For the earlier games in this round, be sure to check out part 1 of this review.
Real Salt Lake 3 – Philadelphia Union 3
Both RSL and Philly were able to tap into the well of goals that escaped them in Round 1, but a series of unfortunate mistakes left both teams even at 3-3 by the end of the game. RSL started the game much better than they did against Portland and were rewarded by a great goal off a Jorales free kick. However, good positioning allowed Philly’s Aristeguieta to capitalize on two RSL miss touches and convert them into goals. Jamison Olave came up big for RSL in the 55th min and tied the game off diving header, unfortunately a few minutes later he also came up big for Philly when he scored an own goal. The final bit of bad luck was all Philly’s when a questionable foul in the box allowed RSL’s Alvaro Saborio to tie the game again off a PK.
- Javier Morales (RSL $10.5): After a slow start in Round 1, Morales came out swinging and put up the numbers that made us fall in love with him in 2014. A lot of this success was due to him being able to get involved more in the midfield with about 30 more passes than he had against Portland. His goal and assist are easy to notice results of this, but he also earned 5 bonus points from his 6 crosses, 6 assists, and 1 BCC.
- Fernando Aristeguieta (PHI $7.6): Even in my own write up I focused on RSL’s mistakes leading to allowing goals, but a lot of credit has to be given to Aristeguieta as well. There is a level of skill that a player needs to be able to put themselves into positions to take advantages of these mistakes and we’ve seen Aristeguieta do this in two games now. The reward this time was two goals.
- It would be easy to pile up on RSL right now, but I’m not going to do that. Yes, their defense struggled and made a couple of mistakes that resulted in goals, but the big picture was still positive. A lot for both sides to be happy about from this game and nothing a fantasy manager needs to overreact to.
Seattle Sounders 2 – San Jose Earthquakes 3
An early, record setting, goal by Dempsey gave the initial impression that this was going to be another Seattle blowout, but that soon changed to favor San Jose after Wondo scored off a cross from Marvell Wynne in the 13th min and later capitalized on a poor back pass by Brad Evans early in the second half to put the Quakes up by one. The momentum shifted again after San Jose’s Víctor Bernárdez was given a straight red card and Seattle tried to take advantage of being a man up, but it was San Jose’s Innocent Emeghara who scored first after jukeing Brad Evans off his feet. The final goal came from Obafemi Martins, but it was bitter sweet as Seattle lost 3-2.
- Chris Wondolowski (SJ $10.7): A standout performance in the face of a tough Seattle team is exactly what you want from your team captain, and is a very promising attribute when trying to find fantasy forwards. Wondo has a bit of a reputation for being a poacher, his goal from the Evans back pass fits into that category, but the one from Wynne’s cross was excellent. With San Jose playing Chicago next round and some big money players going on a bye soon, he could be a a great replacement.
- Brad Evans (SEA $7.5): Evans had an off game for sure. A bobbled back pass and loosing his footing while trying to defend against Emeghara are not typical of the US international. Evans is still new to the CB position so a bye week may just be what he needs to regroup.
- Seattle’s Offense: More shots, more corners, more crosses, more possession, yet it just didn’t happen for Seattle. Everyone has high hopes, but they were just off for this game.
New York City FC 2 – New England Revolution 0
Recipe: One cup of NYCFC and just a pinch for New England and blend well with David Villa. That’s basically what this game was. Villa was the clear standout in this game creating chances, cutting through defenders, and, most importantly, scoring. This does not mean that New England was without its bright spots. There were several near misses for Fagundez in the first half, and the the performance by Bobby Shuttleworth was heroic to say the least. But in the end, NYCFC was firing on all cylinders and New England did not have the answers to deal with them.
- David Villa (NYC $10.2): There’s little to say about Villa that was not obvious from his play. He was everything that managers hoped for in Round 1. The most impressive part of the game was his ability to weave through the New England defense like they were standing still. But is this just the first example of Home Villa vs Road Villa? Only time will tell.
- Chris Tierney (NE $7.4): A 3 point score did little to reflect the quality that Tierney added to New England’s offense. Over the entire game, he sent almost a dozen crosses into the box, more than the rest of his team combined, unfortunately only one was successful. Combined with Round 1, he’s up to almost 20 crosses. If a few of these start to connect, that could be a big reward for managers.
- Adam Nemec (NYC $7.4): After a quiet first half, Nemec came on strong in the second with better distribution and some good looking shots. He’s not a guy you can expect to get points like Villa, but he’s worth putting on your watch list in case he goes on a bit of a hot streak.
- Bobby Shuttleworth (NE $5.4): It might seem strange to highlight a keeper who allowed two goals, but the 7 saves that Shuttleworth racked up just shows how influential he was in keeping the score that low. He’s a quality keeper and once New England sorts out their defense, he’ll be worth considering.
- Diego Fagundez (NE $7.0): So many missed opportunities was all Fagundez left with from the NYCFC match, yet he’s still owned by close to 9% of managers. If you’re one, then you must be hoping for better things on the horizon. This may come as New England has an easier run of games, but it is a risk.
- Jose Goncalves (NE $8.5): A 2 point first game, and a -1 2nd game thanks to a red card have added up to a $0.5m drop for Goncalves. This is pretty much the definition of letdown for the 2013 MLS defender of the year.
Portland Timbers 2 – LA Galaxy 2
Portland is a team that is out to impress everyone who doubted success without two of its stars. The middle of the field became a no mans land as each team battled it out in order to setup their next attack. Under assault by the relentless Portland Midfield attack, led by Darlington Nagbe, LA was the first to crack when Rodney Wallace setup Fanendo Adi’s first goal. LA answered in the second half and a goal from Gyasi Zardes which server to re-energize the Galaxy. Portland’sdefense held strong and it looked like the Timbers would earn the 3 points when Adi scored again in the 90th minute, but Alan Gordon silenced the home crowed with his equalizer in stoppage time.
- Fanendo Adi (POR $9.2): The knack for scoring two goals seems to still be with Adi and there could be more in his future as he remains a primary target for the aggressive Portland midfield. He may not be a long term player in your team though, because there is also a worry that his inconsistency will also return so you’ll need to select the best match ups possible.
- Darlington Nagbe (POR $8.5): One assist, a couple of key passes, and all kinds of involvement in the attack. Nagbe is a driving force in the very aggressive Portland offense and should only become more deadly when Valeri and Johnson rejoin the ranks. Until then, he’s the best option for a consistent threat.
- Brian Rowe (LA $4.5): Rowe is a roller coaster of fantasy emotions. 4.5 starter, GREAT! Questionable starter, CRAP! Starts again, GREAT! Allows 2 goals, CRAP! Rowe just looks a little shaky in the goal when compared to Penedo and once the international friendlies are over, he could be back on the bench.
- Robbie Keane (LA $11.0): It’s foolish to expect goals from players like Keane every week, but we at least want them to be involved in the action. That was not the case against Portland and there were even times when you could forget Keane was even on the field. No reason to sell, especially with Oba out next week, but still not the Keane we are used to seeing.
That’s my breakdown for the second half of Round 2. What do you think? Did any players jump out at you who you think deserve to be highlighted? Mention them in the comments below, or send me a Tweet and let me know. Also, don’t forget to get involved with the get community her at MLS Fantasy Boss and over at /r/FantasyMLS.