With the 2012 MLS season kicking off in just about a week, it’s time to make fantasy into a reality.
Over the next few days, MLSsoccer.com will break down MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager, the league’s totally revamped official salary-cap fantasy game, to help you channel your inner Bruce Arena or Sigi Schmid.
MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager — or FS:M — launched this week, and already thousands of fans are signing up and starting leagues. Obviously, they all hope to win one of the hundreds of prizes up for grabs, including a VIP trip for two to the 2013 MLS All Star Game.
FS:M requires you to sign up through your Facebook account. Don’t worry, if you don’t want your Facebook friends to see everything you are doing — like stupidly dropping Chris Wondolowski! — you can set it up that way.
But the whole point of fantasy games is to play with your friends. Bragging rights!
Once you’ve signed up for FS:M, you can create a league with your friends. You can also join a public league, such as with supporters of your MLS club or even our fantasy experts here at MLSsoccer.com.
There are two types of leagues this year, differentiated by their scoring: “Classic” or “Head-to-Head.”
In Classic, teams are ranked based on total points accumulated.
In Head-to-Head, teams within each league face off against one another each week. Whichever team has the most points in the round earns the victory — and three points in the league standings. A draw, of course, earns one point for each team.
Soccer today is changing rapidly. There are new metrics, news perspectives on how to define success and contribution. With the help of the Opta stats compiled for every MLS match, the FS:M scoring system includes several new things.
The usual aspects of any soccer fantasy point system are here (goals, assists, cards), but FS:M has many intriguing new additions.
For example, points are given to midfielders when their team keeps a clean sheet, giving credit to the defensive efforts of the midfielders. A goalkeeper receives a point for every three saves he makes.
Plus, there are attacking and defending bonuses. For example, a player receives a point for every three crosses he puts in. And a defender receives an extra point for every six “clearances, blocks, or interceptions.” (CLICK HERE to check out the complete scoring system.)
Now that you have the basics, you can start combing through the players to see who you like, who you want, and who you can afford.
Next time on the Fantasy Report: Selecting Your Squad
Jimmy Bowers’ Fantasy Report appears exclusively on MLSsoccer.com.