MLS Fantasy 101: Why substitutions are secrets to success continues our multi-part series to help the novice fantasy soccer player get into the game and start playing MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager, our exclusive season-long fantasy game. Contributor Schuyler Redpath, one of the alltime best MLS fantasy players, will walk you through the game, from the basics of building a team to optimizing your squad selection to creating a league.

Part IV: Substitutions


Oh, the trials and tribulations of being the gaffer. Fantasy or otherwise, managing a soccer team is all about making decisions: formation, player selection, style. But probably the one thing that makes a manager look like a genius or a buffoon is how he or she chooses to make substitutions.

Just as in a real game, the way you manage the bench of your MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager squad could ultimately make the difference between a trip to the All-Star Game and a trip to the couch. While I pointed out earlier in the week that it pays to be thrifty with your bench, you also need to ensure you have solid reinforcements on hand in the event that a starter is ruled out. This doesn't mean you need to keep a top-notch player on the bench. You just need to have someone you know who earns ample playing time -- even the one point earned for playing is better than a goose egg.


Brand new to the 2013 FS:M game, "manager substitutions" allow you more flexibility to make alterations during a round. After all matches on a single day have finished and before the next matches start, you can do several things:

  • Replace any player who has not played, with one from your bench whose team is yet to play.
  • Change your Captain (if he did not play), with a player from your squad whose team is yet to play.

An unlimited number of manager substitutions can be made up; however, you can't make manager substitutions after games on the last day of the round. In other words, retro-substituting isn't allowed. 

A coulpe of notes on mid-round manager substitutions and Captain changes:

  1. They cannot be cancelled once confirmed.
  2. If a manager substitution or Captain change is made, then no automatic substitutions or Vice-Captain changes will take place on your team that round.


So what is an "automatic substitution"?

An automatic substitution is like a gift from the game. Basically, if one of your starters doesn't end up playing in a round -- a last-minute scratch or maybe you forgot to make a substitution -- the game will automatically replace that player with one of your bench players, provided the bench player actually played. This will give you points that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

If your goalkeeper doesn't see the field during a round, then the game will substitute in your replacement goalkeeper, if they played in the round, and you will get the points awarded to the replacement.

If any of your outfield players play no part in the round, then the game will try to substitute an inactive player for one of your replacements. This is done by replacing them with your highest-priority substitute who actually played in the round. You can change your substitution priorities on the "My Team" page.

So, in summary, understanding the substitution system and working it to your advantage can really help you get points when others might lag behind.


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