The MLS season and our €25,000 season-long game is fast approaching, with Gameweek 1 commencing on 26th February
If you want a full breakdown of how our contest works, then jump over to our full guide here. If you’re already up to speed with the contest then read on for a whole host of player picks and general strategy from MLS expert @David_Bailey8
For those new to MLS, this is the first season where 28 teams compete for the MLS Cup.
There are 2 conferences, an Eastern and a Western Conference both made up of 14 teams, with the top 7 teams from each conference going into a playoff/knockout format to then become the MLS Cup winner.
Last year’s winners were New York City FC who finished 4th in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. Note here that the Fanteam season-long contest will only cover the regular season, we’ll cook up something separate for the playoffs!
The format is much like other American sports, with MLS ever growing not only in America but across the world, with big named stars becoming more and more attracted to playing in the MLS with some finishing off their careers there.
Players like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham to name but a few all played for clubs at some point over the last few years.
This year is no exception when it comes to star names, with some of them being mentioned below for players to consider for your line ups.
There is an array of talent to pick from when choosing your starting 11 and here are some of my players to consider when building your team. I have picked players from the majority of clubs that I feel could help you fill your teams, around some of the bigger names in MLS.
These players, in my opinion, are ones to consider, alongside the well known stars.
Maxime Cripeau – 5.5m – LAFC
Carlos Coronel – 5m – New York Red Bulls
Steve Clark – 4.5m – Houston Dynamo
Alec Kann – 4.5m – FC Cincinnati
Tayvon Gray – 5.5m – New York City FC
Jack Maher – 5m – Nashville SC
Nicholas Depuy – 4.5m – LA Galaxy
Jaylin Lindsey – 4.5m – Charlotte FC
Zan Kolmanic – 5m – Austin FC
George Campbell – 4.5m – Atlanta United
Ranko Veselinovic – 4.5m – Vancouver Whitecaps
Gustavo Vallecilla – 4.5m – FC Cincinnati
Felipe Hernandez – 5m – Sporting Kansas City
Pablo Ruiz – 5m – Real Salt Lake
Frankie Amaya – 5.5m – New York Red Bulls
Hassani Dotson – 5m – Minnesota United
Kellyn Acosta – 5.5m – LAFC
Moses Nyeman – 4.5m – DC United
Paxton Pomykal – 5m – FC Dallas
Jonathan Lewis – 7.5m – Colorado Rapids
Federico Navarro – 5m – Chicago Fire
Benji Michel – 7.5m – Orlando City SC
Robbie Robinson – 6m – Inter Miami CF
Ayo Akinola – 6m – Toronto FC
Jeremy Ebobisse – 6m – San Jose Earthquakes
Julian Carranza – 6.5m – Philadelphia Union
Mason Toye – 6m – CF Montreal
Tyler Pasher – 5m – Houston Dynamo
Miguel Berry – 6.5m – Columbus Crew
STARS TO CONSIDER
Josef Martinez – 10m – Atlanta United
Xherdan Shaqiri – 9m – Chicago Fire
Gyasi Zardes – 7.5m – Columbus Crew
Carles Gil – 9.5m – New England Revolution
Gustavo Bou – 11.5m – New England Revolution
Adam Buksa – 10.5m – New England Revolution
Alejandro Pozuelo – 8m – Toronto FC
Daniel Salloi – 11.5m – Sporting Kansas City
Javier Hernandez – 10.5m – LA Galaxy
Douglas Costa – 9.5m – LA Galaxy
Carlos Vela – 11m – LAFC
Damir Kreilach – 9.5m – Real Salt Lake
Raul Ruidaiz – 11m – Seattle Sounders
Albert Rusnak – 10m – Seattle Sounders
MY TEAM SELECTION
Using some of the players above here, is my starting 11 as it stands going into the first game of the season. I will be going with a 3-4-3 formation, as the MLS is well known as being a high scoring league, with clean sheets are hard to come by usually.
Carlos Coronel (New York Red Bulls) – 5m – Conceded the joint least amount of goals last year along with Nashville in the regular season and I fancy them to be tough to beat this year also. He also kept the most clean sheets in the league.
Tayvon Gray (NYCFC) – 5.5m, Jack Maher (Nashville) – 5m and George Campbell (Atlanta) – 4.5m.
Gray is a top full back in a good team who will want to defend their title. He should create you some assist points and the odd clean sheet. Maher is the rock in Nashville’s defence which last season only saw them go down to 4 defeats in the regular season, the best in the league. Campbell asserted himself into a starting role during the season and is expected to come on again this season in an Atlanta team looking to push for the title.
Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto) – 8m, Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago) – 9m, Jonathan Lewis (Colorado) – 7.5m and Benji Michel (Orlando) – 7.5m.
Midfield is a stacked position, but I feel with the four I’ve picked here I have a good mix of wingers and creative talent, who can hopefully grab some goals on the way. The standout being Shaqiri, we all know what he can do when fit and in the MLS I expect big things from him.
Josef Martinez (Atlanta) – 10m, Jeremy Ebobisse (San Jose) – 6m and Carlos Vela (LAFC) – 11m.
Again, another position stacked in the MLS, I’ve chosen two proven goal-scorers when fit, Martinez’s record in the MLS when playing is unreal. Ebobisse has just joined San Jose to spear head their attack, as they struggled to score last season.
There is plenty of talent to pick from and I hope this write up can help you find some gems. If you have any questions about this article or anything MLS related whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact me via my twitter – @David_Bailey8
Thanks for taking the time to look through my player pool and team reveal, and let’s look forward to a great MLS season!
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