So this MLS Fantasy Soccer is hitting me with something new every week. Last week I posted how the limit on transfers from week to week was limiting my ability to swap out my lineup for a full 18-man roster that are all hitting the pitch every weekend. Now this week I learned about two new things that impact my fantasy team: one is the International friendlies that pull some people out of your squad for a week, and the other is the concept of MLS teams loaning players to teams in other leagues. I suppose for long-time fantasy sports geeks it's not much different than baseball teams sending a guy on their roster down to the minors and calling someone else up in exchange, but since I've never been much of a fantasy player and am using this MLS Fantasy to learn more about the teams and players in the league, it's all new to me.
Round 3 Review
In Round 3 I did about average for me, scoring 51 points, which was above the weekly average of 42. All of my starters actually scored positive points on the week which was good, but I only had one player that made it into the Dream Team for the week, Axel Sjoberg of the Colorado Rapids.
Round 4 Transfers and Roster
So for Round 4 I had notes next to a bunch of my players. Two of the Orlando City guys I have on my fantasy team are off for International Duty this week (Brek Shea for the US Team and Kevin Molino for Trinidad & Tobago). I also have two others from other squads on International Duty: Robbie Keane of the LA Galaxy (Ireland) and Erik Palmer-Brown of Sporting Kansas City (US Under 20s). There was also a note by Memo Rodriguez saying he was "on loan" and thus gone for the season. To make matters worse, I saw that I was limited to only 1 free transfer this week.
Since I knew the International Duty was a blip and I would want those guys back, I decided to start with my player that had been loaned out to another league. I went and did the transfer for Rodriguez, bringing in Ryan Hollingshead from FC Dallas. After I completed that transfer, I saw I still had one free transfer left, so I'm thankful there's enough intelligence built into the fantasy game to not punish you for having to swap out someone that is not playing in MLS because their club decided to ship them off somewhere on loan. I then started looking at the "dead wood" on my roster--those being the players that have not seen the pitch at all in 2015 and getting rid of them. That meant going to my bench. So I cut Greg Cochrane of the Chicago Fire and brought in Michael Harrington from the Colorado Rapids to replace him. He's been playing weekly.
I then wondered if the Fantasy manager would give me free transfers for the players on International Duty and briefly considered swapping them out, but then I thought better of it. After next week I may want to bring them all back, and with only one or two weekly transfer slots, it could take a few weeks to recover from doing something rash. So I just moved Shea, Molino, Keane, and Palmer-Brown to the bench and swapped in some other guys in their place.
So for Round 4, this is how my roster looks:
Goalkeeper: Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
Defenders: Micahel Harrington (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Larentowics (Chicago Fire), and Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids)
Midfielders: Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas), Jose Villareal (LA Galaxy), Kaka (Orlando City SC), Mix Diskerud (NYCFC), and Servando Carrasco (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Kevin Mwanga (Orlando City SC) and Fernando Aristeguieta (Philadelphia Union)
Now I know some of those guys I have active haven't seen the pitch all season, namely Mwanga, and I'm not sure he'll figure into Coach Heath's plans this week, even with the limited roster. But all those guys I have on International Duty this week are making me cobble together whatever I can with duct tape and chewing gum and hope it works out for me.
How is your fantasy MLS team doing? Were you hit hard by the International Duty call-ups as well?