MLS Players Love Fantasy Football (The Other Kind)

The 2022 NFL season kicks off this Thursday to delight fans everywhere, especially those (of us) who play fantasy football. Millions will feel the usual highs and lows of fantasy football, including players in Major League Soccer.

In many MLS locker rooms, fantasy football is a huge problem. Like, a really big deal.

“I’m a professional fantasy football player,” said the Houston Dynamo goalkeeper. Michael Nelson, who also serves as the team’s fictional football commissioner. “It gets really hot. Guys go into the recruiting process, week after week, trash talking in the locker room, arguing about trades…it’s all.”

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ESPN spoke with players from various MLS teams about their fantasy football leagues, and although there are some teams that don’t have an organized league – “that’s very sad,” the DC United midfielder said. Russell Canoz Those who enjoy being active.

Across the board, most teams have a 12-team league, 0.5 PPR (point per reception). Ironically, the vast majority of the league’s commissioners are goalkeepers.

“The smart guys on the team usually take over, so I’m not surprised,” said the New England Revolution goalkeeper. Earl Edwards Jr..

The process for joining a fantasy league is usually open to those interested, unless the Seattle Sounders.

“You should be voted in our league,” said Saunders striker. Will Bruen. “If someone moves from Seattle, that place will open, but you have to apply. This year we have two places open. One year, we had people submit resumes, and it was really funny.”

Edwards Jr was sure that his fellow goalkeeper Matt Turner He will join the Revs’ fantasy league for the 2021 season, but after returning from winning the Gold Cup last summer with the US men’s national team (and has since moved from New England to join Arsenal), Turner’s plans have changed.

“Matt ditched us last year,” Edwards said sarcastically. “He’s only been on a team with the national team players, so if you want to put that out there, that would be great.” “We thought he wasn’t bought into fantasy football, but come find out a few weeks into the season he was in one of the national team leagues.”

The conspiracies of the guard and rotten chicken wings

Once the league is organized, the next order of business is a draft pick for teams. This is where things can get hairy.

Take the Revs’ 2021 Draft. Edwards serves as a league commissioner, and used the “closest to the pin” golf tournament to determine the draw order – using the Edwards wedge. Edwards himself was victorious, sparking outrage among his teammates.

Skeptical Edwards said, “They knew the rules early on; they can’t dispute the results after the fact. That’s on them.”

Meanwhile, in 2019, Djimi Traore found out the hard way of what happens if you skip the Sounders draft.

“When Djemmy was a member of the coaching staff, he ended up getting a last minute excuse not to be on the draft and had the first pick. He said, ‘Put me on automatic recruiting.’ That was the year Andrew Luck made a late retirement. From the start of the season, so we made him take luck with his first pick since he was bailed out at the last minute, Bruin said.

Nashville SC takes fantasy football very seriously, so drafting is a big job. Just don’t do what jack maher did last year in Dan Lovitzs draft party.

“I had a food serve me, and Jack wasn’t paying attention,” Lovitz said. “He brought 100 dry chicken wings which were bad and no one ate them. He had to leave them at my house…get them from a taco restaurant!”

To their credit, Nashville has come up with some rather ingenious ways to determine the draft order.

“We found an old horse race that had 12 horses and reruns were available. I checked the race, got the names of the horses, didn’t look at the odds and the results, put them in a random generator and assigned a horse to each player,” the Nashville commissioner and goalkeeper said. Joe Willis.

Once the NFL season starts, the banter in the locker room rises a bit.

The Dynamo defender said: “Everyone goes into the dressing room and talks about a deal they’re trying to do, a win that just happened. There’s always fantasy talk about football when the season starts.” Tim Parker.

“The daily conversations are great in terms of news, matches, injuries.. they create a positive distraction for team culture,” Kanoz said.

Teams just need to be careful that this doesn’t carry over into the daily preparations for play.

“In the capital one year Felipe Martins He was trying to convince everyone to agree to trade with Donovan Pines. I think it was frustrating because the players said no, and that was an hour before the game warm-up,” the current FC Dallas man recalls. Paul Areola.

Build bonds with teammates from the outside

Fantasy football is also an opportunity for young people from abroad to learn more about American sports culture. Brazilian Joao Bol In Seattle he became a fantasy football fanatic, the Swedish defender Adam Lundqvist In Houston, you can’t get enough of it, Ghanaian Emmanuel Boateng From Revs Take Patriots Boot Camp to Get Insight and Vancouver Whitecaps’ Julian Gressel He even does my part with his siblings back home in Germany.

But with this fantasy season approaching, the most interesting player from outside may be the Dutch goalkeeper for FC Dallas Martin Pace. New to the US, Paes breaks into fantasy football, although he doesn’t get much help from his teammates.

“Since I came here, I’ve wanted to learn all American sports. I don’t understand the rules very well, but I love to compete,” said Paes. “My teammates don’t help me because I compete with them, so there are friends who live in an apartment complex who help me.”

Pace soon learned who imagined himself in the locker room at FC Dallas as the best fantasy player.

paxton bomical “He’s a guy who takes a lot of care in himself when it comes to his fantasy football team, so I’m curious if he can meet his own expectations,” said Paes.

If Pace can make it and win the FC Dallas League in his first year, he will join the list of legendary MLS fantasy football moments.

Michael Parkhurst had a perfect 2017 season with Atlanta United, while last year in Houston, Nelson rebounded from 0-5 to win the league.

“I’m not saying it was an inside job,” said Parker, a skeptical, “but I think there’s something to look at…maybe a committee should be formed.”

I’m finally done. 5K, Waffle House, or Stand up?

Don’t forget the punishments for the men who end up doing it in the end. For example, don’t be surprised if you see an FC Dallas player doing the 5K next spring in full uniform.

However, when it comes to last place, Nashville takes it to another level.

“The first year, you had to sit in a Waffle House for 18 hours and could cut an hour for every waffle you ate. The loser that year ended up eating 10 waffles and only had to stay there for six hours…No,” Willis said. I want to name names, but he’s a center back with a blonde ponytail.”

It doesn’t take long to know he’s going to be a USMNT advocate Walker Zimmerman.

“Last year’s loser will be performing 5-7 minutes of stand-up comedy at a local evening open here soon,” Willis added.

Once the MLS season is over, a group text message keeps the trash talk the same, but the real fun is having everyone in the locker room. Fantasy football is the perfect antidote to a long and grueling season.

“It’s a fun competition outside of football,” Bruin said. “It brings players together. You connect and you make your mind off if things are not going well, or you make it better if things are going well.”

So, as you experience the ups and downs of your fantasy football league this fall, you can perhaps take solace in the fact that some of your favorite MLS players are facing the exact same thing.