With the new MLS season edging closer, I have been commissioned by BackPageFootball to help you pick your MLS Fantasy team. With your team virtually sorted, it is time to put the big point scorers in: the strikers.
It’s all about goals, goals and more goals for Fantasy Football strikers, so who are going to be the division’s most lethal finishers this season?
Gilberto (Toronto FC)
As an English football writer, it seems almost absurd that of all of Toronto FC’s new attacking reinforcements, I am choosing to recommend relatively obscure Brazilian Gilberto rather than world-class ex-Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe.
The signing of Gilberto for a reported $3million has somewhat slipped under the radar here in Europe, and although you will have to pay nearly three times that to put him in your team ($8.5million) Gilberto could prove a real bargain buy. At 24, he is still developing, but for his previous clubs, Gilberto had a goal record of one every two games, and his pace and direct style will cause problems for many MLS defences.
The selection of Gilberto could prove to be a real masterstroke, so I would recommend putting him in your team now! A dark horse for Golden Boot!
Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)
Selected by over a quarter of Fantasy Players, and the highest scoring attacker in last season’s competition with a massive 202 points, American (of Irish descent, one for you there BackPageFootball) Mike Magee truly made 2013 his year. In a string of outstanding displays, Magee bagged a fantastic tally of 21 goals for the Illinois based side, establishing himself as one of MLS top stars with his tenacity, flair and instinct for finishing.
A popular player for both LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, Magee really came to the fore last season for Chicago, and provided he doesn’t become too much of a marked man, expect to see a repeat of his goal tally from the previous season.
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
A goal record of 75 in 133 appearances is impressive at no matter what level you play, so it is no wonder that Chris Wondolowski is one of MLS’s most recognised strikers. A lethal finishers, “Wondo” is one of the most popular players plying his trade in MLS, and having racked up 18 appearances (with eight goals) for the American national side, Wondolowski has international level experience and nous to call upon.
Described as “a nightmare” by John Terry after the MLS All Stars vs Chelsea game in 2012, Wondolowski has the ability to trouble any defence with his tricky movement and predatory instinct. Despite only scoring 11 last season, Wondolowski has won the MLS golden boot twice and in the 2010,11 and 12 seasons scored a combined total of 61 goals. Considering his goal record, $9.5million seems very reasonable indeed for this lethal finisher.
Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew)
One of the stars of last season’s MLS, Higuain is part of the very strong Argentinian contingent playing in American’s premier football competition. The cultured attacker is a man with good footballing pedigree (boating a CV including spells with big clubs River Plate, Besiktas and Independiente) and at 29 years of age is at the peak of his powers.
With 11 goals last season, Higuain is not the most prolific, but makes up for it with his contribution elsewhere on the pitch, notably with his link up play and his assists (of which he got nine in the 2013 season). A man with the touch for the spectacular, Higuain is capable of dazzling performances, and at a premium price of $10.5million, one would hope so!
However, 13% of fantasy football players have put Higuain in their side so far, and if we can duplicate the massive 188 points he scored last season (second highest of the divisions attackers), then he will leave lots of fans very happy.
Do you agree? Who is in your team? Let me know in the comments below.
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