Yay! It's the Return of MLS Fantasy Fútbol! Oh, how I adore fantasy fútbol, if for no other reason than it gives me a chance to boss the players around on the computer screen. You know that scene in SpaceBalls where Dark Helmet is playing with his Princess Vespa action figure? Yes, if only I had my own MLS players' action figures, so I could put on little fantasy plays and saying things like, "And now Princess Landon, I have you in my clutches, to have my wicked way with you, the way I want to. [In high voice
] No, no, go away, I hate you! And yet... I find you strangely attractive." Yeah, MLS Fantasy Fútbol is like that except not so silly.
Last year I had a fairly satisfying fantasy season. I was consistenly third in my little grouping, and I had the great luck at the start of the season of acquiring Troy Perkins cheaply, Troy Perkins who at the beginning of last season was merely the back-up guy for DC United and ended up being MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Talk about your fantasy dollar coups. I gave Troy a pass this season, as he's now the top-priced guy. So here's the lineup of The Bouncing Soles (named for The Bouncing Souls
, whose song "Olé!!" is the BEST SOCCER SONG EVER!! WHOOOOOOO! Go find it on iTunes):
Goalkeeper: RSL's Nick Rimando. He's always been a favorite keeper of mine, and last season I was torn when he sat out most of the season due to a foot injury, which let Troy rock the house. So even though I'm sad that DC sent him west, I think he's bona fide for RSL and will give them a huge hand to get them out of the rankings gutter. Dare I suspect that this will be a good year for Salt Lake? Yes, yes, I think I dare. I'm officially calling off my dislike for Salt Lake. After all, there are other teams for me to sneer at, and who will remain being sneered at no matter how many former USMNT guys they recruit. Hmph.
Defenders: Frankie Hejduk, Facundo Erpen, Alex Yi and Orlando Pérez. I know, no suprise there with Frankie, who I just adore. I bought him at the beginning of last season and had to, sadly, sell him because of his torn ACL that took him out for the whole season, no to mention the World Cup. So he's back, he's signed on with the Crew for more years, and he's going to be The Guy for Columbus ... if he doesn't get hurt again. And yes, I got Erpen again, even though by the end of last season he was really pissing me off. But like Frankie, he's a defender who scores goals, and I can't argue with that. Yi and Pérez were wild cards for me. I know Yi played only a few times for Dallas last season, but Pérez played quite a bit for Chivas, so I'm hoping some good things will come from them this year. I've decided, also, as you can tell, to call off the fatwa on Dallas. As far as regional teams go, the Wizards are my guys, but Dallas ain't so bad. I'm letting 'em on my team.
Midfielders: Christian Gómez, Sacha Kljestan, Adrian Serioux and Jack Jewsbury. I splashed out on Gómez, just because I think he rocks. In fact, I'm pretty happy with this entire Mid lineup. They're all good players, I'm under the impression that they're getting some time on the pitch this year.
Strikers: Davy Arnaud and Alecko Eskandarian. Again, no suprise that I'd buy Alecko, right? Although I'm a little leery of where he's at. FC Toronto -- untested, unknown, so my favorite guy might end up killing my whole team. Hmmm, I think I'll rethink making him captain just yet. Davy Arnaud is a stalwart player, good to have on a team.
I know, I know, no real superstars on the team yet. I was playing with the idea of trading a few, but contest be darned, most of these guys are the dolls that I want to play with. So this is how we start.
In other news:
AP has actually gone to the trouble of writing some stories here
about the start of the 2007 MLS season. Highlights: (other than Beckham) all games will be televised this year (yay!) and seven of the 13 teams have soccer-specific stadiums. I guess that means no MLStv this year, which was great for me since I still don't have the digital channels needed on my network to get Fox Sports or EPSN in Español. But oh well, I'll have my Thursday nights on EPSN2.