Well, another Major League Soccer regular season has concluded, which unfortunately means another MFLS season is in the books. I’ve profiled MFLS on this site several times now, and I wouldn’t hesitate to label it the finest fantasy soccer league in the world. There is simply no place to play fantasy soccer that I know of with more tradition and competition. Thus, I must pay my respects and give thanks to Mark Wheeler, the man who makes MFLS possible.
While MFLS saw a dip in participation this year (likely due to the proliferation of new fantasy leagues in the last couple of years), it appears poised to bounce back next year when the World Cup wakes some MLS fans from their soccer slumber. It hardly matters though because with MFLS, it is more about quality than quantity. Even if numbers are low, there is guaranteed to be 500-750 teams with dedicated veteran managers who are addicted to the game.
I know this to be a fact because I am one of those addicts. I’ve been playing for years, and my team’s name has undergone several transformations over that time. But, this year I think I have finally found a moniker I like enough to keep for the long haul: “The Laws of Lalas”. The team’s title refers to the fact that I have some of the worst GM skills in MFLS history. I don’t have the “Midas Touch”. Every player I touch tweaks a hammy and must be transferred.
I actually performed better this year than during prior campaigns, and I even managed to rise into the Fantasy League Top 100 on a couple of occasions. But, my Lalas-like strategy led me to burn through all of my transfers three months prior to season’s end. Thus, I struggled to field strong teams down the stretch and settled for 186th place overall (out of 1,516). While it’s my best finish ever and certainly nothing to scoff at, I know I could have done better.
While I lacked discipline in the Fantasy League, I made up for it with an admirable finish in the Prediction League. I utilized a new strategy in ’09, and it resulted in my first ever Top 25 finish (I got 25th). So, despite the fact I didn’t accomplish all my MFLS goals (pun intended), I did have my best season ever and – more importantly – I had tons of fun. I’d like to also thank my mates in my division, USA v World, for taking me in after the NPL disbanded.
While I didn’t hoist any hardware this season, Unclean Sheets and Hostpur did. Matt Bogan (aka Unclean Sheets) captured the coveted MFLS Fantasy League title, while Kent Kille (aka Hotspur) prevailed in the Prediction League for the second year in a row. By repeating as Prediction League winner, Kent (who is a member of my division) became the first MFLS manager to ever win back-to-back titles. Congratulations to Kent & Matt.
As for me, I am already looking forward to the 2010 season, and not just because I love the competition. I also am eager to once again experience the camaraderie MFLS fosters between hardcore MLS fans. I can think of no grassroots group of fans who love MLS more than the MFLS crowd. They are knowledgeable about the game and dedicated to the US league. The fantasy game is fun, but the forums are full of hilarious commentary. In fact…
I wouldn’t hesitate to say MFLS managers are some of the wittiest soccer fans in the world. Hopefully, all MFLS legendary managers will return next season, and some new recruits will also join the mix. I know I will be back, and hopefully I won’t burn through all my transfers as quickly next year. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I will. I couldn’t call myself “The Laws of Lalas” if I didn’t. So, I will return to MFLS to seek the glory that has thus far evaded me.
I hope to see you there.