By AVI CREDITOR
When we last left you, the West was dominating the East, the Los Angeles Galaxy refused to concede a conventional goal and a handful of teams were consistently jockeying for table position.
Not a whole lot has really changed since then, aside from the departure of Sacha Kljestan from the league, and the non-World Cup players who needed the rest and time off to get rejuvenated and refreshed have done so.
Columbus boasts the best matchup of the week, at home against lowly, albeit much-improved, D.C. United, and a few other matches are enticing fantasy-wise as well. Here are this week's player rankings by position:
FANTASY MLS WEEK 13 PLAYER RANKINGS
- Will Hesmer, CLB – D.C. United padded its away-goal tally right before the break, but Hesmer & Co. aren't likely to help that total grow in Columbus
- Nick Rimando, RSL – Will be between the pipes at home coming off back-to-back clean sheets
- Donovan Ricketts, LA – Toronto is extra-good at BMO Field, but Ricketts is a must-start on a weekly basis
- Kevin Hartman, DAL – Who will create for Chivas with Kljestan gone?
- Matt Reis, NE – Expected to make MLS return after recovering from injuries and has an OK home matchup with the Fire
- Jimmy Nielsen, KC – Had consecutive clean sheets prior to two-week break
- Bouna Coundoul, NY – Just one clean sheet in his last six games, but Wizards have struggled to score all season (11 goals, 12 games)
- Pat Onstad, HOU – Two-week break allowed Dynamo defense to heal and regenerate; Colorado has struggled to find consistent offense on the road
- Matt Pickens, COL – Rapids have yielded the second-fewest goals in the league, but stopping the Dynamo in Houston is never an easy task
- Kasey Keller, SEA – Has had a couple of weeks to rid himself of the yips he displayed against D.C. United, but the Sounders won't have an easy time ruining the Union's new home unveiling
- Sean Franklin, LA – His four assists lead all defenders, and the added bonus is that he spends most of his time playing midfield
- Chad Marshall, CLB – Benefited greatly from the time off and can find form that made him league Defender of the Year in Saturday night's contest
- Jamison Olave, RSL – One yellow from receiving a suspension, but until then, continue to ride the anchor of one of the league's best defensive units
- Todd Dunivant, LA – Atop the MFLS defenders leaderboard at a very affordable price
- Gregg Berhalter, LA – Becomes more important at centerback with Omar Gonzalez suspended for this week's match (yellow card accumulation)
- Robbie Russell, RSL – Right behind Olave in terms of fantasy production; Fifth overall among defenders
- Frankie Hejduk, CLB – Off the injury report and back on the pitch in time for a great chance at a clean sheet
- Heath Pearce, DAL – Hoops might be on the road, but Chivas, sans Kljestan, is about as good a matchup for an opposing defense as there is
- Leo Gonzalez, SEA – Union will be fired up, but Sounders defenders still make for a pretty decent play
- A.J. DeLaGarza, LA – Top-seven defender despite not playing every match; Should get a chance to start against TFC with Gonzalez out
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, CLB – Two weeks of rest could do wonders for Crew maestro
- Javier Morales, RSL – Another Argentine playmaker with a nice home matchup
- Eddie Gaven, CLB – Crew midfield has a definite advantage in its match this week
- Michael Stephens, LA – Doing a fantastic Landon Donovan impression (statistically, anyway) with a goal and six assists during a strong rookie campaign
- Marco Pappa, CHI – Was one of the game's hottest midfielders leading up to the World Cup break
- Dwayne De Rosario, TOR – Tough matchup, but Toronto, especially De Rosario, at home is usually a good bet
- Steve Zakuani, SEA – Typically a solid play and should find success on the flanks against Philadelphia
- Sebastien Le Toux, PHI – Matches up against former team in PPL Park Opener; Netted hat trick in Union's "other" home opener this season
- Brek Shea, DAL – Two-goal performance in his last outing; Showing signs of turning the career corner
- Shalrie Joseph, NE – The engine that drives the Revolution attack; Fire can be scored upon, especially on the road
- Joel Lindpere, NY – Facilitating attack against Wizards will be a bit simpler with Roger Espinoza in South Africa
- Jovan Kirovski, LA – Has a stellar +/- and three goals to his name
- Baggio Husidic, CHI – Developing into another threat alongside Pappa in the Fire midfield
- Ryan Smith, KC – Started to regain early-season form, and his speed on the left could create problems for Red Bulls' defense
- Chris Wondolowski, SJ – Second only to De Rosario in total goals among midfielders, but he won't have an easy time cracking RSL back line at Rio Tinto
- Alvaro Saborio, RSL – Has cooled down a bit after hot May, but is still as solid a threat in the air as there is in the league
- Fredy Montero, SEA – With the transfer window approaching, expect Montero to be at his finest
- Jeff Cunningham, DAL – Was playing better before the break and has yet to hit his goal-scoring stride; Matchup with Chivas should help him get on his way
- Kei Kamara, KC – His six non-PK goals are tops among MLS players who aren't in South Africa
- Tristan Bowen, LA – With Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle's World Cup run continuing, Bowen gets more time in the MLS spotlight
- Patrick Nyarko, CHI – Ghanaian will look to add to already-career-high assist totals (6) in favorable matchup at New England
- Brian Ching, HOU – Goals in two of his last three matches since being cut from USMNT
- Steven Lenhart, CLB – An expected multiple-goal output from the Crew should mean a nice fantasy day for Lenhart
- Juan Pablo Angel, NY – Red Bulls need veteran striker's scoring touch to keep pace with Crew atop the East standings
- Conor Casey, COL – 2009 form reappearing after two goals, assist in last three games; Not an easy matchup at Houston
- Robert Warzycha, CLB
- Jason Kreis, RSL
- Bruce Arena, LA
- Schellas Hyndman, DAL
- Dom Kinnear
- Hans Backe, NY
- Gary Smith, COL
- Carlos de los Cobos, CHI
- Peter Nowak, PHI
- Sigi Schmid, SEA
Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. Yankee Racers……………………………355 points
3. Cpt. Pancakes and Lt. Waffles……339
6. BuckyBalls FC……………………………..328
7. Miles Davis FC…………………………….326
8. Rainbow Chickens………………………318
10. West New York FC…………………….314
Who do you think is primed for a big Week 13? What's your lineup looking like?
Share your thoughts below.
How about doing a short bit every week on the manager who’s team gets the most points, or new teams to the top 25? I think that would be interesting.
Hejduk is questionable for Saturday, according to the MLS website.
don’t get me wrong I am an MLS fan, just right now it doesn’t seem very important, but I guess for Canadians its all they got
MLS… I don’t care.
Not if you are a TFC fan apparently.
DCU is much improved?
hard to care about the MLS right now
Totally biased, as a TFC fan, but I think the lack of respect you’re showing them is gonna blow up on you.