After a fabulous opening “practice” round, the real competition in MLS starts. Use our guide to find out how teams and players did in GW1, and to shortlist the players for game week 2.
In our leagues there was a great start from Midnightrunner and Gallow, although sadly for Gallow he lost to Midnight in an epic H2H battle!
Opening Weekend Challenge Review
And all started with the Portland Timbers trashing the new boys Minnesota United. Adi and Valeri had a brace each but the opener was scored by Olum in 14th minute. The consolation goal came from Ramirez in the 79th minute, if that matters. Score: 5-1.
Columbus Crew started well with a goal from Finlay assisted from Meram. That reminded us the dismal season Chicago Fire had last year. In the second half they looked much more organised and in the 73rd minute Accam brought that precious point for the guest. Score: 1-1.
It was a dull first half when LA Galaxy hosted FC Dallas. Two minutes into the second half and the visitors took the lead with a goal from Urruti. That didn’t last long and six minutes later Dos Santos equalised via penalty. The winning goal arrived in the 69 minutes from Acosta assisted by Lamah. Score: 1-2.
We can clearly say that the man of the match was Nick Rimando who saved Real Salt Lake from what finished in the end goalless draw against Toronto FC. The guests tried hard but the only highlight was the missed penalty by Giovinco in the first half. Toronto missed few great opportunities in the second half and left with just a points. Score: 0-0.
Another good defensive game was played by Colorado Rapids welcoming New England Revolution at home. The first half went almost unnoticed but in the second one Badji produced the winning goal in the 52nd minute. It was an outstanding work from McMath who had his sixth shutout playing for injured Howard. Score: 1-0.
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) March 6, 2017
It wasn’t the game expected by D.C. United as they struggled against Sporting Kansas City at home. It was obvious from the start that injured Luciano Acosta was a great miss for the host. Another great goalkeeping performance was produced by both Bill Hamid and Tim Melia. United almost had it in the 61st minute with the Nick Deleon’s effort but was blocked by Tim. The two teams ended with a point each. Score: 0-0.
The new Houston Dynamo is here and showed the champions Seattle Sounders that they mean business this time around. Torres opened the scoring in the 21st minute and that was doubled by Quioto in the 42nd minute. The only response came from Clint Dempsey in the second half who played for a first time in five months after a heart problem. It was only the first game but the Dynamos made their statement. Score 2-1.
Another revived looking team was San Jose Earthquakes who won their opening game against Montreal Impact. The only goal which turned to be the winner was scored by Anibal Godoy. The host was aggressive in attack from the very beginning and the three new guys Jungwirth, Lima and Marco Urena put up a promising display. Score: 1-0.
Even with just one goal Orlando City left struggling New York City FC empty handed. They were dominating the game from the very start. As expected Larin scored in 15th minute and that was the winner for the host. NYCFC put up some good efforts in the later stages but it wasn’t enough to get even a point. Score: 1-0.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 6, 2017
It was a good first half for the new boys from Atlanta United when Asad opened the scoring sheet. All that changed in the second half when Royer equalised in the 76th minute for New York Red Bulls. The host would have been happy with a point but things didn’t work well. The young Spurs player Anton Walker entered the game in the 81st minute and was quick to score in his own net. That was a gift for the visitors and a nightmare for Walker who ruined the host opening game. Score: 1-2.
We ended the opening round with a rather boring game in which Vancouver Whitecaps settle for a goalless draw against Philadelphia Union. The new striker Montero and newly acquired Shear entered the game in the 59th minute. Both looked good in what they were doing but it wasn’t their night. The visitors showed a great defensive display and departed with a point. Score: 0-0.
Gameweek 2 Preview
Chicago Fire vs Real Salt lake
Unlikely to be a clean sheet for either team.
Chicago showed us that they are no longer the fire dumpster of the last season. A draw away to Columbus was a good achievement in the opener. Four new players made their debut with Conner, Bava, McCarty and Nikolic. Only Juninho was missing as he served red card suspension. Accam proved to be a good value at $9.5m. I can see future for Dax McCarty with his new team.
Real couldn’t do much at home last week but the defence was impressive. Beckerman who is marked with a knee injury played the full 90 minutes. We didn’t get much from Plata and Movsisyan so I think I will give them a miss for this game. The new boy Rusnak had a good start and he is worth the punt if Plata can do more.
New England Revolution vs Orlando City SC
It looks like the Revs will remain travel sick as they lost their opening away game. It was a dismal performance from both Agudelo and K. Kamara; and once again the defence was awful; and if that wasn’t enough, Nguyen was forced out with an injury. Lots to be desired and I will stay away the Revs for now.
Orlando made themselves proud by taking away the three points at home and leaving NYCFC with nothing. They didn’t seem to miss Molino. The new boys Spector and Toia looked impressive in defence. The duet of Larin and Barnes didn’t miss the chance; a duo worth considering against the shaky Revs. Kaká won’t play this week.
New York Red Bulls vs Colorado Rapids
Could go either way as the defensive away team look to box out the wing-play focused home team.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) March 6, 2017
The Bulls had a great start despite they had to travel to Vancouver and play in the CONCAF quarterfinals only a couple of days earlier. It was interesting to see how will they cope without their core player Dax McCarty, who moved to Chicago. That wasn’t a problem for Royer at only $7.5m, assisted by the magician Kljestan. Still no Gashi.
The Rapids continued their campaign as they left it last year. Another clean sheet for McMath, Watts and Sjoberg as expected. I am glad I had Badji and at only 6.5 he looks to be a great value player. There is no need to mention that most weeks you will need to have at least one Colorado defender.
Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC
Philadelphia looked a revived team (they were kinda’ mediocre last year). The defenders Onyewu, Marquez and Rosenberry looked impressive and their price tags are not bad. The new English boy Jay Simpson looked quite promising (at $7.0m). Another new signing Haris Medunjanin could be a new star.
The Canadians didn’t meet the expectations, and that missed penalty from “the Atomic Ant” added to the misery. Will Toronto get back on their feet? Probably because this week they opponent is not a team who plays at altitude. I will keep hoping that Gio will eventually make up for the lost PK. I might go for Zavaleta who looked good and is only $5.0m. Chorley thinks this will be a Toronto clean sheet, you heard it here first!
Montreal Impact vs Seattle Sounders FC
The Impacts didn’t have a great start. I don’t think it was due to the loss of Drogba because, let’s face it, he was pants in the MLS. Quite simply, it’s hard when you have a man sent off. Looking forward, the Impact usually do well and Donadel looked fine for someone who is $6.5m.
Apart from the goal by Captain America, the Sounders looked hopeless in the first half against the newly revamped Houston. Are you brave enough to pick a player from the reigning champions? I am not convinced. Give it a little more time before trying Dempsey.
Houston Dynamo vs Columbus Crew SC
Finally Cubo scored and Romell Quioto marked his debut with a goal. Alex who had a good season last time had an assist. I think there is a future in this team and a punt or two might be good.
The Crew didn’t look very convincing to me in the opener, despite creating a lot of chances and controlling possession. Yes, Finley reminded us how good he is but maybe I was disappointed by the injured-but-playing Ola Kamara, who I expected to do better. Crew had five new players starting but it might take some time for them to adapt. This will be a crucial game for them to show us their intentions, will they be lingering down the bottom with newly improved Fire or will they cut off the glories start of Houston? Questions to be answered soon.
Cubo Torres! It's been a long time coming but he's finally got his goal! 1-0 Houston! pic.twitter.com/ECnFTm7J3s
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) March 5, 2017
Sporting Kansas City vs FC Dallas
As Sporting failed to deliver in their first game we wonder can they surprise Dallas. The usual suspects Failhaber and Dwyer were close to scoring but it didn’t happen. All credits to Melia and co for their excellent defending. I think Medranda and Opara at $5.0m can be trusted for now, especially as Medranda is an OOP player. Benny is a dark horse and can explode at any time.
Dallas just reminded us what is to be a top team. After playing in the CONCAF two days earlier they were strong enough to take the win. They didn’t need their injured talisman Diaz to do the job. Urruti and Acosta didn’t fail to impress, Urruti in particular – a forward picking up defensive points! The way they played I think they have a good chance against what seems to be a shaky Kansas.
San Jose Earthquakes vs Vancouver Whitecaps
It was a good start for the Quakes. Godoy ($7.0m) had a game of his life, but he is more likely to score 5 than 15. The new boys Lima and Jungwirth left a good impression. Overall the team looked steady and I don’t expect them to fight with Houston for the bottom place in the West like in the last season. A good chance of a clean sheet this week.
If nothing else the Caps can be proud of their defence. It looked like the old style Ousted is back. The only trouble with them is that are always peppered with injuries. If you like to gamble I will put my bet on Montero and Manneh, but in truth I think a SJE clean sheet is likely.
New York City FC vs D.C. United
The Blue boys didn’t have the start they expected. They dominated the opening game but left empty handed. Still David Villa and his 23 goals last year can’t be ignored. There is something special with new signing Alexander Ring which I think will explode soon. Of course for the more adventurous there is Pirlo or Moralez, but in truth Villa is the only option for your team.
Somehow United looked quite disappointing at home after their record from last year. They had work hard for that point. Still Hamid, Birnbaum and Kemp did the job well. DeLeon and Jeffrey had their chances but it didn’t happen on the night. I don’t know if Nyarko can justify his price tag but certainly there was something in him.
Minnesota United FC vs Atlanta United FC
It will be an interesting game with two brand new teams fighting.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 6, 2017
Despite the bad luck with that own goal from Walker, Atlanta looked good. Focus on the wingers, in particular, Asad.
Well, the new boys in town Minnesota tried to find their feet on the MLS grounds but it didn’t work this time. The Loons showed some enthusiasm, but cannot defend. The talents of Ramirez, Venegas and Molino are still to be explored.
LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers
It wasn’t what we expected from the Galaxy we know at home. A goal from Dos Santos was much welcomed for many managers as they went for him. But the LA fairytale ended there. That doesn’t go the same for Rowe who was a popular pick as well. The team has a second chance at home against raving Timbers and it will be interesting to see how that will involve. I am still optimistic with Lledget.
Was Timbers lucky to get the newcomers at home or they are the new kids on the block? Caleb Porter’s boys were very impressive throughout the game. After the modest start from Olum the oldies Valeri and Adi couldn’t have enough in the second half. Vytas marked his debut in style and Blanco was impressive. The state LA are at moment I wouldn’t hesitate to get a Portland player.
Deadline: 11.03.17 at 2PM EST- 7PM GMT
Best of luck to all Fantasy Football First Managers!