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Suspensions: Quincy Amarikwa (CHI), Hassoun Camara (MTL), Aurélien Collin (SKC), Dan Kennedy (CHV), Zach Loyd (DAL), Michel (DAL), Paolo Tornaghi (VAN)
THREE BURNING THOUGHTS ON ROUND 9
- The most pressing issue for MLS Fantasy owners this week has been the status of FC Dallas playmaker Mauro Díaz. As of Friday morning the star midfielder had not practiced with the team and was not listed on the official injury report either. On Thursday, it was reported that Díaz would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, but Dallas said the report was false. Instead, they've officially labeled him as "day-to-day" and said that he's still undergoing further evaluations. Regardless, Díaz has already been dropped by more than 1,200 fantasy owners in the past few days. (See more on Díaz below)
- Chicago Fire striker Quincy Amarikwa is supporting a 2-0 victory for New England this weekend at Toronto, but I disagree. Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen confirmed that Designated Players Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe will be in the lineup this weekend and nearly all previously injured players have returned to full strength. If you still have Jermain Defoe on your team things may be in your favor because the Englishman "feels even stronger than he did before."
- Four teams have yet to record a clean sheet in 2014: Chivas USA, Chicago, FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers. With injuries plaguing both Chivas and Dallas, I'm not expecting either side to earn clean sheet this week, despite the fact that both will be playing in front of their home crowd. For me, this is a big game for Portland. D.C. United could be without defender Sean Franklin and forward Eddie Johnson who have been limited in practice this week and were nowhere to be found on Friday. The Timbers have dug themselves a hole and this week they need put together their best "team" performance yet.
MUST HAVE: LAMAR NEAGLE
Even if you've decided to hold onto Díaz (see below), Neagle is going to be a top option in Seattle for quite some time. They have a very favorable matchup this week at home against Philadelphia and then a DGW coming up in Round 11. Seattle's schedule isn't spectacular after that, but when Clint Dempsey leaves for the World cup in two weeks, Neagle could move up top with Martins. He's on the No. 1 team in the league, the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week after eight rounds and he's the No. 9 overall scorer in the game. And at only $7.7m, he's definitely worth the price. His price will continue to rise so get him now while he's still affordable.
DROP NOW: MAURO DÍAZ
At this point, it's unrealistic to think that Díaz will be available for this weekend's game against New York, despite head coach Oscar Pareja not officially ruling him out. Regardless, I've already let him go. His price has dropped $0.1m as of Friday, and at the rate things are going, it could very well drop again come Saturday morning. Dallas have a game May 7 at Seattle and May 10 at San Jose, so even if he does return for the DGW next round, their fixtures aren't phenomenal.
NICKS AND KNOCKS
- Mauro Díaz: Did not practice all week. It will be a miracle if he suits up vs NY.
- Ricardo Clark: Still recovering from a concussion suffered vs RBNY. Ruled out vs Chivas.
- Mauro Rosales: Limited in practice with an adductor strain. Ruled out vs Houston.
- José Gonçalves: Has not practiced since injuring his quad vs Houston on May 12.
- Leo González: Won't start vs Philadelphia, but nearing a return after sitting out last week.
JATA'S SQUAD (ROUND 9)
New York are on the road this week, but with Dallas currently suffering from numerous injuries and suspensions, it could be a game that favors the Red Bulls both offensively and defensively.
Struggling with a few last minute decisions? Not sure what to do with Mauro Díaz? Discuss in the comments below.