For the second leg of the Conference Championships, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to buy players who you think will be in the MLS Cup final. The Galaxy currently boast a 3-0 aggregate lead over the Seattle Sounders, and the Houston Dynamo possess a 3-1 aggregate lead over D.C. United.
Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Sunday’s games in Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Saturday night’s action begins.
Field Player to Buy - Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy, $11.0 million)
Keane has been dominant in the playoffs, scoring four goals in LA’s last two games. And he’s done it against the Supporters’ Shield winners from San Jose and a Seattle Sounders squad that allowed MLS second-best 33 goals (0.97 GAA) in the regular season. Among forwards left in the playoff run, Keane is first in points (189), goals scored (20), assists (7), key passes (60), form (7), times in dream team (6) and points per game (5.9).
And with Seattle needing to push up their midfield and defense in order to have a chance of tying or even beating the Galaxy’s 3-0 aggregate lead, there will be a lot of holes for Keane to squeeze through. Expect Keane to have more opportunities to score and for him to burry one in the back of the net.
Field Player to Sell - Chris Pontius (D.C. United, $8.1 million)
Pontius has scored just one goal in D.C. United’s last seven games, averaging just 2.88 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he’s only knocked in two goals in their last 16 games, averaging just 3.69 points per game. In addition, Pontius has only checked in five or more fantasy points four times in this 16-game span.
And with him dealing with a groin injury and not enough support from the rest of D.C.’s starting lineup, I just don’t see any more juice coming out of Pontius this season.
Goalkeeper to Buy - Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo, $7.0 million)
Hall is first in points (194), clean sheets (13), saves (101), recoveries (436) and value season (27.7 VS) among goalkeepers who are still in the playoffs. And he’s once again going up against a D.C. team that hasn’t scored multiple goals in their last four games.
United will also be without Andy Najar and will have their two best offensive players dealing with injuries (Pontius and Dwayne DeRosario). Unless Nick DeLeon & Co. step up Saturday night, I don’t see Hall having a problem earning a shutout here and advancing the Houston Dynamo to their fourth MLS Cup in seven seasons.
Goalkeeper to Sell - Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders, $6.3 million)
Seattle’s defense is going to push up their midfield and defensive lines in order to have some kind of chance of advancing. With the firepower the Galaxy have (Keane, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, etc.) and the brilliant football they’ve been playing as of late, I just don’t see LA’s momentum dwindling down anytime soon. Chances of Gspurning and the Sounders backline earning a shutout this round seem slim to none to me.
Surprise Player This Round - Boniek García (Houston Dyamo, $7.7 million)
Against a tough D.C. United squad, he tallied the game-tying assist and even added four attacking bonuses in the first leg. If he can continue this offensive pressure on United’s backline Saturday night, Houston might get one more goal out of their Designated Player.
Surprise Player Last Round - Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy, $7.3 million)
He registered an assist, clean sheet, attacking bonus, defending bonus and played all of the Galaxy’s 90 minutes to give him the round’s second-best 11 points.