So MLS starts this week. You’re making sure you’re MLS Fantasy team is ready to go, right?
I wasn’t entirely sure that the season would ever come. It feels like it’s been forever preseason. Someone write the song: “Forever preseason where we’re all stuck, umm, sneezin’.” Someone else write the song.
So it’s still kind of preseason, but our next match is the 2017 home and season opener against MLS Cup runners-up Toronto FC! Who was most exciting during preseason for RSL?
5: Luis Silva
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve seen from Silva since his return. It’s no secret that I think he’s got real contributions to make to RSL. He’s shown versatility as a player. He’s demonstrated experience on the field. With the changes to the roster, he has the chance to be a bridge between the youngsters and the veterans. He can slot into either group and I’m anticipating good things.
4: José Hernández
The RSL academy product and former UCLA man brings exceptional talent to RSL’s ranks. He made a strong case for his inclusion in the first team in his preseason matches. He may make some appearances off the bench throughout the season, but watch his development. RSL looks to have a plan for the future and I really think Hernández fits into that plan.
3: Ricardo Velazco
Who earned his promotion? Yeah. Velazco did. And he’s shown us exactly why throughout his preseason minutes. There’s a young spunk in his step that brings up the tempo of the entire attacking contingent. To be sitting behind players like Plata, Movsisyan, and Rusnák will mean he has models to emulate and rivals to best. Hopefully he’ll get his rotational chances to show what he can do against the top talent in MLS.
2: Joao Plata
Plata looks excited and he plays hungry, even in preseason. Where some players have looked a bit sleepy, Plata has been out there busting his tookus game in and out. His fitness looks to be just where it should be. His ball skills have improved. His free kicks are meteoric strikes of annihilation. Sorry dinosaurs, too soon? The energy and pace that he brings to our game are unparalleled.
Joao Plata with the powerful free kick #Golazo for #RSL to make it 1-1 vs #PTFC. Great hit! #PORvRSL #MLS pic.twitter.com/afwNFGWJmP— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) February 10, 2017
1: Jordan Allen
It’s been said, but that right wing is Jordan Allen’s until it isn’t anymore. He’s shown throughout preseason why he should be starting in that spot. He’s dynamic, connects with teammates, and puts himself into dangerous positions. He knocked in some beautiful goals. I’ve got fingers and toes crossed that his performance translates into the regular season.
With chemistry, fitness, and season form developing, we should see some strong contributions from him over the season. Will he have a breakout season? Yes. Well. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not prescient. But he’s being asked for a solid, consistent season. I’d say hope for double-digit aggregate goals and assists. The potential is there for more, but what we can pull for most is continuity in his development trajectory. That would be excellent.