I’ll be adding draws to my record after last week, because that’s all there was. This puts me at 2-2-2 on the year.
My predictions may have been a bit too bold (at least the New England one), because the Timbers were playing out of their minds. The problem isn’t that New England’s attack is lacking. The issue is in the defense. This weekend, the Timbers were pounding the defense and interrupting the flow from back to front so they were unable to build any sort of rhythm. In his post-game interview Jay Heaps said something along the lines of sometimes you have to bend to the opposing attack and just weather the storm. The Revolution were bent to the point at which any normal object would have broken. After re-watching the highlights again, I’m amazed the score didn’t end 4-1. I definitely jumped the gun with their coming out party, but the Revolution attack will still be a threat, when not playing one of the best teams in the league.
As for the Sounders-Atlanta game, both sides had their chances and I would go as far as to say this was the feel of a game between two of the top teams in the league and one that would’ve looked differently had Dempsey and Almiron started. I’ll go on record right now and say Atlanta will be in the Eastern Conference Semifinals as long as their main pieces are healthy come the playoffs.[break]
Now let’s get to this week. The two matchups I’m feeling good about, that you may not be, are Chicago-Columbus and FC Dallas-Minnesota.
Chicago Rallies Behind Schweinsteiger’s World Cup Swagger to Put the Crew in Their Place On Their Way to a Club Soccer Team’s First World Cup
How many of you expected Schweinsteiger to start last week? How many of you thought it would be a good idea to put him in your fantasy lineup? Probably virtually zero. However, because of the nature of my being, I did. You know what he did for the Fire and me? He made us very very happy and I’ll be rewarding him with another spot in my Starting XI. The Fire now have no excuse to not be the powerhouse they’re striving to be. Nikolic looks to be a sufficient 9 up top for them, the midfield is beyond solid with the trio of Juninho, Dax and Schweinsteiger, and Accam is able to stretch the game for them with his pace and looks even more dangerous with Schweinsteiger in the lineup.
So what I’m saying is this prediction is less about the Crew’s inability to win and more about the Fire’s insurmountable will that is building with everyday Schweinsteiger has to influence the team. They now have a leader with a contagious amount of positive energy and desire to succeed. That presence has no price-tag in soccer.
Result: CHI 2-1 CLB
My Picks: Basitan Schweinsteiger ($9.1): I think I’m beating a dead horse now, but aside from the goal he had a pass completion bonus, ATT bonus and DEF bonus for a total of 10 points. David Accam ($9.4) looks like a player whose going to benefit greatly from Schweinsteiger’s presence and we already saw it last game when he generated 2 ATT bonuses. I like him a lot, but he is a little pricey for an unproven commodity so Schweinsteiger will be the only Fire player on my team.
As for the Crew, Meram ($9.7) seems to be the favorite option. He’s the second highest scoring fantasy player and, as you’ll see elsewhere has probably the highest expected goals on the team. There’s a little risk though, since he was subbed off at 60 min in the 2 games before his 2 goal performance this week, so you never know when that’ll happen again.
FC Dallas Feeling Vulnerable After CCL Dreams Crushed.
I’m going to wager the Loons put up 3 goals on FC Dallas. I’m also going to say they win or draw, because I just don’t see FC Dallas putting up that many with a makeshift lineup after a midweek game. I could get this one horribly wrong, but FC Dallas did lose 5-0 to a, not so hot, Sounders team after a midweek game and righted the ship immediately the next week. Maybe they’ve learned their lesson, but I actually have faith in the Loons attack.
Result: MIN 3-2 FCD
My Picks: I’m staying away from FC Dallas, because I’m just not sure what their lineup will look like. They have so much depth and attacking talent in the ranks that we could see a surprising lineup come this weekend and I don’t want to be blindsided by that.
I’ll have both Kevin Molino ($9.9) and Christian Ramirez ($8.1) in my lineup. Molino has missed one game so far, but is still third in scoring with 36 points. Ramirez is listed at only $8.1, but is now the spearhead of a Loons attack that is starting to look more and more dangerous, so I’ll gladly take a goal threat at that price.
As always please come at me in the comment section or on twitter (@tbartels12)! I’m more than happy to be your punching bag as you weep over the fact that I was right and you were wrong.