So, you know, there are times when I really do wonder why I do fantasy sports. I am knowledgeable about soccer, but really…I don’t know why I do it. I don’t care if people take my suggestions or not. When all is said and done, I guess I just do this for me. (This is my way of making an excuse for my low scores each week. So, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing. But still. I don’t see anyone else doing predictions.)
For those of your who have never done a fantasy season before, you may be wondering what happens with players who represent their countries when they’re called up. Well, this is the first week of the season where it’ll happen, and it is not the last.
It’s an interesting, and usually frustrating, game of Guess Who’s Playing during those weeks. Despite my own slight researching and asking around, I never know exactly when players depart for the national games, nor when they come back. It varies.
This week, the US National Team will play Canada in Winnepeg on May 8. From what I understand (and that’s very little) players will compete with their clubs on May 3 before departing for national team duty. They should (*should*) be back with their squads for May 10 matches, but that is always up in the air due to injury, travel, rest, etc.
The age-old question then comes: do you risk loading spots for double-gamers (WNY, SBFC, FCKC) with WNT players when they’ll be gone for at least one of those games? Go with all players who haven’t been allocated? It’s really up to you. I’m doing a mix: I’m risking a few high-point positions (forwards, mainly) for national teamers Wambach and Rodriguez, because if they do contribute to their clubs, at least I’ll have some kind of points. For me, there aren’t many other options.
That being said, this will be a big week for new or relatively unknown players to step up for their clubs and make something happen. Every club in the past has had to deal with marquee players missing from their lineups, but only a few have been able to show that they can handle it. This will be the first time for many players to step onto the field, and you can bet they’re going to want to make an impression on coaches. Don’t be surprised if there are players you didn’t know suddenly step up to score some goals. That’s the beauty of a pro league, after all! Discovering the next Shannon Boxx, the next Becky Sauerbrunn.
For your reference when choosing a roster this week:
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Nikki Marshall (Portland Thorns FC), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)
Top Four Point Leaders in each position for Week 3:
Goalkeepers: H. Solo (SEA, 32 pts), N. Barnhart (FCKC, 17.5 pts), N. Angerer (13 pts), A. Harris (WAS, 12 pts)
Defenders: T. Huster (WAS, 20.5 pts), K. Fletcher (SEA, 18 pts), S. Cox (SEA, 16 pts), L. Barnes (SEA, 15.5 pts)
Midfielders: L. Sanderson (BOS (28.5), K. Little (SEA, 26 pts), L. Holiday (FCKC, 21.5 pts), A. Long (POR, 15 pts)
Forwards: J. McDonald (POR, 28 pts), B. Goebel (SEA, 20.5), A. Rodriguez (FCKC, 20 pts), N. Kawasumi (SEA, 19 pts)
FC Lake Placid: Week 3 Team (*denotes captain, #denotes allocated, ~denotes vice-captain)
Points Earned: 146
Week 3 standing: 234
Overall Standing: 101
Goalkeeper: H. Solo#* (SEA)
Defenders: N. Washington (HOU), K. Fletcher (SEA), C. Foord (SBFC)
Midfielders: L. Holiday# (FCKC), L. Chalupny (CHI), D. Matheson# (WAS), K. Little (SEA)
Forwards: M. Rapinoe# (SEA), A. Rodriguez# (FCKC), E. Masar (HOU)
Fantasy Shots GROUP
WEEK 3 LEADERBOARD
1. Leave it on the field – 186.00 pts
2. Women Playing Soccer – 182.50 pts
3. East Coast Gulls – 162.50 pts
4. Canton Cardinals – 149.50 pts
5. FC Lake Placid – 146.00 pts
6. VfL Gringenfuss – 102.00 pts
7. Mana from Heaven – 89.00 pts
1. Canton Cardinals – 328.00 pts
2. Leave it on the field – 308.00 pts
3. East Coast Gulls – 291.00 pts
4. FC Lake Placid – 275.50 pts
5. Women Playing Soccer – 242.50 pts
6. Mana from Heaven – 242.00 pts
7. VfL Gringenfuss – 238.00 pts
Week 4 Schedule:
WAS vs SRFC – Sat 6:30pm
WNYF vs PTFC – Sat 7:00pm
SBFC vs BOS – Sat 7:00pm
HOU vs FCKC – Sat 7:00pm
WNYF vs FCKC – Wed 7:00pm
SBFC vs CRS – Wed 7:00pm
match times listed in EDT
Picks for Week 4 (*denotes captain/~denotes vice-captain/#denotes allocated player)
FC Lake Placid Fantasy team
Goalkeeper: N. Barnhart#* (FCKC)
No call-up for Barnie this week, and before this week, I wouldn’t have put her in my lineup. But FCKC has looked far better in their last two games than their first two games, suggesting good things for the future. A national team-quality goalkeeper on your roster for two games may not go amiss.
WATCH LIST: B. Cameron (SBFC)
Cameron will likely get the start without Loyden in goal, so she may be a good one to have. She’s also playing two games.
Defenders: K. Fletcher (SEA), B. Taylor (WNY), L. Robinson (FCKC)
Taylor may be my most sure bet here. Two games, an attacking presence and a solid defender. Robinson also falls into that category, though she’s been my sub for a few weeks. Fletcher is a fairly good bet (in my mind).
WATCH LIST: O. Ohale (HOU)
I would probably have Ohale on my roster if I hadn’t decided to switch up my lineup. We’ll see what happens.
Midfielders: A. Long (POR), H. O’Reilly# (BOS), L. Holiday# (FCKC), K. Little (SEA), K. Freels (SBFC),
The offense this week is where you’ll find my risks: those WNTers who have to report for national team duty after games on Saturday. All my midfield (so far…I’ll probably change things up at least once) are those without double games. Long has been too active to ignore anymore, though I always hold my breath with her because of fouls. O’Reilly hasn’t graced my roster yet, and even now it may be a risk since she hasn’t really been contributing as far as points go…but watching her play, I can’t help but put her on. She’s so dangerous. Chalupny has been quiet, and quite honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to see her play yet. Still, maybe she can do something this week. Little will be one of Seattle’s keys this week, and even though she’ll only have one game, I’m willing to risk it.
WATCH LIST: V. Losada (WNY), L. Chalupny (CHI)
Losada is one who I’m toying with the idea of swapping her out with Chalupny, just due to the fact that she has double games. If any players get switched around, it’ll likely be Losada for Chalupny.
Forwards: A. Wambach# (WNY), J. McDonald (POR)
Saturday marks Wambach’s first game with the Flash since breaking an orbital bone with the national team. Look for her to come out with a storm. Kerr and McDonald will be my boosters, as Kerr has double games and will likely be the one to perform without Wambach on Wednesday. She’s been quiet, though. This may not pay off.
WATCH LIST: L. DeVanna (BOS), A. Rodriguez (FCKC)
DeVanna has been disappointingly unremarkable thus far this season. I have faith in her, but so far, to no avail. Rodriguez, on the other hand, has shown that she is back. One game this week, but perhaps worth the risk?