There is a lot of turnover in the MLS each year, around 30%, so finding valuable new players early can be the difference a great year and the bottom of your Fantasy MLS league. Our “Players to Watch” series will try to identify a few players, from each position, that we think could be good assets to a team, or at least worth keeping your eyes on.
I started out to write this all at one time, but decided to split it into 4 parts so more players could be reviewed. So keep checking back over the next few days for the other Fantasy MLS positions. Or better yet, subscribe or Like us on Facebook.
All of the $6.0m options have the records to backup why they are the most expensive, but we think there is some great value to be had in the lower brackets. There is not a large price range between the cheap and expensive keepers, but with all of the changes teams have made this year, it should be easy to save up to $2m.
Keep Reading for player suggestions.
**Edit: Bill Hamid Added**
D.C. United- $5.0m
2012: 9 Clean Sheets, 98 Saves, 1 Own Goal, and 26 Goals Conceded
Hamid is a product of the D.C. United youth system and has been their starting keeper for the past 2 seasons. In addition to his time a D.C., Hamid has also participated in the US under 18 and 20 teams, has been called up by the USMNT, and spent a short time playing with West Brom. If he’s able to reduce the number of cards he received, he should be a good choice for anyone looking for a solid sum 6.0m keeper.
Chicago Fire – $5.0m
2012: 5 Clean Sheets, 112 Saves, 1 Penalty Save, and 40 Goals Conceded
Johnson’s history includes being a member of Generation Adidas, participation in under 20 CONCACAF, under 23 World Cup, and a call up to the USMNT roster. He’s been the starting keeper for Chicago for 2 years and had many great saves in 2012. Chicago had an above average defense last year, and Johnson finished the season at $6.0m. Definitely a steal at $5.0m in our book.
New York Red Bulls – $5.0m
2012: 3 Clean Sheets, 61 Saves, 27 Goals Conceded, Missed half of season due to injury
Meara’s debut season was off to a good start before his injury. He participated in the Reading FC youth academy, was called to join the Ireland U-21 team, and had much success in college. When that is combined with the improvements that New York has made to their defense, 2013 could be just the reboot he needs to have a great season. Not a lot of hard numbers behind him, but we feel that $5.0 is a great price for this guy.
LA Galaxy – $5.5m
2012: 2nd Backup Keeper for Tottenham Hotspur
Cudicini has ha long, and mostly successful career in the Premier League. Most of his success came from 1999-2005. Since then, injuries kept his as a backup option for Chelsea and Tottenham. Cudicini came to the MLS for a starting position and if LA gives it to him, he has the experience to be a great asset. At $5.5m, he’s not the cheapest keeper, but defiantly is still a great value and room to grow
FC Dallas – $5.5m
2012: Multiple appearances for Peru national team
Fernández’s best club year were playing for Universitario de Deportes (2005-2010) in the Peruvian first division. During that time, he not only earned a first team position, but also began to get caps from the Peru national team. Most of his experience has been with the national team, which has called him up every year since 2008. The Dallas defense performed under the league average last year, so Fernández could add a lot of experience to help shore them up. He also falls in the mid price range of $5.5m. We consider him the differential choice on this list.
So who do you plan to pick for your Fantasy MLS keepers? Post a comment and let us know or leave a question. Also, be sure to check out our Home and Away rotation chart, the last thing you want it to get 2 keepers that are both not going to play in the same game week.