This round in Fantasy Soccer will be a little different. Players will be handed an unusual scenario, in that three weeks will be combined into one round.
For the next two weeks, there will only be one game played in each week. This week, the New England Revolution host the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium while the Vancouver Whitecaps will host the Houston Dynamo next week at BC Place. After that, the 2012 MLS season will be back in full swing with nine games. Here is my prediction of this round’s Best XI, heavy on players who are doing double duty.
Eric Hassli (Vancouver Whitecaps, $9.9 million) - Even though Vancouver’s first-ever Designated Player has come off the bench four of the last six games, Hassli should be back in the starting XI for good. With two home games this round against the Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids, look for him to add to his two goals and three assists this season.
Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire, $9.5 million) - The Ghanaian international has been quiet since scoring three goals in his first five games of the season. This round, Oduro and the “Men in Red” travel to New England to take on the Revolution and host the New York Red Bulls. The former VCU Ram should have no problem increasing his tally of his four goals and one assist on the season.
Saer Sene (New England Revolution, $8.0 million) - With quite a resemblance to fellow Frenchman Djibril Cissé, the 25-year-old scores like him, too, with seven goals and two assists in his MLS Newcomer of the Year campaign.
Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo, $9.4 million) - The two-time MLS Cup champion and his Orange Crush are on a four game winning streak in which he’s contributed one goal and two assists. Look for him to add on to his two goals and two assists of the season as the Dynamo travel to Vancouver before hosting FC Dallas.
Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution, $9.4 million) - Scoring eight goals last season, Joseph hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations yet this season, scoring just one goal and distributing three assists. However, with a 3-1-1 home record and two home games this round against the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew, look for Joseph to get back on track.
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City, $9.8 million) - The Maryland Terrapin product is second in the league in assists with seven. Even though Sporting KC only have one game this round, it’s at home against league-worst Toronto FC who have given up 21 goals.
Patrick Nyarko (Chicago Fire, $8.0 million) - The 2008 MLS SuperDraft selection has one goal and two assists this season. With two games this round against the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls, look for the Ghanaian international to earn more points.
Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City, $7.6 million) - The onetime RCD Mallorca product has already evened the amount of goals he scored last season (three). Going up against a Toronto FC squad that has only scored eight goals this season, look for him to get his fifth clean sheet of the season.
Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake, $7.0 million) - The two-time Parade All-American has been a key success to RSL’s five clean sheets this season, not to mention tallying two assists as well. This round, RSL travel to the Home Depot Center to take on Chivas USA, who’ve only scored nine goals all season.
Lee Young-Pyo (Vancouver Whitecaps, $7.0 million) - Playing in his sixth country in his twelve year career, the South Korean has helped the Whitecaps backline earn six clean sheets this season. With two home games this week against the Houston Dynamo and Colorado Rapids, lucky number seven seems near.
Joe Cannon (Vancouver Whitecaps, $5.7 million) - Tied with Sporting Kansas City’s Jimmy Nielsen for most shutouts in the league (five), the 2002 and 2004 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year has two important games this round against two teams (Houston Dynamo and Colorado Rapids) who combined have scored 32 goals in 35 games (0.91 G/gm).