MLS Fantasy 101: Why real-time manager substitutions are the secret to success in 2014

MLS Fantasy 101 is your entry-level course to becoming a fantasy soccer manager extraordinaire.

Fantasy or otherwise, managing a soccer team is all about making decisions: formation, player selection, style. But nothing can make a manager look like a genius or a buffoon more than 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 or break your season. While being thrifty with your bench will allow you to spend big on a star-studded starting XI, 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 top-notch players in all of your bench positions, but you need to have someone you know who earns ample playing time – even the one or two points earned for playing are better than a goose egg.


New to the 2014 version of Fantasy Soccer Manager, and common in most other fantasy sports, automatic substitutions no longer exist.

No more freebies. If you leave someone in your lineup that doesn't play, you won't get the opportunity to swap them out after the fact. Similarly, your opponent won't get training wheels, either.

Players on your bench do not score points. However, once a round has started and before a player's match has started, you may switch players using manager substitutions. Your formation will automatically change based on the players you have chosen.

Here's what you need to know:

  • You may make an unlimited number of manager substitutions during a round.
  • A player is locked in your starting lineup or as captain at the match’s listed start time. Players will lock before the ball is actually kicked off.
  • You may replace any player who has not played, with one from your bench who has not played.
  • You may change your captain, if he did not play, with a player from your team who has not played.

The game just got a lot more real. Can you handle it?

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