- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 27, 2008
- 10 Comments
Its time once again for the WVHooligan Bold Season Predictions. Most of what you are about to read are probably a little bit out on a limb in terms of actually coming true anytime in the next year but that is why I throw it out there. Last year’s season predictions ended up fairly well for me (got about half of them right, including the Dynamo’s repeat, New England falling in the MLS Cup again, Edu’s Rookie of the Year and more).
If you think they are dumb, that is fine, but its a bit more fun to include random predictions than just saying who will win all the time. Plus these are in no real order, more like they are in the order that they popped in my head. Again, I know most of these are way out on a limb.
Feel free to include your own.
1. DC United will not win the MLS Cup this season. I went with this last year and I will go again with it. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if they at least reached the Cup this season. Why won’t they again this season though? Its that late season crawl into the playoffs that concerns me. They have the pure talent to get the job done but as we’ve seen the last two seasons, they’ve just about ran away with the Supporter’s Shield in July and then August and September hits with very little to cheer for.
2. Houston will not become the first club to win back-t0-back-to-back MLS Cups. I actually feel pretty good about this prediction. It really doesn’t have a thing to do with their lack of offense at the moment. Its one thing to win two straight but three straight in any sport is very tough to come by unless you have a Michael Jordan-type player on your roster. Houston has some stars but no big star that can carry them to another title this time around. But they will come close.
3. New England will win the MLS Cup. Yeah. I’m going very bold with this and will probably fall flat on my face but I actually like what New England has done this offseason (aside the not selling of Taylor Twellman). I think Twellman will have a monster year after not being sold in the offseason and the addition of Chris Albright will be all the defense needs to make it back to the MLS Cup and actually win it this time around. Depth is a little bit of a concern with this pick but they have enough young guys that could step up and make this work.
4. Colorado and KC will lose in the first round despite their additions this offseason. A lot of people are high on both clubs going into this season. I think people should have reason to feel good about both of their chances. Colorado will have to get over injuries fast in the early part of the season and KC will have to find a way to play well in the summer months. I see both reaching the playoffs but falling out in the first round to potential teams that should reach the MLS Cup.
5. Chivas USA will reach the MLS Cup. I’ve been very hot and cold with this club in recent weeks but I think this club could reach the MLS Cup this season with the talent that they have with the additions that they picked up this offseason. Unlike last year I think the Goats will get into the playoffs a bit healthier and have a better shot at winning their semi-final series. Question will be if their fans actually show up for a MLS Cup in the Home Depot Center.
6. The playoffs will include: New England, DC, KC, Houston, Chivas, Dallas, Colorado, and Chicago. Pretty safe picks right now but a lot could change that.
7. The new playoff format will not affect the playoffs. As you see I have four from each conference in the playoffs and really I think that’s how it will end up. The east is a bit stacked but I think the western teams will surprise people this season.
8. The east will finish up looking like this: DC, KC, New England, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Columbus
9. The west will finish up looking like this: Houston, Chivas, Colorado, Dallas, RSL, LA, San Jose
10. A MLS team will not win SuperLiga. Yup, I see it going to the Mexican Chivas group this time around. Honestly the SuperLiga already needs a reformation from the MLS clubs, but that is a story for another day.
11. A MLS team will win the US Open Cup. Pretty easy to bet that but after last year we don’t know how much stock the MLS clubs will actually put into this Cup anymore. I am going with Dallas to win the US Open Cup this year. They were one of the few to give two cents about this tournament.
12. (Just as last year) one trade will shaky up everything. Last year Houston traded for Joesph Ngwenya and that proved to be a difference maker in terms of Houston winning the MLS Cup. Also the Richard Mulrooney and Nate Jaqua trades helped. This comes to show that trades can work out in this league if they are done right.
13. One more DP will be signed this summer. It won’t be like last year but I see a number of teams considering a late season DP signing. Toronto, Dallas, DC (their second), and Columbus. Which one it will be I don’t know but my money is on Toronto.
14. Two Yanks abroad will return home this summer. It won’t be Benny Feilhaber. I think a guy like Lee Nguyen or Preston Zimmerman (though I think he will come back for Seattle in 2009). Keep your eye out though for someone to return home and probably land with RSL or San Jose.
15. DC and Houston will finally get stadium deals. Could this finally be the year for DC and Popular Point? I dunno if it will be there but I have to think that somewhere a deal will be made and some work will actually start on a stadium for DC. Same goes for Houston, the ball is already rolling there and I could see construction start this year.
16. No expansion city will be named in 2008 season, but hints will be made…for two cities. St. Louis will find a way to get the money in the bank to get a team and will probably be announced in early 2009 for the team to begin playing in 2011. The second city will end up in Montreal and they will begin playing in 2011 as well after their stadium is expanded to fit a MLS team.
17. Kansas City will begin construction on stadium. Some how, some way they will get their stadium construction under way during this season.
18. MLS All-stars will beat West Ham in All-Star Game. Still the most worthless game will yield another MLS win.
19. Juan Pablo Angel will lead the league in scoring. Not a real stretch here but I see Angel tallying 20 this season.
20. Schelotto will lead the league in assists. Who’s gonna score for the Crew this season? Still a good question but I see Schelotto being the main reason why someone does score for this club.
21. Joe Cannon will lead the league in saves. What’s a good keeper, plus a decent defense, plus a club with little offense equal? Joe Cannon. I really see Cannon leading the league in saves based on the fact that his club is an expansion team and in the past clubs with decent defenses and terrible offenses usually mean that the keeper is having to carry the load. Cannon will be doing just that, similar to Nick Rimando at RSL last year.
22. Blanco will be the most fouled player in the league. This will be a big reason to why the Fire will have problems reaching the playoffs this season. Blanco will get foul a lot and it will frustrate the hell out of him causing a little bit of frustration in the locker-room.
23. A late season run will help…Colorado. I see this team stumbling due to injuries at the start but then piecing things together late in the year (after they fire Fernando Clavijo).
24. Two coaches will get fired or quit sometime this year. I think it is somewhat safe to say that will happen. I see Clavijo finally getting the boot in early June, and maybe someone like Sigi Schmid stepping down late in the season or after the season is over.
25. MLS development system will continue to improve. It only has anywhere to go but up I think but we will start to see more and more players get looks for their club’s senior squad this year. New York is already close to signing one of their kids. I think more will be to come later this year.
26. Shalrie Joesph will the the MLS MVP. He was very underrated last year in New England’s push for the MLS Cup but I think this season he will finally get the award that he deserves. Without him in the middle of the field this club looks completely different. That is just how important he is to the Revs.
27. DC United will win the Supporter’s Shield again. Safe pick on this but why not. I’ve already picked them to not win it all again so the Supporter’s Shield makes the most sense for now.
28. Ronnie O’Brien will win the Comeback Player of the Year. A move to San Jose will be all the Ronnie O needs to win this award. I think he will have a solid season by the bay.
29. Steve Nicol wins Coach of the Year. The Revs get more love this year.
30. Julian James wins the Rookie of the Year. James (once he returns from injury) will be a beast for Toronto on the backline this season. His stats won’t wow people but voters will see just how valuable this kid is to the Reds.