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The Armband: FMLS Round 8 Captain Rankings

Adam Zdroik

Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.

After Round 6 went almost as predicted, Round 7 was always going to be a bit more difficult. While David Villa scored again (an incredible goal), none of the other big names did anything spectacular unless you were one of the rare owners at the official MLS Fantasy game to captain Bastian Schweinsteiger or Nemanja Nikolic. Here's Villa's goal, in case you somehow haven't seen it yet:

I thought the Fire had a great matchup but never considered giving any of them the armband over Villa, Bradley Wright-Phillips or even Diego Valeri, especially with all three of them at home. Even Alex was a popular option for Houston and it ended up being Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis finding the back of the net for the Dynamo.

At the least, one thing remains a constant in MLS and thatís Sporting Kansas Cityís defense, which incredibly got another clean sheet and win at Portland. Even better, Jimmy Medranda assisted and showed why heís probably the best defender in the MLS Fantasy game, mainly because heís a midfielder.

For Round 8, itís the first quick turnaround of the season with New England hosting San Jose on Wednesday, which also means a double week for both sides. And with that, it only makes sense to start with those two teams. The Revolution are the top team to back with two favorable home matches against San Jose and D.C. United. The Revs have played just two home matches this season, winning both, making the 3-0 loss at Chicago over the weekend (somewhat) irrelevant. To make matters better, neither San Jose nor D.C. have a point on the road.

Because of that, weíll start on the defensive end with Cody Cropper likely being the most sought-after goalkeeper this week. Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off last match, which means Chris Tierney should at least start Wednesday, but Antonio Mlinar Dalamea and Andrew Farrell are the safer options, as neither has missed a minute this season. Lee Nguyen is the logical top captain, and the hope is that he only played 51 minutes last match so he could be rested for a short week. The same could be said for Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara as neither played a full 90 against the Fire.

The Earthquakes also have two matches, but it will be a little harder to trust with both of those on the road, starting in New England then going down to Houston. Anibal Godoy (two goals, one assist) and Chris Wondolowski (two goals, three assists) are probably the only two players to consider for a captain, with anyone on the Revolution likely a better choice.

As for the rest, NYC FC are at home against Orlando meaning Villa and his friends are up for debate. Villa already has four goals and three assists and doesnít appear to be slowing down. Portland should get back on track against a Vancouver side that has allowed six goals in two road matches. Valeri and Fanendo Adi remain significant captain options if not must-adds for this week.

The favorable matches donít end there. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore are at home against Chicago, Romell Quioto could possibly start against San Jose, Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls host Columbus, Real Salt Lake and Atlanta should produce a few goals (Yura Movsisyan already has four this season), Romain Alessandrini is at home (vs. Seattle) and canít be stopped and Minnesota get a struggling Colorado team, meaning Kevin Molino and Christian Ramirez will again be in for solid outings.

Sporting are at Dallas this week, a team they already drew 0-0 with, so Medranda isnít that big of a stretch for the armband.
While last week was slightly difficult to decide on a captain, Round 8 provides a number of options and this could end up being the highest scoring week yet across the league. And realistically, I could put Kamara and Agudelo on my rankings, but whatís the point in listing everyone from New England?