Friday, March 09, 2012

du Nord MLS 2012 Preseason Predictions


Never before have I gone this far with making MLS preseason predictions, but this year I got caught up in the fervor and decided to stroke my own ego by acting like I know what I am talking.

Many other sites have gone into great depth describing the offseason transactions and the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each team. But for me I tried to boil it down to 1 or 2 sentences on how I feel about the team at this moment in time and where I think they might be headed. A big crap shoot to say the least.

And of course fans of about 1/3 of the teams will be really unhappy with me, which I can live with. Hell I would like nothing better than to eat a little crow on your behalf because your team was a big surprise. After all, that is the fun in it.

I have grouped the teams in small bunches inside one big table and then laid out my projected order of finish in each conference. Finally I diagramed the playoffs and the eventual MLS Cup winner.

Here we go:

Top Dog
1 LA Galaxy - All that experience and fire power, and just 1 big centerback from being the perfect killing machine.
2 Seattle Sounders FC - Fiery leaders, cool finishers, reinforced defense, but a question mark at goalkeeper.
Hot Dog
3 New York Red Bulls - As much if not more talent as anyone, but still those mental question marks hang over them, and no known goalkeeper.
4 Real Salt Lake - A strong nucleus in all three areas of the field and a desire to make up for last years injury riddled season.
Stadium Dog
5 Sporting Kansas City - Strong and deep in almost every position, but questions about who will lead and who will score consistently.
6 Portland Timbers - Building piece by piece with some potential stars in the lineup and a fiery head coach to drive them on to be the seasons biggest surprise.
7 Houston Dynamo - A solid core of players are all back and yet what they need more than anything else is still goalscorers.
8 FC Toronto - Having improved in many areas of the field as last season wore on, now they need a few more players to stay healthy especially in their vulnerable defense and a big season (by their terrible standards) is possible.
9 FC Dallas - It seems like a lot of their depth has gone away and many of their young guys have not grown into serious pros yet. Plus the loss of some starting players does not seem to have been addressed fully.
10 Vancouver Whitecaps FC - They have a chance to have the best attack in the whole league, but the defense is what will allow them to succeed or cause them to fail.
Street Dog
11 Chicago Fire SC - Came on strong last year once they cleaned out all the dead wood, but big question still exists in the forward line.
12 DC United - It looks like they have filled several of their holes on the roster, but its hard to forget the giant flopped they pulled off late last season.
13 Colorado Rapids - A new look as a coup took out the head coach and team president, so can they forget about all of that quickly and rebuild a few vital areas of the team?
14 Columbus Crew - One of the stranger teams in the league where you almost can't quite figure out how they got into the playoffs the past two seasons. But you can't write them off until they do it to themselves.
15 Philadelphia Union - Senior leadership almost completely walked out the door this offseason leaving a lot of young kids with plenty of available minutes to fill, but can they do it?
16 San Jose Earthquakes - Many say that they have made significant additions to this team, but I am not going to believe it until I see it, and neither should you unless you are die hard Quakes fans.
Tired Dog
17 New England Revolution - Kind of starting over, with a few real quality players, but without the amenities that the big teams have by a long shot. Doing it on the cheap is not going to get it done even with new blood in charge.
18 CD Chivas USA - A real mess, and the team leadership does not appear to be helping, which is even evident these days at the mothership in Guadalajara too.
19 Montreal Impact - Expansion team blues, and they haven't done anything to change the losing formula that only Seattle recently has broken through.

1 New York
2 Kansas City
3 Houston
4 Toronto
5 Chicago
New England

1 LA
2 Seattle
3 Salt Lake
4 Portland
5 Dallas
San Jose


Play-In Game (1 Leg)
Toronto v Chicago - Chicago
Portland v Dallas - Portland

Quarterfinals (2 Legs)
New York v Chicago - New York
Kansas City v Houston - Kansas City
LA v Portland - LA
Seattle v Salt Lake - Seattle

Semifinals (2 Legs)
New York v Kansas City - Kansas City
LA v Seattle - LA

Final (1 Leg)
LA Galaxy v Sporting Kansas City - LA


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Baltimore, and it's slightly less than an hour to drive to watch DC United play a home game.

Baltimore, therefore, does not qualify as being "excluded" from an MLS market. After all, with all the traffic in LA or NYC, it takes longer than an hour to reach the stadium for a lot of people.

I realize that's difficult for the hysterical "expand, now !" elements of MLS to digest, but it is still the truth.

5:07 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

But wouldn't Baltimore make a great location for a 2nd or 3rd division team with ties to DC United?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New York #1 in the east? You're a crazy person.

9:46 AM  

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