantasy points this round.
Goalkeeper to Buy
Bill Hamid (D.C. United, $5.4 million) — Hamid is fourth among goalkeepers in points per game (5.7 ppg). This round, he and United host a Philadelphia Union squad that has only scored six goals in ten away games this season (0.60 GF). The Black-and-Red are trying to keep hold of the last Eastern Conference playoff spot and have shut out their last two opponents at RFK Stadium, so I don’t see a three-peat being a problem.
Goalkeeper to Get Rid of
Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas, $6.2 million) — Hartman and FCD have two away games this round against Vancouver and Real Salt Lake. The 'Caps have gone unbeaten in their last three home games against Real Salt Lake, San Jose and LA (three of the Western Conference's most dominant teams), scoring two goals in each game. On the other hand, the Earthquakes have scored the most goals not just for the season (47), but at home as well (28). So I’d stay away from Hartman this round.
Surprise of This Round
Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA, $8.4 million) — Agudelo found himself back in Chivas USA’s starting 11 last round in a 4-0 blowout to the Galaxy. He created a few chances with a little help from his newest teammate Shalrie Joseph, but was unable to finish. With Chivas USA being a better team on the road (4-2-3) than at home (3-7-2), I think Agudelo will find his old New York Red Bulls form this round against the Colorado Rapids.
Surprise of Last Round
Arne Friedrich (Chicago Fire, $6.3 million) — In Round 24, Friedrich made his first MLS point count, notching the game-winner for the Fire in a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. In addition to his first goal of the season, he registered two points for playing a full 90 minutes and three points for a defender bonus, adding his round’s fantasy total to a stellar 11 points.
Jimmy Bowers is a former MLS fantasy champion.