MLS Pre-Season Preview
Welcome to my Sorare MLS Pre-Season Preview! I am focusing on the Forwards today but I’ll cover each position throughout the week.
Be sure to click on each player name for my written analysis. And for those new to my ratings see bottom of page for detailed explanations.
Star Ratings Key:
A solid pick who should reliably bring goals. A likely golden boot contender for the season. Also chips in with a few assists.
Opening fixture calendar is fairly kind too.
My main gripe is his overall baseline contribution which is poor and without a goal he likely returns a very underwhelming total.
This makes him a high risk/high reward captaincy option and for this money I’d like a bit more reliability there.
He’s on the borderline between premium and mid-price at around 0.700 and is not cheap.
But cheap and value are not the same thing and I think he justifies the price for those assembling a higher budget team.
A severe injury kept him out of the last campaign, but his record of 28, 35, and 19 goals in his previous 3 seasons speaks for itself.
He made his first appearance in pre-season from the bench, getting no chances but little can be read into that except he is close to a return.
Could be monstrous for scoring purposes, but there is risk attached to players returning from major injuries.
He is also excruciatingly expensive at around 1.250 to 1.500.
Does have the potential to justify that for those with the cash to splash but if he doesn’t start well his price could could drop quickly, too.
Probably the MLS’s best player and doesn’t everyone know it? The historic goals and assists record is just plain to see and more detailed analysis adds little to that.
Being that obviously good sees him changing hands for an eye watering ~2 ETH right now.
There are comparable players available much cheaper, and he is not aging backwards at 32 years old either.
This cannot be called good value but for those on premium budgets who don’t mind paying through the nose for a reliable week in week out captain pick he should do the job.
I’d just say be wary of high expectations as the price can drop fast if they are not met.
They likely will be met though won’t they? He is class.
One of the MLS’s bright young things at 23 who could get a move to Europe with another good season here. And probably a senior cap for Uruguay.
Likely to be one of the strongest players in the MLS – his 9 goals in 16 last campaign was a fair reflection. And it is a surprise he did not add more than 2 assists. The chances he created deserved more.
The only drawback is that you pay a lot for it. ~1.600 the going rate which is steep. Hard to say he is not worth it for those who have cash to splash, though.
Should be a rich source of goals. Whilst he only managed 6 last season on a per minute basis he compares well to the very best strikers in the MLS like Zardes and Vela.
He can also chip in with an assist or 2 every 4-5 games.
Just 22, and could get a transfer, but likely to remain at NYFC this season at least.
Looks really good especially with NYFC having kind opening fixtures.
0.700 or so is borderline Premium/Mid-Price. Given he has the potential to be a top MLS goalscorer I think it is fair value for teams on a higher budget.
Had to check the spelling on this one about 4 times and I am still not entirely convinced I have it right. That name is like a magic-eye.
He should be a reliable scorer, with occasional assists too. Mixed opening fixtures with tough games and easy games, so he might be quite up and down early on.
Solid enough but I do feel those asking for north of ~0.700 for him right now are a bit greedy – I think there are better forwards available for this money or less. But at ~0.500 I’d consider this solid value.
Undoubtedly one of the top forwards in the MLS and with 13 goals in 18 games last time out that is no secret.
The overall contribution is not brilliant so he does need those goals to score big, but this should not be a problem, he has proven consistency over seasons.
The headache is he has only just joined pre-season training due to a visa issue. So he may not start the early games. And the first 3 matches are tough anyway.
Still, for ~.750 you are getting one of the best forwards in the League and he’s reliable.
Decent pick for a higher budget team but perhaps it is worth waiting to see if he misses the early games then trying to capitalise on any disappointment to get him a little cheaper.
Solid choice who bagged 11 goals in 20 games last term.
That was no fluke – he has the numbers to back that up. Actually, he should have added more assists with the chances he creates.
Overall contribution to the game is poor, so he will need goals. But he’s reliable on that front.
At 0.500 he’s a solid choice for the season, but the tough opening schedule is a dampener.
Brenner should get some hype, he’s an expensive transfer and a hot prospect in his native Brazil. Still just 21 and he should lead the line.
Goal potential looks strong, assist potential fairly weak. And his overall contribution is not brilliant, so he will need those goals.
Cincinnati have a lot of improving to do and the opening fixtures are tough.
I would therefore not rush to overpay for Brenner as he may flop early on particularly. But if he does get going the price rise could be significant.
If he was added to the platform and started poorly, drifting down to 0.250 or so I’d call that good business provided the underlying stats in the early games are encouraging.
Big hype, little return in his first season in the MLS with just 1 goal to his name last campaign.
A bet on Higuain is a bet on his pedigree which is considerable. And Miami are a new look side now, historic results may not mean much.
We can’t draw on pre-season because they haven’t had one, not a single game due to COVID cancellations. That, plus the tough opening schedule makes me wary of Inter Miami in general.
Around ~.600 feels steep given these factors. Yet he could be a powerhouse. I’d want to wait and see an improvement and likely want the fixture calendar to ease up first, though.
Solid player and his 7 goals and 2 assists in 19 appearances last term is a fair reflection. If anything, he deserves more assists.
Has two nice fixtures to start with, too.
Solid choice, but I think the current sell price of ~.500 is a touch steep. At 0.350 to 0.450 I’d consider it solid value, though.
33 year old Montero is a legend at the Sounders and returns to the club for his second spell.
Recent seasons have not been spectacular, either with the Whitecaps or Sporting CP. But he may be recapturing his form at the Sounders and pre-season suggests that is the case, he has been scoring for fun.
Has a battle with Bruin for a start and these two may rotate.
What I like about Montero is his big all round contribution for a Forward, meaning when he blanks he should still give us a respectable score.
Plenty of uncertainty since he has just joined but he has the pedigree and pre-season form. And if he has a good season he could be one of the top MLS players on Sorare.
The price is a little step given the risk of rotation, underperformance and age. ~.500 the best price offered right now. It could be fair, but I don’t think that price is great value.
Had a slow start last season but finished strongly and has tucked a brace away in pre-season vs Chicago too.
His overall contribution is fairly poor so holders need him scoring. His goal threat is excellent though and even when he isn’t scoring last season he is getting consistent chances.
Could be a big improver and looks great value for his ~.300. Actually he probably should be under Budget Forwards this is borderline.
New to the league so not on the platform yet – but look out for him because he could be a beast in the MLS.
He’s already been on fire in pre-season and his history as a scorer and assister is well known.
Orlando are a top side so if Pato is made available anywhere under 0.500 or so it could be good value.
Strong record last term with 7 goals and 6 assists. This is however likely something of an over performance. But not by much.
Orlando have kind fixtures early on too.
Given the very obvious goals/assists tally I think ~.450 is a bit steep and we can find similar players for far less. But he’s still a solid choice.
8 goals last term was a significant over performance above his Expected Goals.
Does get regular chances though and if he comes a regular starter as expected he could become a solid performer.
There are more exciting options but for his ~.350 or so this feels like decent value. Perhaps one to monitor rather than dive into.
Portland are a strong outfit and Mora should lead the line. In theory, should be solid and his 7 goals last term in 20 games is respectable.
His overall contribution is fairly poor though so he will need those goals to put up decent scores.
Scored in the CONCACAF Champions League last week, which breaks a long goal drought.
Could be a strong choice but he has a bit to prove and needs to show consistency.
On offer for ~0.400 right now which feels like a fair price, but I think he is one to watch rather than dive into because there are better options around.
Missed game time was his biggest issue last term with international duty for Mexico plus some injury niggles.
When fit though his goal and assist potential compares favourably to some of the best in the League.
For his ~.470 this is fair as with a consistent run he could be a top performer in the MLS, particularly given Kansas start with kind fixtures.
If you can get over the advancing years at 33 (and most on a budget have to if they want competitive teams) Quintero is a strong value choice for around ~0.300.
His 6 goals and 4 assists in 19 outings last term is a fair reflection, possibly an underperformance if anything.
And crucially, his all round contribution to the game is better than most forwards, so even if he blanks, he should still provide a reasonable points haul.
Older players obviously have resale issues but early season is often the best time to make use of strong veterans.
Chicarito (or Javier Hernandez) is coming off a miserable previous campaign where high expectations came to nothing. Injury, personal issues all figured.
That means he is trading for a cut price .250 to .350.
He is one to watch as his scoring pedigree cannot be denied. Even when blanking for the Galaxy last term he was getting plenty of chances.
Pre-season performances have been better but he is still yet to score.
He could be a big improver and if he starts well he could be worth signing up. Or he offers a high risk high reward budget option if going for him now.
Last season record is poor but he was rotated a lot at San Jose. Now he has moved he should be the starter at Austin.
Has shown over his career he can get regular chances and go on scoring sprees. He has been scoring in pre-season which bodes well.
His overall contribution is poor so without a goal he’s likely to deliver a weak score.
Starting fixtures quite tough.
Overall though, probably better than most think and he is a decent budget option.
May miss the first few games with injury but that makes him cheap.
He’s an interesting option because he should start when fit and he comes in at under 0.100 right now.
His goal threat and chance creation is good, his 4 goals and 1 assist in 18 games last time out is probably an underperformance.
Even without a goal or an assist, his baselines are not terrible for a forward since he plays quite deep.
Looks good for a budget team or as a cheap back up player. And could easily rise in price some once he takes to the field.
This is warm body territory if we are really scrounging for budget picks who should start.
His goals/assists record is poor but to be fair he had decent chances consistently last season. Could improve if Cinny do.
Intriguing 38 year old pick who is still going strong and should be the Quakes main goalscorer this season.
On a per minute basis he is up there with the better MLS strikers and his 6 goals last term is a fair reflection. With a full season he can easily get into double digits as he usually does.
The Quakes have favourable opening fixtures and Wondolowski is available for ~.200 potentially. Could be a good budget pick for the start of the season.
Not on Sorare yet but assuming he is kindly priced at ~.200 or less the goals return could be pretty solid from the 32 year old.
Is being pushed for his place by younger players but should start.
If he’s added and can be had for .250 or under I’d call this value.
Another likely starter whose main redeeming feature is the price tag at around .100.
Actually has the threat for a goal every 3 games or so based on last term where he was heavily rotated.
And in previous campaigns in 2016/17/18 he was well into double digit figures in the MLS. So could overperform his modest total last season if given consistent starts.
So not terrible if running on a really tight budget or as a backup option to cover injuries. Could over perform.
Unspectacular but reliable, Buksa gets very consistent chances and his 6 goals last term is probably an underperformance.
Also has two juicy fixtures to open the season with. And has scored in pre-season.
For around ~300 I’d call this decent value for a budget team.
Interesting potential value pick. Should start, and whilst his goals tally from last term is unspectacular, he was getting regular chances that he did not finish.
Well worth watching as if he could start to improve his finishing he could make a mockery of his ~.180 price tag.
Could be either a good value punt for a budget side, or signed as a back up option to a main forward. Whilst he sits on our bench, he may rise in value from here if he can get a goal or two.
He may be 34 but Nani is still a key player for one of the top MLS sides.
Capable of regular goal and assist contributions plus his baseline is solid so even when he blanks he should still be useful to our teams.
The opener vs Atlanta is tough but after that fixtures are kind.
A strong player available for around ~.250, fantastic value if you don’t mind the age. I’d be banking on offloading him relatively early in the season if he starts scoring big, most likely.
Bruin was lightly used last season but with a switch to a 4-4-2 and Ruidiaz coming to pre-season late he could be a good shout for early season and possibly beyond.
Bruin has struck up a very fruitful partnership in pre-season with new signing Montero that is yielding both goals and assists.
For just over ~0.100 Bruin could be a very shrewd budget pick up.
He could be the starting forward in a budget team, or a capable back up striker for our squads.
Star Ratings Key:
The strength of the player in the Sorare scoring system. This is based primarily on Adam’s detailed assessment of their real match data not SO5 scoring history which can be misleading.
Recent match data is weighted more heavily. And the fixture schedule for the next 6 games is taken into account.
A 3 star player is above average, and likely to be capable of contributing to a team trying to place high enough to win cards.
4 Stars is very strong and players are not given this rating lightly. 5 is exceptional, reserved only for the real elites.
2 Stars or less means they are weak but may still be viable for a less ambitious team trying to meet the Eth win threshold or similar.
An assessment of value based on the Ability of the player and market prices available at time of review as well as recent sell prices.
3 stars here would generally be an acceptable price to pay, with 4 or 5 stars good value or excellent value.
2 or less would generally indicate poor value.
My overall assessment based on ability and value plus all other soft factors like general desirability and trend fit beyond just raw tournament performance.
Please note that whilst the star ratings are provided for at a glance convenience I always recommend reading the text as well which provides valuable context!
And, as always, my guides are meant to narrow down targets for readers to look at rather than make their decisions for them!