After a vacation-related hiatus over the midweek games, I'm coming to you from Falls Church, Virginia, writing this on a Monday night as the fourth blackout in as many nights in our DC neighborhood completes its 8th hour. This round, FC DURSKI was the leader with 68 points, despite starting an absent captain Jack McInerney. Federico Higuain (CLB, $9.6M) led with 14 points due to scoring 7 points as vice captain. Lee Nguyen (NE, $8.2M) assisted on two goals en route to 10 points, and A.J. DeLaGarza (LA, $5.4M) chipped in with a clean sheet and 8 points. There were no changes among the top 9 teams overall, so SGV Galaxy still leads.
Vancouver's Brad Knighton ($5.0M) made 7 saves and kept a clean sheet on the way to 11 points. D.C. United's Joe Willis ($4.9M) scored 10 points, and Tally Hall (HOU, $5.8M) scored 9 points to take the overall positional scoring lead from Nick Rimando.
Houston defenders comprise the top three scorers. Jermaine Taylor ($5.3M) assisted on a goal and kept a clean sheet to help score 14 points. Eric Brunner and Warren Creavalle (both $4.5M) each scored 9 points. Ethan White ($4.2M) scored 8 points for DCU, James Riley ($4.5M) and Daniel Woolard ($3.9M) scored 7, Taylor Kemp ($4.3M) scored 6, and Alain Rochat ($5.1M) showed up for 1 point.
Lee Nguyen's 10 points were enough for first among midfielders. Three players tied for 2nd with 9 points -- Bernardo Anor (CLB, $4.5M), and Galaxy duo Hector Jimenez ($5.5M) and Marcelo Sarvas ($7.9M). For United, John Thorrington ($5.3M) led with 4 points, while Chris Pontius ($8.1M), Sainey Nyassi and Perry Kitchen (both $5.6M) all scored 3 points, and Kyle Porter ($4.8M) scored 1.
Four forwards scored 7 points to lead all at the position -- Higuain, Kenny Miller (VAN, $7.8M), Robbie Keane (LA, $10.7M), and Saer Sene ($8.3M). D.C.'s Carlos Ruiz ($7.8M) scored 2 points, and Lionard Pajoy ($7.6M) scored 1.
Three teams are on bye this week (COL, CLB, DCU). If you can afford Jimmy Nielsen (SKC, $5.8M, 85 points), he's a good goalkeeping bet as Kansas City host Toronto. In defense, Chivas' (I know!) Gabriel Farfan ($4.7M, 39 points) has scored 19 points in his last 3 games and is @Philadelphia. Among midfielders, Chicago's Dilly Duka ($5.9M, 42 points) is @Vancouver and is a good budget buy, as he's scored 20 points in 3 matches. Lastly at forward, nobody's really put together a streak of good games recently, so I'm rolling the dice with the sort of pricey Kei Kamara (SKC, $9.3M, 35 points). They're playing Toronto at home. You could do worse.