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Monday Mailbag: Stadium talk, free agency, Sandoval starting, Fantasy MLS, and the diamond

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Daniel James Cross (‏@danieljcross) asks: After the weird-looking Avaya Stadium making its debut, is the RioT the best soccer specific stadium in MLS?

Well, we're awfully biased, but yes. Obviously.

Seriously, let's go through the list.

Rio Tinto Stadium: It's great. We love it there.

Avaya Stadium: It looks weird.

BBVA: It's too hot.

BMO: It does have that cool view, but you also get to watch a team that can't make the playoffs. It's a scratch.

Crew Stadium: They had a scoreboard catch fire once. Seriously.

PPL Park: Bridges are neat. It's up there.

Red Bull Arena: People in New York say nobody wants to go to New Jersey. Are they right? I don't know, I've never been to either.

Saputo Stadium: It's alright, I guess.

Providence Park: It's a renovated baseball stadium. It's fine, but they put away fans in the teeny-tiny upper corner with an awful view. Negative points.

Sporting Park: It gets awfully cold on December 7. Negative points for that.

StubHub Center: Yeah, no thanks.

Toyota Park (the Chicago one): Yeah, it's great if you want a draw.

Toyota Stadium (the Dallas one): Meh.


Ron Kendall asks ... So on the new CBA Free agent rule. Does a player have to be with the same club for 8 years to be eligible for free agency? Or just 8 years in the league?

It's eight years in the league, which isn't so bad — although our players who meet that or will soon meet that have played plenty of those years here, so that's cool. (—Matt)

Arthur Felter (@arthurfelter) asks ... Given that Big Dev is our only target forward behind Sabo, should we be shopping for another one?

Yes, Big Dev is our only other true number nine, other than Sabo of course. RSL has other options, however. Take for instance Sebastian Jaime, while he is know for playing on the wings, he has also played up top while in Chile. RSL also saw him play a similar role while Sabo was injured. So if Jamie gets put in the target center role, who fills out the wings? Well the Claret-and-Cobalt have a plethora of options out-wide with Jordan Allen, Sebastian Saucedo, and possibly having Gil move out-wide. So to be blunt Arthur, I do don't think that RSL will be on the market for any more target men. (—Weston)

Cameron Fowler asks ... Would you start Schuler in fantasy vs. TFC (with the international absences)?

Schuler is always a good option to have in your starting lineup. With his price you cannot afford to keep him on the bench, but RSL has struggled defensively this year since changing to the new formation. I have Tony Beltran and Demar Phillips on my team because of their offensive production; I am not betting on to many clean sheets until later in the season. That being said, if you have Schuler, then you should use him, but if you don't then I wouldn't go out to get him at his price. (—Weston)

Jerrad Pullum (@jpullum31) asks ... Could we possibly see RSL revert to the diamond for the TFC match due to international call ups? Or who will fill in the 4-3-3?

This is on oft asked question it seems this year, but Jeff Cassar seems committed to the 4-3-3. So I do not expect RSL to utilize the diamond 4-4-2. So to fill the formation, we will likely see Big Dev slot in up top for Sabo, Luke Mulholland for Gil, and Attinella for Rimando. If Devon does not slot in up top, Jamie could also take that role and Jordan Allen could get his first start out-wide. (—Weston)