Each season in Major League Soccer there are a number of players that seemingly come out of nowhere to enjoy a big season. A couple years ago it was Chris Wondolowski to last season with Dominic Oduro finally finding his way in the Windy City with the Fire.
Obviously it is always hard to tell who will breakout like Wondo and Oduro. Some guys have shown talent before like Oduro but haven’t been in the right set up for their skill sets to show it. Others are just waiting for their time really to get solid minutes and show the league what only few have been able to see in training and in reserve league games.
So who will it be this year? Below are a couple guys that could have big seasons for their respective clubs if the chips fall in the right way for them.
Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew) – With names like Robbie Rodgers and Emmanuel Ekpo gone, the midfield for the Crew will look drastically different in 2012. The only thing that won’t change is Duka. I’d expect the 22-year old to come into his own this season and contribute in a big way to get the Crew in the playoffs once again.
Andrew Wiedeman (FC Dallas) – A bit of a hometown pick for me but I think this one could be a good one. Wiedeman has had a strong preseason thus far and is putting himself in the discussion to compete for some serious playing time this season. With guys like David Ferreira returning from injury and newcomers like Blas Perez snatching goals, look for Wiedeman to be that spark for Dallas that was missing in 2011.
Justin Braun (Montreal Impact) – I’ve honestly been waiting for a couple years now for Braun to really burst out on the scene. He has shown moments over the last couple years with Chivas USA that he can be dangerous. I think a new location and coach could really help him out though this year. He’s certainly a player to watch out for.
Bright Dike (Portland Timbers) – He’s finally healthy and if he can get solid minutes this season I think he could really be a difference maker for the Timbers. A lot of attention will be placed on newcomer Kris Boyd and that should free a player like Dike up to bag a few goals this season.
Sammy Ochoa (Seattle Sounders) - Even with Fredy Montero and now Eddie Johnson, I see Ochoa as a breakout guy. This will be his first full season with the club and now that Mike Fucito is gone (sorry Sounders fans, I know you’re still mourning that one), Ochoa should be able to sneak in and gain plenty of solid minutes this year.
Ryan Johnson (Toronto FC) – Here is another guy that has shown some glimpses in the past. I think a full season with TFC will certainly help push him out even more. With the spotlight being on Danny Koevermans this season, look for Johnson (and Joao Plata for that matter) to get plenty of quality chances on goal. The potential has been there for years folks.