One Week Away, Let The Fantasy Leagues BeginBy: Ben | March 3rd, 2012
Though most of us will never get far past managing our son’s rec league, entering an MLS fantasy league can help us all channel our inner Sigi Schmid. Luckily, there are countless free MLS fantasy games available online, each with its own nuances and flavors.
MLS offers their own, called MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager. Connecting through facebook, points are given for both the usual reasons (goals, assists, playing time, etc) and some crafty ones. Midfielders are awarded points when their team keeps a clean sheet (a not to their defensive efforts), goalies see a reward for every three saves they make, and players can get attacking or defending “bonuses” for knocking in a string of crosses or making a strong defensive tackle. The game can be played in a “head to head” league, where teams face of one on one in simulated games each week, or in “Classic” mode, where teams are ranked based on accumulated score.
A favorite of many MLS fans ins Major Fantasy Soccer League. Now in its 17th season, it offers both public and private leagues, with enough graphs and spreadsheets to make any math nerd’s mouth water. It may not be quite as pretty as others, but it’s logic is simple: put 11 players on a field, get points based on individual and team performance, and add. It will take a lot of effort to find success in this game, given that its ranks are composed mainly of die- hard fans willing to not forget about their team after a week, but victory here secures respect among MLS supporters.
Both games run on a salary cap as opposed to a draft, meaning that players are each worth a certain “salary”, and that the manager must then select a team whose total payroll falls under the limit. This prevents teams from becoming too inflated with starts, or trading on a whim. An advantage with the MLS sponsored game, though, is the hundreds of prizes up for grabs, including a VIP trip for two to the 2013 MLS All Star Game.
I won’t lie to you: I gave up on my fantasy team, the Tempe Tantrum, after two weeks. Don’t follow my lead; and MLS fantasy team is a great way to more deeply enjoy the league as a whole, and is a quick way to become much more knowledgeable about players from all corners. And the bragging rights you could win are pretty sweet.
Get to work.