In this day and age, the only way to be a true sport is to have a fantasy league. And of course, MLS is a true sport. Last year as I grew into a soccer fan mid-season, I looked at the fantasy soccer game on MLS Soccer, but I couldn’t get my way into understanding it.
This year is a different story. The day that the 2014 fantasy signups opened, I locked down the name “Long Beach Galaxy” and went to work. Much to my surprise, there is a considerable amount of what I hope is useful information regarding fantasy soccer available.
Fantasy soccer works in that each owner is given a salary cap of $120M to spend on players. The players are given initial starting values by the fine folks at MLS. Each week after week one, each owner is typically allowed to transfer two players in to replace players the owner wishes to transfer out. Any transfers over the limit for that week costs the owner points.
However the twist to all of this is that the transfers change the value of the players. When a player is transferred on to a new team by a certain number of owners, that player’s value goes up and conversely if a player is transferred out by a certain number of owners, the player’s value goes down. If you transfer out a player whose value has gone up since you acquired him, you get to keep part of the money to add to your salary cap. So sometimes it can be advantageous to transfer out a player just to bank the appreciation in a player’s value.
Once the games start, your lineup locks and the players earn your team points. There is a whole list of things for which a player can earn points, but basically it is by scoring and preventing the opponents from scoring that get an owner fantasy points.
For the last two weeks, I have been obsessively going over various combinations of teams and approaches. Do I build up my bench and have good players across the board? Or, do I go for the superstars in the starting lineup and not spend money on the bench players? After going through at least twenty different combinations of teams, I think I have finally nailed down my week one roster. Heavily influenced by MLS Fantasy Boss, below is the week one lineup for the “Long Beach Galaxy”.
Now let’s get the games started!