Friday, March 20, 2009

du Nord 2009 MLS Preseason Predictions

These predictions were originally posted at Bunky County

In past years people have asked me to contribute preseason predictions, at which I have failed so miserably that I picked Columbus to finish at the bottom of the East last season. So I thought, Why not go for again? I am that big of a fool. But at least this year I will try a new route. I simply want to list what I think each team needs to do to win it all! From there I will deduce which teams have the best chance to: 1. Win the Cup, 2. Make the playoffs, 3. Fight for their life, or 4. Fall flat on their face.

Chicago Fire:
They need those 4 or 5 still fairly young and supposedly talented players to all have strong seasons. I am talking about Chris Rolfe, Justin Mapp, Calen Carr, Dasan Robinson and Bakary Soumare. The rest will take care of itself. It could be magical.

Chivas USA:
One word will do it all - Health. OK, they need some real goalkeeping too. But without Galindo, Eskandarian and Razov staying on the field for the majority of the season they won't get it done. The Union Ultras deserve some help from their team on the field.

Colorado Rapids:
They, surprisingly, have a lot of talent on paper. The D is a question, but they could actually make some waves this season. I know what you’re thinking. But I’m serious. The spine of a team is the key most of the time, and this squad has Pickens, Gibbs, Mastroeni & Casey up the middle. You have to admit that they have potential.

Columbus Crew:
Complacency is their only enemy. And they lost their very successful/inspirational coach. But this team has everything it takes to repeat. No doubt about it. And it would be really nice to see them fill those stands for every game. Maximum Nordecke.

FC Dallas:
The team has all these young guys who look to have talent, but who will lead them. (It's sure not the front office. Oof.) Are any of them really ready to breakout? FCD is gonna need that to happen, and probably from more than one of em.

DC United:
They need to improve from last season on their goalkeeping, the defensive line, midfield play, consistent goal scoring, and depth off the bench. Otherwise they are good to go. So who will replace Tommy Soehn?

Houston Dynamo:
They can deny it all they want, but they were over confident last season in the semifinals at home against New York. They Madoff-ed themselves. And they have not found the forward they still need so badly. To me they also got taken to the cleaners by TFC in the DeRo deal. I am not counting them out, but they need help in all areas of the field, either from midseason signings or current guys stepping up, to return to total glory.

Kansas City Wizards:
They have a lot of veterans and a decent attack, but they were terrible on the road last year. So that’s it - win on the road, have good success. (And let’s hope they break ground on a permanent home field.)

Los Angeles Galaxy:
They have more than enough offense to go around, now they have to find a way to stop getting scored on constantly. I know for a fact that a forward line of me and my Mom could get at least one past last years defenders. And then there is the lunacy of the way the whole organization is run. Can they build a buffer for the players?

New England Revolution:
For the 3rd year in a row they lose a key component and don't go get a replacement. (Dempsey after ‘06, Noonan after ‘07 & Parkhurst after ‘08). I don't know how they are going to make this thing work. As much as I love Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston, they are both a year older and more injured than ever. Frankly, they need a miracle.

Red Bull New York:
To me they are the greatest mystery team this year. Last year they brought in all those supposed great players in midseason and they all flopped. Yet they somehow made it to the final. Amazing feat! I doubt they can do it again, but who knows. Osorio just seems to find a way to make it right. Defense is definitely their black hole.

Real Salt Lake:
They still didn't go out and find that goal scoring machine to take them over the top. They need a version of 2002 & 2003 Carlos Ruiz. They would be unstoppable then.

San Jose Earthquakes:
They were pretty decent last year for an expansion team, but I don't see where they got any better for this season. Who is going to score all the goals? Huckleberry can't do it all. And their 2nd best player Ronnie O’B was run out of town. (How big of a jag-off must a talented player be to keep getting the boot from every team?)

Seattle Sounders FC:
With so many things going right off the field I see that other prognosticators around the country forgot to actually look at the roster. Not strong at all. They definitely need much better defenders if they want to do some damage.

Toronto FC:
No excuses now. Well, except for that still-lousy defense. Are you kidding me? They are on season 3 and still not fixed their biggest problem from season 1. Yes, the attack is better than ever, but go ask LA how that worked out for them in ‘08.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Conclusion-

Frolicking with the Angels (2):

Standing at the Pearly Gates (3):
New York
Salt Lake

Navigating Purgatory (5):
Kansas City
New England

Dancing with Lucifer’s Minions (5):
Los Angeles
San Jose


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, can I have some of what you're smoking? No offense, but those are some bold calls, especially at the bottom.

One tip when looking at DCU (since that's the side I can speak best for) - look at how they're building on '07, not '08. It's a better view of what's happening there. Your list of needed improvements have all been pretty well met compared to '08, but that doesn't say much.

10:21 PM  

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