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Monday, August 8, 2011
FC Manager: USA preview -- Segment 3, Week 2 preview

By Travis Clark
Special to ESPN.com

The month of August began over the weekend, and it was a goal-fest around all of Major League Soccer.

Hot summer months, traveling long distances and packed summer months shift the onus from defense to attack, and it's a reward that can be benefited handsomely from in the coming weeks.

A total of 33 goals were scored across nine games, with only two of 18 teams failing to hit the back of the net. Expect that trend to continue this weekend, and here are a few players who stand to benefit.

Impact players

Kasey Keller, G, Seattle Sounders, 7.6 (CHV): The shutouts haven't been super frequent for Seattle, but this weekend's matchup with Chivas USA favors the Sounders, especially on their home turf.

Brad Davis, MF, Houston Dynamo, 6.8 (POR): The left foot of Brad Davis has been one of the few consistent parts of the Dynamo's roller-coaster season. Portland's defense will be ripe for the taking, and look for the Dynamo's All-Star to get an assist or two.

Fabian Espindola, F, Real Salt Lake, 7.3 (@TOR): A fiery forward for Real Salt Lake, Espindola has endured his share of ups and downs in Utah this year. A poor Toronto defense will be there for the taking this coming weekend, however, and should be a chance for Espindola to be back amongst the goals.

Sheanon Williams, D, Philadelphia Union, 6.9 (FCD): Philadelphia's feisty right back earned himself a foolish red card a couple of weeks ago, and came right back into the side after sitting out a game. He'll look to regain form and keep his head on straight against an FC Dallas team that can struggle up front at times.

Marco Pappa, MF, Chicago Fire, 7.0 (@NWY): There's no question it's been a down season in Chicago, and the Fire haven't had much reason to celebrate along the way. But the last goal he scored was against New York earlier in the year, and he should be able to give them problems again this coming weekend.

Value buys

Eric Hassli, F, Vancouver Whitecaps, 5.4 (@DCU): Hard to imagine where Vancouver would be without its designated player, Hassli. Big forwards have troubled D.C. United's defense in the past, and despite the lengthy journey, the French forward could find himself among the goals once again.

Julius James, D, Columbus Crew, 6.5 (NWE): Chad Marshall gets the hype in Columbus, but James has proved to be a tidy pickup by the Crew this past offseason. The duo should be able to grab a shutout at home against the Revolution.

Andy Najar, MF, D.C. United, 5.7 (VAN): He sat out last weekend's wild 3-3 draw against Toronto. This weekend, the 18-year-old phenom should be back in D.C.'s lineup, ready to torment a Vancouver team that has been far from defensively strong.

Drew Moor, D, Colorado Rapids, 5.5 (@SAN): A tough and tenacious defender, Moor continues to provide a solid option for Gary Smith in Colorado. A second shutout could be there for the taking as Moor and the Rapids go west to face San Jose.

Mauro Rosales, F, Seattle Sounders, 6.5 (CHV): One of the top contenders for Newcomer of the Year in MLS, Rosales scored a goal and help set one up over the weekend against Sporting KC, and a repeat performance isn't out of the question against Chivas USA.

Avoid

The L.A. Galaxy-Sporting KC game originally scheduled for Aug. 13 (this weekend) was postponed because LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is hosting Farm Aid. Be sure to send the appropriate players to the bench. … Some mid-week internationals could impact whether or not players suit up this coming weekend. Omar Cummings (F, Colorado Rapids) is traveling to China and back to play for his native Jamaica and might not see much time as a result.

Travis Clark is a fantasy soccer writer for ESPN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.