MLS Soccer Sunday is upon us, with a pair of nationally televised contests with big playoff implications. The fun kicks off on ESPN at 5 p.m ET with the Portland Timbers hosting the New York Red Bulls. As always, look for starting lineups on Twitter (@DraftKicks) as they become available – usually an hour before kickoff. So, with over $5K in guaranteed prizes to be awarded tonight, let’s jump right into my targets on this two game slate:
Adam Kwarasey – $5,600 – Portland Timbers – Kwarasey has a clean sheet in two of his last three at home. While the Red Bulls boast a solid attack, they are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Revs midweek before flying cross-country to face Portland.
Andre Blake – $5,200 – Philadelphia Union – Be sure to check starting lineups, as John McCarthy has started in net the last two games for Philly. Blake seems to be the #1, and is back from international duty with Jamaica, so he could be inserted back into the Starting XI today. Philly needs this game to stay alive for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and will need a massive game from whoever gets the nod at goalkeeper.
Others to Consider – Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls, $4,300), Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo; $4,100)
Alvas Powell – $5,000 – Portland Timbers – The Jamaican international springs forward into the attack often, with >2 crosses in each of his last 10 games. He’s also able to rattle off the occasional shot and on a short slate he’s the top play at the defender position.
Fabinho – $5,100 – Philadelphia Union – Fabinho has 7 points in his last outing without goals, assists or defensive bonus points. The deceptive back is always good for a handful of crosses and fouls drawn.
Sheanon Williams – $4,400 – Houston Dynamo – Williams has 12 crosses in his last four outings, cashing in with an assist on one of those. He has a role in the Houston attack and comes at a very playable salary.
Others to Consider – Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls; $4,500), Jack Jewsbury (Portland Timbers; $4,500), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls; $4,500)
Diego Valeri – $10,100 – Portland Timbers – Prior to being kept off the scoresheet in his last game, Valeri had an assist in three consecutive games. He picks up points in all attacking categories and tonight should be no different.
Cristian Maidana – $8,800 – Philadelphia Union – The Argentine returns from suspension at just the right time for the Union. He’s a crossing machine (24 crosses in last 5 games) and has fresh legs after watching from the bench the last two games.
Sacha Kljestan – $9,000 – New York Red Bulls – Kljestan was held in check midweek by the Revs, but has at least a goal and/or an assist in 8 of his last 10 outings. On a two game slate he can’t be ignored.
Others to Consider – Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo; $8,500), Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls; $8,600), Tranquillo Barnetta (Philadelphia Union; $5,800), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; $6,600)
Bradley Wright-Phillips – $11,900 – New York Red Bulls – BWP is the top pure goalscorer of a shallow forward pool today. The reigning Golden Boot winner has 14 goals and will continue to lead the charge as the Red Bulls make a push for the Supporters Shield.
Lucas Melano – $6,600 – Portland Timbers – Melano is averaging an impressive 15 Fantasy PPG in his last three games despite having just 1 goal and 1 assist. He had 5 shots (3 on goal) and 4 fouls drawn in his last outing, highlighting his ability to contribute across the board.
Giles Barnes – $8,400 – Houston Dynamo – Barnes isn’t scoring goals but he has been collecting fantasy points in other categories. He has at least 2 crosses + 4 fouls drawn in 5 straight games. If he’s able to add to those numbers with a goal or an assist he’s in line for a big day.
Others to Consider – CJ Sapong (Philadelphia Union; $7,600), Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers; $9,000), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo; $7,000)
Erick “Cubo” Torres – $4,900 – Houston Dynamo – Torres has underwhelmed since coming back to Major League Soccer, but i’m not giving up on him just yet. He’s a proven goalscorer, and at just $4,900 on a short slate i’ll certainly have some shares of him if he starts.Sebastian Le Toux – $6,500 – Philadelphia Union – Le Toux has 2 goals and 1 assist in his last four home games. He pops up in the right place at the right time and could be the guy to keep the Union’s playoff hopes alive.