With Andrew Wiebe (@andrew_wiebe) away covering the Gold Cup for MLSsoccer.com, Jason Saghini (@JasonSaghini) takes you through all your need-to-know material for Round 22 alone in this week's episode of Starting Lineup (above).
Jason went over a few of the key points I've discussed below, and with our advice, you should be able to make well informed decisions regarding your MLS Fantasy team before the transfer deadline hits tomorrow night (July 17, 8:45 pm ET).
Here are my key points heading into MLS Fantasy Round 22...
1. Is Marco Di Vaio expected to play this weekend against FC Dallas?
Earlier Tuesday, FutbolMLS.com reported that Marco Di Vaio is currently in Italy for family reasons. The Italian striker is expected to return in time Saturday's game at home against FC Dallas, but it's certainly no guarantee. If he doesn't return, it would be the first time all season Di Vaio will have gone more than two games without scoring a goal. He has 11 goals in 2013 and nine of them have come at home.
2. Pete Chambers (@chamberspete) asks: Is Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik a good option this week?
Yes, Joe Bendik is a legitimate option this week. Here's why;
- Using him will allow you to field three players from both New England and Colorado
- He's one of five goalkeepers who currently leads his team in points
- He's averaging 4.3 points/game when playing away from home
- He's averaging 5.5 points/game in his last four matches
- He's averaging 7.5 points/game in his last two away matches.
- He's ranks ninth among keepers in Recoveries (198)
- Chivas USA have failed to score at least one goal in nine games this season
- Four of those scoreless games came at home (StubHub Center)
I agree with Jason that Clint Irwin ($5.0m) and Bobby Shuttleworth ($5.2m) are better options, but if you can't afford them, Bendik ($4.5m) is the way to go. This is likely going to be the only time I recommend picking up a Toronto goalkeeper the rest of the season.
3. Michael Hixon (@Hixon94) asks: What's the status on Robbie Keane's injury?
Keane was on the way to playing his sixth consecutive 90-minute game, but an injury forced him off the field in the 79th minute of last weekend's match against Portland. Initial diagnosis is an aggravated hip flexor, but a timetable for his return has not yet been established. It's too early in the week to predict what his status will be for Saturday's match against Vancouver, but in any case I've already dropped him from my team and replaced him with Thierry Henry. I'm expecting Bruce Arena to hold the All-Star forward out at least one week as a precaution, regardless of how quick he recovers.
4. Is Dillon Powers at risk of being benched this week?
Currently, the Colorado Rapids are dominating the Transfers IN category for Round 22, and the player leading it all is rookie sensation Powers. With Martín Rivero out due to injury Powers has stepped up nicely, leading the Colorado midfield with 76 total points.
The problem for MLS Fantasy owners betting on him this week is the return of Rivero. As beat writer Chris Bianchi reports below, Rivero should be in the gameday 18 on Wednesday. With Nathan Sturgis and Hendry Thomas both solidifying their roles in midfield, Powers could end up being the odd man out. Hopefully, for those investing in Powers, that doesn't anytime soon.
Rivero practiced all week. Guess is he's in 18 tomorrow, could start. #Rapids— Chris Bianchi (@Rapids_News) July 16, 2013
That does it for this week's Q&A. As always, tweet your questions to @MLSFantasy. Good luck!