A feature of the first Champion America weekend was the monstrous 5-0 win from Argentina’s River Plate. Some of their players racked up big scores and it was a good reminder that the Champion America tournament is more than just about the MLS.
Whilst a bunch of South American Leagues to worry about as well as the MLS might seem daunting to some, it’s not so bad. There are only 4 main clubs here that are actually added to Sorare!
So let’s have a look at these teams to see how much of a threat they are to MLS players. And whether any of them can help us with our Champion America squads.
At the end we’ll briefly think about the strategy behind all this.
Remember that each player is clickable to open up the analysis and there is a section at the end to explain what my Star Ratings mean.
Star Ratings Key:
Let’s start with an impressive player. De La Cruz is a busy central midfielder that also offers threat and assist potential. We generally like this!
He doesn’t even really need a goal, so strong is his general involvement in play.
Most weeks, 60 or even 70 is a reasonable expectation with no goal or assist, and 80’s and 90’s are very possible every 2-3 games when he does get something.
Selling for 0.500 or so, he isn’t cheap. But given this reliable strength plus his age at 23 with his links to big European clubs… it’s one of those where you are paying for quality.
And there is a reason for that higher price – players with high averages are often very obvious and hard to find value in. The match data does however tell us that he is likely a little better than even his impressive SO5 average suggests.
I would go for this if I had a bigger budget and a long term view. Shorter term has a few issues which I’ll cover in Strategy at the end of the article.
Did miss the game at the weekend with injury – not clear how serious that is.
Solid goalscorer who managed a perfect 100 at the weekend but this is a product of that huge River Plate 5-0 win rather than a consistent level.
1 goal in 2 games is a reasonable expectation, with pretty poor totals when he doesn’t get that goal.
A cheap-ish way to fill that expensive Forward slot at around 0.335 but this kind of quality is available in the MLS for this money.
Managed a huge score of 90 at the weekend with 3 assists but that is not something we will be getting every week, those kinds of numbers might appear once a season if we are lucky!
But overall his threat and assist potential is solid. This is one where the SO5 scoring history looks a fair reflection – I’d expect 40-45 most weeks and then every 3rd or 4th week a spike to 70-90 when he pops off.
In tournament terms we may be looking for better than that but he is around .350 to .400 which is reasonable, especially as he has longer term value as a 21 year old often linked with a move to Europe. Probably better for longer term holders, this one.
This is a good fit for Sorare. Very strong threat and assist potential for a full back. A tendency to give the ball away is expensive for his baselines, though.
But 45-50 is still a reasonable expectation when he doesn’t score or assist.
Solid stuff that can deliver big peaks and for under .150 this is good value. Although you can find this sort of thing in the MLS.
Potential ultra value competitive option as he is 35 and extremely unattractive profile wise.
Until you get to his very reliable 60 or so points per game which is very competitive for .0072. Such reliable 60-70 pointers with a more attractive profile often go for .500+.
Also has a long contract to 2023 so reasonable chance of him being around longer than his years suggest.
Are we going to find a value GK here? Not bloody likely at this point. It’s a bit late in this season cycle and a bit too obvious a strategy.
Still, very solid keeper here comparable to the best in the MLS and at .475 or so that is a bit under what you’d pay in the MLS.
However, there is a reason for that as the South American leagues have a long break soon as I’ll discuss more below.
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata
Hard to find much to get excited about at this club.
But there is a solid pick here, his 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 is no accident, he has the threat and creativity to support that.
Under .100 now and that is cheap for a competitive player yet the impending season end makes it a tough one to go for.
Club Santos Laguna
Gorriaran is impressive.
He’s just very consistent and should be churning out reliable 50-70’s with some decent spikes even higher along the way.
He is a lot like De La Cruz above in this regard. Great involvement and very strong goal and assist potential for a central midfielder, a goal or assist every 2-3 games is likely. Quality.
His season is over though with injury and it is unlikely we will be seeing him back until mid-July.
However, with a longer term view, he is well worth his .400 and perhaps given the injury someone might accept a bid even lower.
If so, and I had a bigger budget and don’t need all my players out on the pitch, this would seem a strong longer term choice.
Another injured player who could be a value long term pick up for when he should return in July.
Good threat and assist potential for midfield. Strong overall contribution. Much better than his .130 price tag if you are willing to wait.
Reasonable keeper although recently Santos have been leaky and shipping a lot of chances.
His historic S05 record looks better than he has been certainly in the last 5-6 games.
Apart from “Because goalkeeper” I am not sure why people are listing him for north of .500 as for this money or close to it you can get better options even in the MLS, a league with much longer to run.
CSyD Atlas de Guadalajara
Some of us are desperate to fill that GK slot given the insane prices and Vargas is a solid pick who can compare to the best MLS keepers.
Plus he’s only .310 which is around half what you’d pay in the MLS.
So again, this would be a viable option between the sticks for pure tournament purposes but as I’ll discuss more below, there are reasons why he is cheap.
Other than that, again, tough to find much of interest at Atlas.
River Plate’s 5-0 exhibition in the opening Champion America weekend is probably an overperformance that makes the South American threat to MLS players look a bit worse than it really is.
There are some reasonable options here, but the limited players available plus the impending season end makes them hard to love right now.
They will continue until May so will be around for another 3-4 weeks but then are on a break of around 6 weeks until mid-July. So this isn’t a huge gap like it is between now and the start of the next European seasons.
But if, like me, you’ve set your sights on being competitive without spending a huge sum of cash, we need our players on the pitch not on the beach.
If however I had a wider budget and wanted to hoard some good players who will likely be good for later, there are some options here. Notably De La Cruz and Gorriaran who are strong scorers with desirable profiles too. And that 6 week gap is not too long to wait. The season ending soon could make it a good chance to pick them up for a longer hold.
A big takeaway from this though is that if you just want to focus on the MLS I think that is fine and you don’t need to fear missing out. There isn’t incredible quality and value here in South America that you can’t find in the MLS for a similar price with a bit of effort.
I would however be thinking about using Leagues like this if able to prepare further in advance. Perhaps in 4-5 weeks time we may want to revisit these Leagues with the start of next season in mind.
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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!